The View: Letter to the Editor

Dear Kerri,
In the April 2017 issue of Coffee talk I read the article by Tim Widmer with alarm and then anger. He was blatantly wrong on many topics and did not identify himself as the owner of iFill.
Some specifics:
Single Serve Options is his topic.
• Nothing about single-serve is new. The subject matter is not new or innovative.
• In the 1960’s and today Arabica was still the predominate coffee species in the US, Robusta was slowly being added to grocery coffee in small percentages as a cost savings measure. In the late 1960’s several 100% Arabica coffee brands opened up and have been competing successfully against Folgers and Maxwell House.
• Freshly Roasted Coffee is ambiguous and really needs to be defined for the purposes of the article.
• The historical reference of roasters refining their skills from west to east is incorrect and has nothing to do with expansion of retail coffee. Retail coffee expansion was a real estate and foodservice operation.
• Keurig lack the freshness factor is misleading and ambiguous. Freshness factor needs to be defined. Does anyone really think that Keurig stales the coffee before packaging ? This is marketing jargon. This is where the article becomes a sales –pitch and I lose interest.
• iFill Cups seem to be a recyclable Kcup compatible cup for roasters to manually fill with their own coffee, thus competing with Keurig. The issue is that iFill Cups face the same challenges as Keurig cups regarding shelf-life, age from roasting, etc.. So, the sales pitch is very off-putting.
• iFill Cups cannot guarantee freshness or even local supply, they are simply a different cup composition.
• Conclusion: This is a poorly conceived sales promotion disguised as an educational article.
I suggest vetting your authors or creating a peer review committee as the information in this case is wrong, misleading, self-serving and damaging to the reader and your publication.
Dan Cox
President Coffee Enterprises.
Publisher’s Note:
Thank you, Dan, for your feedback on this matter. I appreciate your trust in CoffeeTalk’s editorial quality and absolutely agree with the need to be clear on the intent of articles. I have to accept full responsibility for not having presented the article you referenced as an “Opinion Piece” rather than an educational article. Again, thank you for reaching out and taking the time and effort to share your concerns and keep CoffeeTalk on the path of editorial integrity.

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