Starbucks announced that they are bringing a new single serve espresso machine to the market called the Verismo. This pressure brew system offers users an easy way to get espresso based drinks at home as well as regular brewed coffee. The move is shrewd on their part, as they have moved into the K-Cup arena to take advantage of the large installed base of Keurig brewers, while also bringing out a brewing system that will deliver superior products.
The Verismo system will be sold through Starbucks stores online starting this Fall, and will come with both coffee and milk-based pods to make the various coffee house drinks that people have come to expect. howard Schultz said, "We have long believed that the biggest prize within the segment is a high-pressure system that would give us the opportunity to deliver Starbucks-quality espresso beverages at home and at work for customers who desire the Starbucks® espresso experience outside of our stores."
Saw this and had to pass along - Arvid Häusser, a 23-year-old German design student at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar designed this new espresso machine prototype. It changes the design parameters of the typical espresso machine to split up the components, move the design to the wall and free up the counter space.
The Water reservoir is in the left vessel, while the pump and heater are in the right vessel. The drip tray is height adjustable. While the whole thing, exudes Dr. Frankenstein's lab, I am pretty interested in the design because I happen to like chemistry lab.
CBTL has struck a distribution deal to get their CBTL brewers and coffee capsules into big box stores, opening up the units to a channel that reaches millions of people a day. As I was shopping this weekend, I stumbled onto an end aisle display at the local Target store which had the CBTL brewer on it; little did I know that I had seen the effects of this major distribution move.
The CBTL Brewer and Capsule display had several coffees, teas and "mixers" in the line; I picked up some English Breakfast Tea, and a couple of versions of Espresso (Continental and Premium) that I liked when I reviewed the CBTL Americano Espresso Machine.
CBTL Briosa Espresso Machine
Target had the CBTL Americano for $149; the same price as the CBTL website. The Launch also marks the introduction of the new CBTL Briosa; a value priced machine at $119. See below. The Briosa claims to use high pressure, and looks to have the cup controls down the side, while no doubt keeping the same lever action single serve cartridge loading and ejection capabilities.
Typically, Brazil produces a pretty uninspired coffee, filling in as the base coffee notes, the cheaper non-objectionable character actor in blends that you buy in a grocery store. There is also a huge supply of instant coffee that comes from Brazil, that is processed in country and exported as instant powder to blenders around the world; I won't paint a picture of that bean quality, but you get the idea.
In the WSJ today, they talk a little bit about a resurgence of sorts in quality for some Brazilian beans. Typically, Brazil has "lowland" coffees that are not expected to develop the most wonderful flavors. Recently though some small roasters are talking up the nutty-sweet flavors of higher quality Brazilian beans that can deliver Cup of Excellence type quality. The local to Boston owner of Terrior Coffee Roaster, Geogre Howell was quoted int eh article, who has offered a Brazilian coffee for some time in his repertoire.
Personally for me, I has seen Brazilian coffees that tend to have a cereal note to them that I don't like; but am open to new ideas and would love to see higher quality come from any growing regain ready to step up their game. How about you?
The NYTimes has a nice little rant article about the high cost of single serve coffee brewers, pointing out that people are paying about $50+ per pound of coffee when buying in a single serve format. Obviously you can get coffee for a lot less than that, even darn good coffee; the kind of micro lot coffee that would blow your socks off. Most people either get it or they don't - it's about consistency and convenience. It's not about amazing nuances in the cup that you can get from freshly roasted beans, and it's not about low cost, even though you can rationalize that you are wasting less.
Massive Revenue and a Total Shift in the Industry
What's interesting are a few tidbits in the article. Nespresso sells only 8% of the coffee in the world, as measured y weight, but 25% of the dollars spent on coffee is for Nespresso; that is a stunning number. I didn't realize that the franchise was that big.
Keurig sold 4 million brewers leading up to the Christmas 2012 holiday, and about $715Million in K-Cup coffee packs. Can you imagine what it will be next year after those 4 million brewers get cranking? Sure the there is a patent expiration coming, but at a couple of cups a day per brewer, that's about $300+ million in retail sales for Q4 2012. Can you say $1 Billion in retail sales per quarter?
The big market shift is in the reframing of the cost for coffee. Older people think in terms of cost per pound, can or brick bag of coffee. Younger people reframe the cost of coffee versus what it costs at the coffee shop. So while $50+ per pound is a lot versus that bag of whole bean at the store, $0.60 per cup versus that $4 Latte I had yesterday is cheap.
Competition for Keurig and Nespresso
Finally, what these folks need is a little competition for their brewers. That's coming.
I mentioned the patent expiration that Keurig is going to deal with as competitors may be able to make dents in their installed base of brewers.
Also good news for Nespresso fans too; Amazon is bringing Ethical Coffee capsules to the US later this year. Should get interesting as this maker of Nespresso compatible coffee capsules must be gearing up to take a dent out of this market, where Nespresso has a toe hold, but Keurig has the emerging standard locked down.
If you've been reading up about quality coffee in the US, then you've probably heard of Intelligentsia Coffee. THese roasters are on the leading edge for finding and promoting the best coffees in the world, both macro crops and micro lots.
Intelligentsia has a seasonal Espresso for you to try, called Sapsucker Espresso - according to Intelligentsia says, "Rooted in the distinctive flavor of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, the seasonal Sapsucker Espresso is accented with light and crisp Colombia and grounded by a velvety Bolivia to present a unique experience. Immensely floral, buttery, lemon-like, and silken, the flavors are rounded by an effervescent red apple sparkle and a sweet herbal quality."
Available in a variety of package sizes, the main one being a 12-ounce for $18, and from whole bean down to espresso grind in thirteen different grinds, listed by maker. Yes, they include some of the trendy and niche makers like Chemex, and Hario.
There are a ton of ways to be green, but I saw this travel mug recently and needed to pass this along.
Even if being green isn't your thing, I like my travel mug better than paper cups. I happen to keep a clean mug in the car.
So, not only is this a travel mug that can keep a few paper cups out of the landfill, but it's made from 97% food grade recycled plastic. It's 100% Polypropylene, so once you're done, you can recycle it again.
Available in three colors, and in 12-ounce and 16-ounce sizes
Coffee is a very personal thing and everyone enjoys "their" special brew. Well the folks at Saeco have taken things to a new level and not only offer you the ability to customize your drink, but they also give you the ability to get that drink at the swipe of your finger. The SuperAutomatic espresso drink center can grind, tamp and brew your espresso while steaming your milk to create a great espresso drink, but maybe you want a larger sup, a stronger shot, more or less milk.
I had to pick these up when I recently ordered the Kazaar limited edition capsules. I am really a day-in and day-out Livanto drinker, so I opted for something a little different and bronze/orange that goes with about nothing in my kitchen, except of course the Livanto capsules that are laying around.
I generally drink out of quick shot glasses like the Bodum Pavina glasses when drinking at home as a stand around the kitchen. If I am going to sit down, I opt for a more traditional cup and saucer. So these Pixie Espresso cups are all about a quick shot and walk away.
They are double walled stainless steel, with an amazingly lustrous interior. The design is of course taken from the Nespresso Capsule design, and mirrors the Ritual cup design as well.
So while the Pixie cup itself looks massive in size, but due to its double walled structure, it is actually small inside relative to its look and feel. It holds about 80 milliliters, or a bit over 2.5 ounces; perfect for a typical espresso shot. The combination of the size, and weight makes it feel substantial. They are in colors that match many of the Nespresso Grand Cru series, so you can probably get your favorite variety in its own cup color.
With all of the metal, does the Pixie Espresso Cups cool the espressos off too much? I don't think so, but then again, I am standing here and drinking a shot straight off the machine. If I do a second one, the shot is noticeably hotter indicating that the first shot gave up a bit of temperature to the cup. I don't think this is a problem, because it generally makes the shot drinkable right off the machine, or within a few seconds. If you wanted to serve up a bunch to friends, I would recommend pre-heating the glasses first.
Sure it's a splurge, but I like the Nespresso Pixie Espresso cups - you can find them in the Nespresso Store for $30 a pair.
Illy is getting in on the good times and pushing a new ad campaign with their Live Happ-illy video. The 60-second ad offers a little romantic intrigue, a little pep in your step and an overall message that a moment with an illy espresso simply makes life better. I happen to agree with the idea that a little coffee in your day makes life a little better, and I life their take on it.
Ironpeddler: Looks like the espresso capsules are different than the current read more Ironpeddler: Looks to be a bit pricey at $599.99 for a read more ludo: We have it in store in New Hampshire. read more John Grabowski: The Targets near me (Northern California) all have Nespresso machines. read more Ironpeddler: While they all look good, they are so problematic. Either read more