Why More Cafes are Making Coffee In-House

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As the demand for artisan coffee is only increasing, more and more cafes are roasting their own blends of coffee instead of getting them from mass-produced coffee companies.

This has fueled the growth of coffee roasting co-ops, where coffee enthusiasts and coffee store owners can rent time to use roasting machines to make their own coffee blends.

“The visions and the goals of the coffee roasters and the visions and goals of a cafe or bakery owner didn’t always align,” said Paolo Maliksi, one of the owners of Regalia a coffee roasting co-op in Long Island Island. “We are here to make sure that anyone can come in and roast for whatever reason.”

Consumers are willing to pay more for a food product that is high-quality, sustainable, and locally sourced. This is driving the growth in the craft coffee industry.

This is inspiring big retail coffee brands to adapt as the market becomes more inundated with coffee options.

“Rabobank says roasting shops alone aren’t yet a major threat to Big Coffee, but as young consumers move away from traditional brands, that’s forcing the old guard to adapt. JM Smucker Co., for example, has rolled out a new line of coffee called 1850 intended to attract younger drinkers who wouldn’t think to pick up a pound of sister brand Folgers,” writes “CNBC.”

Craft coffee is becoming so much more accessible too.

When a café doesn’t want to invest in making its own beans, there are so many options on the market and coffee traders are now more flexible when it comes to selling smaller batches. Previously, coffee traders were sending shipments of 20-feet containers but now there are E-commerce marketplaces for specialty roasters.

“Smaller specialty roasters are forcing importers and traders to become more responsive. When people are buying smaller quantities of anything, I think they expect to buy them in the same way they buy stuff from Amazon or their online grocers. We are having to find new platforms and new approaches to sell to people the way they want to be sold to,” said Cory Bush, managing director of 32cup.

Read more about the rise in premium coffee brews at “CNBC.”

Speaking of coffee, we recently sat down with the director of sourcing and shared value at Intelligentsia Coffee and Allen Wang, founder & partner of Kung Fu Tea about how these companies are standing out from the rest in this saturated artisan beverage market.

How Blue Bottle Coffee Maintains Product Quality As It Continues To Expand

In this episode of On Foodable, Paul Barron sits down with Bryan Meehan, CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee, at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. The two chat about specialty coffee, company expansion, and branding among other topics.

In 2011, Meehan—whose retail experience comes from co-founding UK-based brands like Nude Skincare and Fresh & Wild, an organic market which is now owned by Whole Foods—came across James Freeman, founder of Blue Bottle Coffee Company and said: “What are you doing with this company? I love it. Can I help you?”

Fast forward to today and Meehan has been the CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee Company for over six years now and has been hard at work growing the company to 60 locations in collaboration with James Freeman. The fast expansion boost was partially thanks to the Nestle acquisition that took place in 2017, but Meehan assures Blue Bottle works as an independent entity under that larger umbrella and the company’s growth has not come at the expense of product quality.

“A lot of companies here worry about with growth ‘If I could just maintain what I have then everything is going to be fine…’ but as you know you can’t succeed long-term with that so we push ourselves to try and get better every year,” says Meehan.

“With scale, the worry always with a company like Blue Bottle, and I see it in the industry today… with scale it’s so easy to just to take shortcuts and compromise on quality,” says Meehan. “We need to go back to focusing on why we started in the industry and in specialty coffee is that these products have got to taste delicious. If it’s not delicious we shouldn’t do it.”

Blue Bottle has taken its brand internationally with 10 stores in Japan and recently announcing it’s getting ready to launch its first South Korea location in Seoul.

Watch the episode above to learn about who is operating their stores internationally, the tech being used for Blue Bottle’s latest retail products, and how quality control affects the brand’s business decision.

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Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

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Move Over Folgers, These Specialty Instant Coffee Start-ups are on the Rise

Instant coffee often has a negative connotation. Some coffee enthusiasts even refuse to have Keurig cups.

It appears as though this is about to change with the help of innovative coffee start-ups.

Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, a specialty coffee brand based in Chicago, is making a difference in coffee producing communities abroad. Learn about Intelligentsia and the Vice President of Coffee Geoff Watts below.

Intelligentsia has now partnered with San Francisco-based Sudden Coffee to roll out a line of single-serve instant coffee packs.

This instant product features a brew is called Rayos Del Sol from Peru and is packaged in compostable tubes.

The cost of a four-pack is $13, which is a premium price for a home brewed coffee product, and is available online and at select coffee bars. Consumers have made it clear that they are willing to pay a premium for high-quality brews. But what about for at-home coffee products?

Well, evidently, there's a lot of potential in the high-quality instant coffee market. The Rayos Del Sol's initial order sold out online.

Sudden Coffee is on a mission to make more high-quality coffee more accessible.

“Great coffee is a simple luxury that can make someone’s day a whole lot better,” said Joshua Zloof, co-founder of Sudden Coffee. “We wanted to make it more accessible, so anyone could have a great coffee, without a machine, without needing to learn how to brew it, without the need to drive to a cafe.”

These companies are part of a bigger coffee movement known as the "Third Wave" coffee.

"It’s part of the new wave of Third Wave coffee, and behind it is a collection of entrepreneurs who have developed proprietary freeze-drying and dehydrating methods to produce premium (or specialty) instant coffee," writes "The Chicago Tribune." "The “Third Wave” of coffee summarizes the current trend toward specialty coffees produced by small-batch roasters with a focus on artisan techniques, sustainable methods, and closer relationships with growers and harvesters. Locally, this would include Intelligentsia, Metropolis, Dark Matter, Halfwit, Gaslight, Metric and others."

Wildly popular chains like Starbucks and Dunkin' are known as the "Second Wave." The "First Wave" brands like Folgers and Maxwell House introduced at-home coffee products, where coffee is mass produced and then vacuum sealed to keep its freshness.

Read more about the companies driving the specialty instant coffee sector at the "Chicago Tribune."

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