February 8, 2012

The High Cost of the Single Serve Espresso and Coffee Habit


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.

Read more on Single Serve Capsules at the NYTimes

Read More in: Keurig & K-cups | Nespresso

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February 5, 2012

Seasonal Espresso: Sapsucker Espresso from Intelligentsia


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.

At Intelligentsia - Sapsucker Espresso Blend

Read More in: General News

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February 4, 2012

The Greener Travel Mug - Recycled and Recycleable


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

At Amazon - Aladdin Transform Recycled and Recyclable Travel Mug

Read More in: General News

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January 29, 2012

Saeco Xelsis Digial ID - Custom Drinks via Fingerprint Reader


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.

Features and a video after the jump…..

ArrowContinue reading: "Saeco Xelsis Digial ID - Custom Drinks via Fingerprint Reader"

Read More in: Espresso Machines

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January 27, 2012

Nespresso Pixie Espresso Cups

Nespresso Pixie Cups

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.

At the Nespresso Club - Nespresso Pixie Double Walled Espresso Cups

Read More in: Espresso Cups

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Recent Comments
Scott Martin: Erik, Answering a few questions: So the whirring is definitely read more
Erik G.: Nice review! Just a couple of questions though. How hot read more
Scott Martin: SH, Excellent question - added a section to the review read more
SH: What about machine sound/vibration during the brew process? If it read more
Ironpeddler: Looks like the espresso capsules are different than the current read more
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