Is the Future of Office Coffee Taking Flight?

Predictions about the future of office coffee almost always relate to things like user preferences, coffee bean sources, and pricing. IBM has its own prediction, a prediction that is rooted in a technology they have invented. The only question is whether their invention will succeed or not. If it does, the future of office coffee could be taking flight in the near future.

A USA Today article published at the end of August (2018) describes what IBM calls their coffee drone. Apparently, the 107-year-old technology company has filed both patents and trademarks for a drone device that flies around public spaces delivering cups of coffee to those in need.

Airborne Coffee Delivery

Trademark filings indicate that IBM’s coffee drone could be used in just about any public space, including the typical office. It could be deployed to deliver a cup of coffee ordered using a smartphone or kiosk. The drone could ostensibly fly around a public space waiting to be hailed by a coffee drinker who places an order and then waits for the airborne delivery.

We must admit, the concept is rather intriguing on its face. We can even see how it would work at something like an outdoor music festival or in a public park setting. But there appear to be too many pitfalls to use it effectively in an office or café. For starters, just think of the implications of drones flying around in enclosed spaces.

To make it work, IBM would definitely have to address the following:

Noise – The sound of drones buzzing through the air might elicit a bit of excitement at first, but it would not take long for the noise to get old. Workers trying to concentrate on their tasks would be driven crazy by the constant buzzing going on over their heads.

Lighting and Fixtures – Galaxie Coffee delivers to a lot of New York area offices, and we can tell you that office environments are not known for their unencumbered airspace. There are all sorts of lights and other fixtures to get in the way. Having to navigate an office could create quite a challenge.

Accidental Spills – Perhaps the biggest pitfall of airborne coffee delivery is the accidental spill. Do you remember that lady who sued McDonald’s years ago because she spilled hot coffee and burned herself? Imagine what is going to happen the first time an IBM drone loses its load in the middle of the office.

Not a Good Fit for Office Coffee

It doesn’t appear that IBM’s coffee drone is a practical solution for office coffee. But who knows? They could find a way to make it work. We will have to wait and see.

In the here and now, Galaxie Coffee offers the finest of office coffee solutions. We carry state-of-the-art equipment that complements our extensive inventory of coffees, teas, fruit juices, bottled water, and snacks. We would be honored to serve your office – even without a drone to make deliveries.

Coffee Consumption In America [INFOGRAPHIC]

Coffee Consumption In America

The One Thing Craft Beer and Third Wave Coffee Have in Common

Modern beer drinkers are a unique group of people that view their beverage of choice as more than just a glass of grain alcohol. They see beer as a taste experience. They are not alone. Today’s coffee connoisseurs are very much the same way. It turns out that these two groups of imbibers have something in common: millennials.

Yes, it’s true. The oft-maligned millennial is the common denominator between the modern craft beer and third wave coffee movements. Gone are the days of Joe Sixpack and Java Joe. They have been replaced by Mitch Microbrew and Larry Latte.

Old-School Beer and Coffee

If you are old enough to remember the Nixon presidency and the end of the Vietnam War, you are also old enough to know that the beer and coffee scenes have changed considerably since then. Back in the old-school days of the 70s and 80s, beer was marketed to blue-collar workers looking to grab a cold brewski after work or hang out with friends on the weekends. Back then, the hardest decision a beer drinker had to make was bottle or can.

Coffee drinkers were not much into different flavors, cappuccino, or latte back in the day, either. Coffee was fuel for them. And it wasn’t just for people going off to work. Homemakers brewed a pot every morning to get them through a grueling day of housework.

Millennials, Beer, and Coffee

It could be said that beer and coffee was limited in the past by the willingness to spend, or the lack thereof, among consumers. People were not willing to spend a ton of money on beer and coffee; they saved the big money for wine and champagne. Beer and coffee were cheap, utilitarian beverages.

Then millennials entered the picture and changed everything.

Millennial consumers are willing to spend as much on craft beer and third wave coffee as their parents and grandparents spent on a multi-course meal. Moreover, millennials want an experience. They do not want to sit around the bar drinking a light beer and talking about football. No, they would rather sit at a large oak table discussing the finer points of how the new Verizon guy is better than the old one while sipping a craft beer with fruity notes.

Third wave coffee drinkers will not be outdone. Coffee is no longer fuel for the millennial generation. Rather, it is an experience that transcends one’s first kiss, becoming a parent, and realizing you finally made it through a mid-life crisis.

Third wave coffee drinkers concern themselves with the subtleties of taste. They are interested in where coffee beans are grown, how they are roasted, and how they are blended together to create a world of flavors only they can taste. To modern coffee drinkers, it is good to be them.

Here at Galaxie Coffee, we celebrate coffee drinkers of every generation. Be they baby boomers, Gen X or Gen Y, or even the much-maligned millennials, we have coffee for all of them. And it is all good!

4 Reasons Non-Dairy Milks are Gaining Traction

It used to be that non-dairy milks produced from nuts, soy, and grains were reserved for a small number of people who had a particular reservation about cow and goat’s milk. How times have changed though. Not only are non-dairy milks mainstream, but they are also quickly gaining traction against the dairy industry.

According to 2017 research published by Mintel, sales of non-dairy milk products have jumped more than 60% over the last five years. It was estimated at the time that total 2017 sales would eclipse $2.1 billion. Those numbers include sales of almond, coconut, soy, pecan, quinoa, hazelnut, and flax milk.

Here are four reasons that could help explain why:

1. Saying Goodbye to Dairy

More consumers appear to be making a concerted effort to consume less dairy. According to a late 2017 survey conducted in Great Britain, roughly 20% of the population stated a desire to cut down on the amount of milk, butter, and cheese they consumed.

Roughly 28% told researchers they planned to give up cheese and milk, and 19% said they were willing to substitute what they gave up with non-dairy products. That means almond, soy, or other options instead of cow’s milk.

2. Adopting the Vegan Lifestyle

A second factor, which may go hand-in-hand with the first, is the fact that more people are electing to adopt the vegan lifestyle. That same British survey suggested that nearly 10% of Brits aim to be completely vegan by the end of 2018.

Whether or not they succeed, people who go vegan obviously cannot drink dairy-based milk. So they turn to one of the non-dairy options instead. Almond milk tops the list, according to the Mintel research, with a 64% market share. Soy comes in at 13% while coconut milk owns 12% of the market.

3. Greater Exposure

We cannot discount exposure and marketing as factors in the rise of non-dairy milks. If it were not for aggressive marketing, a lot of people now embracing the non-dairy movement would not even know they have choices. Savvy marketers have tapped into the health-conscious movement of the 2010s in the same way they did the aerobics movement of the 1980s. Their efforts have undoubtedly contributed to upward sales trends.

4. Better Quality Products

Last but not least are the better-quality products now on the market. When alternative milks first became the thing, they were not known for their rich flavor and palatable, milk-like texture. But producers have learned a lot over the last 20 years. Today’s non-dairy milks offer the highest quality they have ever offered. They are winning over more consumers as a result.

How about you? Are you a fan of almond, soy, or coconut milk? We would be happy to know what you think. One of our goals here at Galaxie Coffee is to provide the kinds of products our customers want, regardless of what those products are. If that means non-dairy milk for your office, we can handle it.

What is Third Wave Coffee?

Do you consider coffee more than just a hot beverage loaded with caffeine and capable of waking you up in the morning? If so, you may be familiar with the phrase ‘third wave coffee’. It is a phrase that is bandied about by coffee roasters, growers, and even local baristas who fancy themselves experts in all things coffee.

So, what exactly is third wave coffee? Moreover, did coffee have first and second waves? Keep reading to learn more about what has essentially become a cultural phenomenon here in the U.S.

Definition of Third Wave Coffee

Third wave coffee is essentially coffee that is crafted as an artisanal beverage with the same attention to flavor, quality, and experience vintner’s give to fine wines. Third wave is to the coffee industry what award-winning wine is to wine tasting.

Those involved in the third wave are very particular about growing regions. They pay special attention to the quality of their coffee beans, how they mix and match those beans to achieve a specific flavor, how they roast the beans, and even how roasted beans are ground and packaged for sale.

The objective here is to produce coffee that is worth being persnickety about. Third wave coffee is considered by coffee snobs to be the best possible coffee money can buy. As such, third wave producers compete for brand loyalty.

First and Second Waves

To fully understand and appreciate third wave coffee, you probably need to understand the first and second waves. The reason for this is simple: the current third wave of coffee is not really new, it is simply a return to the way things used to be done before industrialization.

The first wave of coffee began back in the 1800s when a small number of producers decided they needed a way to mass produce and market their products. Coffee processing went from small, family-owned operations to large, industrialized factories. First wave gave us coffee in cans, vacuum packing, and household brand names like Folgers and Hills Bros.

This first wave continued into the early 1990s, when consumers began tiring of poor quality coffee purchased at the grocery store. Coffee drinkers started demanding better flavor and more choices coinciding with the rise of the coffee house culture. Second wave gave us Starbucks, flavored coffees, and Americanized lattes and cappuccinos.

Second wave morphed into third wave at the turn of the 21st century. That brings us to where we are today. Third wave coffee lovers are very particular about the flavor and quality of their coffee. They also care about where coffee beans are sourced from.

Here at Galaxie Coffee, we embrace all three waves for the benefit of our customers. Regardless of your taste in coffee and coffee preparation, we have something for your office. We take great pride in meeting the needs of our customers with a large variety of products and equipment. Whatever wave is your thing, we have you covered with our large coffee selection.

6 Current Cold Beverage Trends in America

This is the time of year when a lot of us limit hot coffee consumption to just one or two cups in the morning. Whether it’s a physical thing or something mental, we tend to prefer cold drinks during the summer. That means this is also the time of year when a little observation is all it takes to identify the hottest trends in cold beverages.

This summer season is no exception. Take a step back and look around. You will see more people consuming cold beverages instead of hot coffee. Here are six that are trendy right now:

1-2. Cold Brew Coffee and Tea

Cold brew coffee has been around for decades. However, it didn’t become popular in America until just a few years ago. It is now one of the most preferred cold beverages among coffee and tea drinkers. Cold brew coffee offers all the flavor of its hot cousin but with less bitterness. Some people have described it as naturally sweeter than hot coffee.

Not to be outdone, tea drinkers have their own cold brew concoction. Cold brew tea is made the same way cold brew coffee is. You take your tea leaves (or tea bags as the case may be) and steep them in cold or room temperature water for up to 12 hours. Then serve it with ice and just a touch of lemon for some extra zing.

3-4. Seltzer and Flavored Seltzer

Whether you call it fizzy water, carbonated water, or seltzer, it’s all the same. The point is that seltzer is one of the hottest trends in cold beverages right now. People who love water because it is sugar, salt, and calorie-free also love seltzer because of the extra punch carbonation adds.

Flavored seltzer is also popular. And why not? If you can add a touch of fruit flavor to carbonated water without overloading it with sugar and calories, you make a great product even better.

5. Vat-Pasteurized Milk

Milk is making a comeback thanks to a new vat pasteurization process that replaces heat pasteurization and homogenization. Vat-pasteurized milk is more flavorful, according to those who love it. It is also heavy on the cream. That’s why you’re supposed to shake vat pasteurized milk aggressively before you actually drink it.

6. Cold Pressed Juices

Finally, cold pressed juices are a big hit among fruit and vegetable lovers. Cold pressed juices have been around for decades, but they started gaining traction about five years ago. What’s the appeal? Flavor.

Cold pressing extracts the most fruit or vegetable juice without the added debris created by single auger and centrifugal juicing. Furthermore, cold pressed juices can be safely refrigerated for 5 to 7 days without the need for flavor-killing pasteurization or high-pressure processing.

This is the time of year when a cold drink can be even more refreshing than a cup of hot coffee. What’s your favorite cold beverage? Perhaps we carry it here at Galaxie Coffee.

What Is the Allure of Single Origin Coffee?

As a beverage to be savored with the same discriminating taste as a fine wine, coffee has undergone quite a maturation since the 1980s. We are now in what many experts term the third wave of coffee production. And with that third wave has come a few big things, not the least of which is single origin coffee.

What is single origin coffee? More importantly, what is its allure? To better understand the single origin coffee phenomenon, we can approach coffee in the same way an experienced wine taster approaches a new vintage. There are a lot of similarities.

Single Vineyard vs. Single Origin

Winemakers have long used terms like ‘single vineyard’ to designate unique vintages considered a step above average. Those terms are very specific. The single vineyard designation indicates that a wine was made using the grapes of either a single vineyard or, in some cases, a single portion of one vineyard.

This creates a unique wine inasmuch as it boasts the features of that particular geographic area. Experienced wine tasters say they can taste the difference in single vineyard wines from multiple wineries even within a close proximity of one another. That is the same idea behind a single origin coffee, though the definition of ‘single origin’ is a lot more fluid.

Our industry generally accepts single origin coffee as coffee that is specific to a single geographic region. How big that region is depends on who you are talking to. It could be a multi-farm region, a single farm, or just one cultivated lot on a farm.

Regardless of how large the region is, here’s the point: the coffee beans from that region are the only ones used to create a single origin product. Growers and roasters are not mixing beans from multiple regions and countries to create a more generic blend.

Why People Love Single Origin

You might have a good idea of why people love single origin coffee now that you know what it is. Indeed, single origin coffee is considered among coffee connoisseurs as being the absolute best you can get. Why? Because each roast is absolutely unique. A coffee made with beans from a single farm on one side of a Colombian mountain will taste different from another product that comes from the other side of the mountain.

You and I may not have pallets discerning enough to tell the difference between one single origin coffee and another. But those who do say single origin is tops. They can taste complex flavor profiles that reveal the soil the coffee was grown in, the general weather conditions during the growing season, and more. It is really quite fascinating.

We do not consider ourselves single origin coffee experts here at Galaxie Coffee. But we are experts in office coffee service. If your office doesn’t have a professional coffee service, you’re missing out on something great. Give us a call to learn more about how our coffee service can benefit your company.

Why Is Espresso Growing in Popularity?

Why Is Espresso Growing in Popularity?
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About five years ago, espresso began coming into its own as a consumer-friendly beverage that could be consumed on a daily basis. American coffee drinkers began seeing espresso as an alternative to their lattes, cappuccinos, and even black coffee. Espresso is just as popular today, maybe even more so.

So what gives? Why is espresso gaining ground over more traditional coffee drinks? No one knows for sure, but there are a lot of theories worth exploring. They cover everything from culture to health benefits and the global mindset.

The Coffee Culture

Our modern coffee culture was born out of the early days of the suburban coffeehouse made popular back in the 1990s. And just as we’ve seen with almost every other cultural movement in America, change happens quickly and frequently. Cultural movements work that way. What’s hot today becomes passé tomorrow and is eventually replaced with something else.

The rise of espresso in America is undoubtedly influenced, at least in part, by the evolution of the coffee culture. People have latched onto espresso as a drink that is distinctly different compared to regular black coffee served in a white cup with an accompanying saucer.

The fact that one drinks espresso in 1-ounce shots rather than 8-ounce cups also plays into the coffee culture. It is seen as more sophisticated. It is seen as evidence that you are consuming bitter coffee because you actually like the taste. You’re not just trying to up the caffeine content in your blood.

Caffeine’s Health Benefits

Medical science has come to understand that moderate use of caffeine does have certain health benefits. We will not get into those benefits here, as we have done so in a previous blog post. The point is this: American consumers are trying to live healthier lifestyles these days. Many see caffeine as a natural supplement that can be used daily to improve one’s health. And because espresso contains more caffeine by volume, one shot in the morning may be perceived as a healthier option to an 8-ounce cup of coffee.

The Global Mindset

Finally, we cannot discuss the rise of espresso without exploring the global mindset. For the record, Italians have been drinking espresso for hundreds of years. It is not a new drink. Having said that, espresso wasn’t really popular here until five or six years ago. Some suggest this is because Americans did not begin to adopt a global mindset until the early 2000s.

Drinking espresso may give some people a sense of being more connected to the global community. It probably also gives some espresso drinkers a sense of superiority or self-importance for thinking beyond America. It is easy to start thinking, after just a couple of shots, that the best coffee is found in Italy or elsewhere.

Here at Galaxie Coffee, we are all about giving customers whatever kind of coffee products they want. Whether you prefer a light coffee shop roast or a dark, rich espresso, you can count on Galaxie to deliver.

What’s the ‘Buzz’ about Coffee Beer?

What's the 'Buzz' about Coffee Beer?
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Have you ever combined two foods that an otherwise sane person would not think of putting together? In the 1950s and 60s we had milk combined with either Pepsi or Coke. The 1990s gave us peanut butter and hamburgers. And let’s not forget scrambled eggs and grape jelly, potato chips and Nutella, and ice cream and French fries. Oh, and how about coffee and beer?

Coffee experts generally agree that the combination of coffee and beer began back in the mid-1990s at a company known as New Glarus Brewing. It was popular enough – a number of companies even tried to copy the original – though there was concern about how much caffeine was being offered in a beverage that addressed both ends of the upper/downer spectrum. Thus, coffee beer was not a market hit right away.

Fast forward 10 years and you find a number of craft brewers who somehow came to a consensus about the caffeine and began making various iterations of coffee beer bearing their own labels. Now, some 10 years later, coffee beer is the latest big thing among both coffee and beer snobs.

What It’s All About

Prior to the introduction of the craft beer age, American consumers were limited to big corporate brands they could find at the local convenience store. But the craft beer revolution changed things. Not only did it give consumers more choices, it turned average beer drinkers into people who actually stepped back and paid attention to what they were drinking. Suddenly, everyone was a beer expert capable of discerning the finest notes and subtle hints of flavor.

A similar thing happened in the coffee industry back in the late 1980s and early 90s. Coffee became a drink with the same kind of high-class following as fine wine and artisan chocolates. People began choosing their coffees based on all sorts of flavor profile preferences instead of just picking up the cheapest can from the grocery store.

Somewhere along the way, someone discovered that both coffee and beer share a lot of intense flavors. The secret to producing great versions of both is roasting. Great coffee relies on great coffee beans roasted just right; great beer relies on how select grains are roasted.

Combining coffee and beer seemed like a no-brainer when the flavor discovery was finally made. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Plenty of Choices to Start With

If you have never tried coffee beer before, you really should give it a shot. There are plenty of great choices to start with. Don’t worry about the caffeine content either. On average, coffee beer contains less than 50 mg per 12 fluid ounces of caffeine. That’s about one-sixth the amount of caffeine in a typical cup of coffee.

Coffee beer is not something we deal in here at Galaxie Coffee. However, we do have a full selection of coffees, teas, and other brokerages for your break room. If you would like to know more, give us a shout anytime.

Where Is Your Coffee Better: At Home or the Office?

Where Is Your Coffee Better: At Home or the Office?Coffee is the fuel that drives America – at least where human production is concerned. We drink coffee at home, at the office, down at the local coffee shop, and in the restaurants that we dine in every evening. It is fascinating to listen to people talk about their opinions on coffee. For example, where is your coffee better: at home or at the office?

Making a great cup of coffee is no accident. A lot of things go into good coffee, including:

  • coffee bean selection
  • how beans are roasted
  • the volume of coffee used in brewing
  • the temperature of the water during brewing
  • brewing method (drip, steam, press, etc.).

Measuring Coffee Quality

So, there are several different ways to decide where your coffee is best. If your choice is primarily based on the quality of your drink, then home brew is probably your preference. There is a simple reason for this: making coffee at home gives you absolute control over every aspect of your brew.

Another thing to consider is that coffee made at the office might sit around for hours before you get to it. If you prefer fresh, you are going to appreciate home-brewed coffee more.

Measuring the Convenience Factor

You might feel that coffee is better if it is quick and convenient to procure. In that case, your office coffee is probably your best choice. Unless you are the one tasked with keeping the coffee flowing, your only responsibility is to saunter up to the coffee machine and pour yourself a cup. Somebody else handles making it and cleaning up the mess.

Of course, the convenience factor is erased if you have single-cup brewers both at home and the office. Then it is the same process either way. The advantage you have at the office is not having to order supplies or clean up at the end of the day.

Both Have their Advantages

It should be obvious that both home brew and office coffee have their advantages. You may prefer coffee at home because you are able to curl up with a good book or sit out on the patio and enjoy a cup while you’re watching the sun come up. You certainly cannot replicate those experiences in the office.

On the other hand, your office might offer certain coffee choices you do not have at home. There is no need for you to purchase 10 different flavors at home because you can get them at work. That would certainly be an advantage to enjoying most of your coffee during the work day.

We know there is no right answer for every coffee drinker. Nonetheless, we are here to serve your office with the finest coffee and beverage service in the greater New York area. We invite you to look through our entire inventory of products and equipment at your leisure. If you are ready to take your break room to the next level, give Galaxie Coffee a shout.