These Beverage Experts Are Pumped About Sustainable Straws and Szechuan Peppercorn

This episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse is chock-full of great beverage insights from coffee makers to bartenders and spirit distillers. Host Chelsea Keenan hears from beverage experts about consumer trends they are seeing and trends they are pushing for in the next few years.

The founder of Intelligentsia Coffee, Geoff Watts, and Sourcing Director Michael Sheridan take us to the root of coffee, or more specifically— the cherry. Coffee is grown on trees in the form of cherries. These are then picked off the trees and from there the seeds can go through a variety of different processes at different stages, all creating different flavors from the same coffee bean. Watts outlines the process for honey coffee, a very popular process with today’s consumers.

“You can take it off the tree and immediately take off the skin and put the coffee into a big tank... and let it sit and ferment or have an enzymatic breakdown of this sticky mucilage on there.”

As farmers and coffee houses are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, natural processes like honey coffee are beginning to gain traction.

Bartenders Danielle Dang and Robin Goodfellow chime in with trends they have been seeing behind the bar. The American population is moving towards favoring more responsible, sustainable practices. In an effort to be a part of the movement, Goodfellow says he needs help from industry suppliers.

“Like, there's this huge big straw debate going on in the cocktail industry, like ‘Don’t give straws to guests! It’s ruining the environment!’ you know? And guests wants straws,” he explains, “so as a designer, I’m furious that straw companies are not making biodegradable straws. This is not my problem: To use straws or not to use straws. Make it better!”

Be sure to watch the episode for other great insights from our experts on this episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse.