A Nice Cup of Tea – 15 Years of Market Evolution

A Nice Cup of Tea – 15 Years of Market EvolutionIt was not abnormal in the 1940s and 50s for a group of ladies to get together for afternoon tea. It was also relatively common through the 1960s and 70s for grandparents to enjoy a nice cup of tea during early evening. Yet tea has not been an American staple since the infamous Boston Tea Party gave rise to the revolution more than 200 years ago. The good news for the tea industry is that 15 years of market evolution is helping the beverage regain a place of prominence.

The total retail market for tea in the U.S. was $43.1 billion in 2014. In terms of compounded growth, 2014 was 7.7% higher than 2009, translating to absolute growth of $13.3 billion. Even more impressive is the fact that tea is the second most popular packaged beverage in the world behind only water. At 286 billion liters sold every year, bottled tea outpaces carbonated drinks, iced coffee, fruit juices, and even energy drinks.

Three Reasons for Tea’s Popularity

It is clear that we are drinking more tea in the U.S. than ever before. But why? What has changed for the tea industry above and beyond a growing desire to limit caffeine intake and consumption of sugary drinks? There are three primary reasons for the rising popularity of tea over the last 15 years:

  1. More Options – Our selection of teas has increased exponentially since the dawn of the 21st-century. Where we used to be limited to fewer than a dozen different flavors at the grocery store, we now have so many more to work with. Just consider the sheer number of herbal and fruit teas we now have to choose from. Then there are tea lattes, tea and juice blends, and even what are known as bubble teas.
  2. Good Health – Green tea is one of the most popular tea products in emerging markets. Our desire for better health is causing us to make more conscientious decisions about what we eat and drink. Thus, green tea is popular because it is seen as being part of a lifestyle that relies more on ancient Eastern practices than Western medicine for good health.
  3. Shopping Habits – Millennials, which just happen to be the most coveted demographic for retail sales, are now more likely to shop at Whole Foods and other specialty stores rather than traditional grocery chains. What’s more, the places they choose to shop are more likely to have a larger selection of teas than coffees. It is all part of a culture shift that seeks to get back to a simpler, more wholesome way of life. Millennials view tea as part of that more healthy life.

Galaxie Coffee offers a full range of tea products, both brewed and bottled, to our customers in the greater New York area. We would be proud to provide your workplace with coffee and tea service offering plenty of choices, the latest equipment, and excellent pricing.

What’s New in the Hot Chocolate Industry?

What’s New in the Hot Chocolate IndustrySo, you are the kind of person who would rather fill your morning mug with a good hot chocolate rather than coffee or tea. You have suffered for so many years as coffee has held the spotlight and tea has remained the drink of choice for the upper crust. Well, now you have reason to celebrate. There are two important trends now emerging in the hot chocolate industry that are increasing the stature of your beverage of choice.

For the record, hot chocolate is no longer a drink confined to cold winter days when the hot beverage is used to help take the chill out of one’s bones. It is now a socially acceptable hot beverage consumed 365 days a year in homes, offices, restaurants, and cafes.

Interested in knowing more? Here are the two hot chocolate trends we spoke of:

Single-Origin Hot Chocolate

Wine lovers have their special vintages while coffee lovers have their preferred blends. What do hot chocolate drinkers have? Until now, very little other than dry drink mixes to which water is added. But things are now different with the introduction of single-origin hot chocolate. This gourmet hot beverage is popping up at cafes and coffee houses all over the country.

Single-origin hot chocolate refers to a hot beverage made, on-site, directly from cocoa beans, husks, nibs, or pure chocolate. Simply put, it is a handmade drink derived from pure chocolate or various parts of the cocoa plant itself. It is not mixed with any sugars, emulsifiers, extra flavors, and so on.

Making the hot chocolate beverage this way allows experienced chocolatiers to produce an incredibly rich beverage that is unparalleled by anything you could find on a grocery store shelf. You really have to taste it to understand how different it is.

Increasing Consumer Demand

The second trend we want to address is that of increasing consumer demand. While we do not yet see unusual growth here in the U.S., hot chocolate has finally overtaken both coffee and tea in England. At least one prominent retail chain, Harrods, has experienced double-digit sales growth of hot chocolate products since the start of the year. Hot chocolate sales now outpace prepackaged coffee and tea.

Harrods officials say that hot chocolate has always been viewed in Britain as a luxury drink. But a heavy emphasis on the introduction of new flavors and better quality has led consumers to begin looking at hot chocolate in the same way they perceive tea and coffee: as a daily beverage that can be enjoyed by anyone.

It is plain to see that hot chocolate is becoming a more popular beverage among consumers both here and abroad. That’s just fine with us. Here at Galaxie Coffee, we are thrilled the be able to offer a full line of hot chocolate products alongside our coffees, teas, juices, and bottled waters. Do not forget to ask about our hot chocolate selections when you contact us for service to your office.

Craft Roasters and Cold Brew: The New World of Coffee

Craft Roasters and Cold Brew - The New World of CoffeeAs coffee lovers ourselves, the team at Galaxie Coffee appreciates the efforts of those on the cutting-edge of America’s coffee culture. We appreciate the growers, roasters, and retail outlets who make enjoying a good cup of coffee a genuine pleasure. Without them, coffee just would not be the same.

Galaxie Coffee works with a number of industry professionals at the forefront of the industry. For example, City of Saints Coffee Roasters is one of the local craft roasters we support. City of Saints takes great pride in offering its customers distinct blends made from coffee beans acquired from Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. They take great pride, as do we, in the pleasure their customers experience every time they have a cup.

Craft Roasted, Not Exclusive

Craft roasted coffee is the latest in a long line of artisan products to come to America. The trend began years ago with artisan cheeses, artisan chocolates, and craft beer. Now craft roasted coffee is taking its place as the premier coffee product for those consumers looking for something other than the corporate blends found on grocery store shelves and in franchised coffeehouses.

While craft roasted coffee is high-quality coffee with excellent flavor, it is by no means exclusive. It is not as though craft roasters intentionally price all but the most affluent of customers out of the market in the same way some other artisans do. Rather, roasters want everyone to enjoy what they enjoy. City of Saints is just one example. They operate two excellent coffee shops in the metro area; one in Hoboken and the other in the East Village.

Say Hello to Cold Brew

We would be remiss if we did not talk about cold brew coffee alongside craft roasted products. It turns out that the emergence of craft roasting has given new life to a cold brew process that has been around, but largely ignored, for generations. Cold brew coffee is a very different kind of experience in that the flavor of the beverage is more subtle and less bitter compared to traditionally brewed coffee.

Combining a high-quality craft roasted coffee with the cold brew process results in a very delightful product just about any coffee lover would appreciate. Of course, that’s assuming one appreciates cold coffee. But if not, craft roasted coffee is just as good hot as it is cold.

The staff at Galaxie Coffee welcome the opportunity to work with partners such as City of Saints. We know the craft roasted market is not one all of our customers will fully embrace, but we are happy to offer craft products to anybody who wants them. You need only ask about our selection of craft roasted coffees when you contact us.

In addition to coffee, we offer a complete line of hot and cold beverages, breakroom supplies, and janitorial products. Our service area covers all the New York Metro including offices, manufacturing environments, retail outlets, professional buildings, and more.

Latest Studies Reflect Positively on Coffee Consumption

Latest Studies Reflect Positively on Coffee ConsumptionIt was not so long ago that science was telling us coffee is bad for one’s health. But then it was good. And then it was bad again. If you are middle-aged or older, you know that the scientific opinion of coffee has flip-flopped more times than a politician on the campaign trail. So where do we stand for 2015? Overall, coffee appears to be beneficial to health in very measurable ways.

A spate of new research has been released over the last 18 months lending credence to the belief that moderate coffee consumption can be a factor in mitigating some serious health concerns. For example:

  • Heart Disease – A South Korean study involving 25,000 coffee drinkers suggests that moderate coffee consumption can reduce the risks of heart disease by inhibiting the buildup of coronary artery calcium.
  • Cancer – Yale researchers published a study this past January that confirmed previous evidence suggesting moderate coffee consumption reduces the risk of basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer).
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – Research data released this past February shows a definite link between moderate coffee consumption and lower risk of developing MS. The evidence was especially compelling among long-term coffee drinkers who had been consuming the beverage for 5 to 10 years.

The positive MS research, combined with what science already knows about diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, is leading researchers to take a serious look at the neuroprotective benefits of certain compounds found in coffee. There is growing speculation that some of these compounds could be used to treat a range of dementia disorders.

The Bad News about Coffee

In the introduction to this post, we said that coffee appears to be beneficial to health “on the whole.” We phrased it that way because not all of the research on coffee is positive. There is some bad news.

First of all, studies seem to indicate that how a person’s body reacts to coffee consumption directly relates to how beneficial it is. In addition, how a person responds is apparently linked to genetics. Some people are more genetically predisposed to the health benefits of coffee than others are.

Second, moderate consumption is considered between three and five cups per day. Furthermore, researchers consider a single cup of coffee to be 8 ounces. A person drinking three to four 16-ounce cups from the local coffee shop every day is consuming more than is considered beneficial. The amount of caffeine associated with that much coffee is likely to have some adverse health effects as well.

Lastly, it is possible that adding sugar and calorie-rich creamers to coffee can offset some of its health benefits. The best way to maximize the positives appears to be drinking 3 to 5 cups of black coffee daily.

Galaxie Coffee believes there are few things better than a really good cup of coffee. We strive to always provide a great coffee experience for our satisfied customers throughout the greater New York area.

How Is the Coffee Industry Evolving?

How Is the Coffee Industry EvolvingThe latest statistics from the National Coffee Association USA show that more than 75% of Americans consume coffee. The market is as strong as ever, so there are no real worries that the bottom will fall out of the coffee industry any time in the future. Yet the industry is evolving. It has to. Every industry changes and adapts to customer preferences and rising and falling trends.

So, just how is the coffee industry evolving? There are many examples of microevolution going on all around us. Examples include the development of new flavors, the growing popularity of espresso drinks and competition among coffeehouse chains to dominate the American landscape. However, there are much larger evolutionary influences currently underway that will have a profound effect on the industry of the future. Those influences are the further development of single-serve technology and the “new” coffee culture.

Developing Single-Serve Technology

You may be tired of hearing about single-serve in the coffee industry. Nevertheless, there is no greater force right now directing where things go with coffee. Some 27% of Americans own a single-serve machine; another 12% have serious intentions to purchase one in the future. Even more astounding is the fact that 75% of consumers have a general awareness of the single-serve option.

It is easy to assume that the phenomenon will only continue to grow to the point of completely dominating the marketplace. Nonetheless, that is not likely to happen. Why? Because price will eventually trump convenience. A case in point is the inventor of the coffee pod system, John Sylvan, who does not use the system himself. He has eschewed his own invention because it makes drinking coffee too expensive and goes against the ideals of sustainability. Eventually, the rest of the coffee drinking world will catch up to Sylvan. Single-serve will become passé; it is just a matter of time.

The “New” Coffee Culture

The coffee culture of the 1990s, created by the popularity of chains such as Starbucks, is itself evolving. In an attempt to elevate the morning cup of coffee from the working man’s beverage to something the elite can enjoy, a “new” coffee culture is emerging; a culture that is eerily similar to the wine and gourmet food culture. This new coffee culture is already having an interesting effect on the industry.

For example, cold-brewed coffee is now the hottest trend among millennials. Cold-brewed coffee is not new – it has been around for generations – but it is suddenly popular among younger coffee drinkers looking for a way to differentiate themselves from their older peers. We now have coffee purists whose preferences for gourmet products, different brewing methods, and sustainably sourced coffee beans will influence how the industry does things.

The coffee industry will continue to evolve with each passing year. At Galaxie Coffee, we are committed to providing our customers with the coffee, equipment, and complete beverage service they need for a productive and comfortable workplace. As the industry evolves, so will we.

Coffee: An Enduring Staple of the American Office

 

Coffee - An Enduring Staple of the American OfficeCoffee has enjoyed a long and rich history of being one of the most popular beverages in the world. Some of the oldest records of coffee production date back to ancient Africa, Persia and Egypt, in a day and age where local growers took great pride in the quality of coffee beans they produced. We say that to say that coffee is neither uniquely American nor anything new. It has been a worldwide commodity for centuries. As for the U.S., it has been an enduring staple of the office since the end of World War II.

There are plenty of explanations for the office coffee phenomenon; most are rooted in some sort historical perspective while others simply cite America’s inability to get anything done without some sort of stimulation. Let us look at a couple of the possible explanations in more detail.

Rationing like Prohibition

Coffee was not very big in America prior to the Revolutionary war. Being that most of the colonists were of British heritage, tea was the hot beverage of choice in the 13 colonies along the East Coast. The Boston Tea Party changed all of that. The American colonists were so incensed by Britain’s tea taxes that they began drinking coffee instead. We have not looked back since.

As American coffee consumption grew, so did importation and new ways of roasting. Coffee gained enough popularity to become the hot beverage of choice by the turn of the 19th century. However, the two world wars of the early 20th century resulted in coffee rationing among the general population. In World War II, for example, the average consumer was allowed no more than one cup per day.

Like Prohibition merely increased the thirst for alcohol, coffee rationing made people want it even more. By the time the war ended, everybody wanted coffee. So much so, that coffee became the fuel that ran America’s businesses by the 1950s. That is where we are today.

The Coffee Culture

Another possible explanation, with no relation to the Revolution or the two world wars, boils down to a simple matter of culture. Coffee has always been a drink associated with social discourse, and most of us spend just under one-third of our lives in the workplace. Coffee may be a staple of the American office because it brings a small amount of culture and social interaction to the workplace. Who doesn’t like standing around the coffee machine and enjoying a good conversation at break time?

On the other hand, it really could be that coffee is an enduring staple in the American office because we just cannot get by without several jolts of caffeine throughout the day. Maybe we really are just hooked. Nonetheless, in the end, does it really matter? Probably not.

Galaxie Coffee knows how important America’s beverage staple is to your office. That is why we provide the greater New York area with the world’s finest coffees, teas and other beverages.

Changes on the Horizon for the Worldwide Coffee Industry

Changes on the Horizon for the Worldwide Coffee IndustryYou depend on your morning cup of coffee to get things started at the beginning of the day. Two or three more cups keep you going as you make your way through the 9-to-5. Meanwhile, growers around the world are carefully cultivating their beans with full knowledge of how much you depend on them. Rounding out the picture is an army of roasters, distributors, retailers and companies such as Galaxie Coffee who make sure consumers get their daily fix.

We say all of this to introduce you to the idea that changes occur within the coffee industry all the time – changes you probably are not aware of because they do not directly affect what you put in your cup every morning. Nevertheless, there are some big changes on the way that you may begin to feel within the next couple of years. Those changes are directly related to Arabica coffee production and perceived climate change.

Whether you believe climate change is a reality or not, there are enough people in positions of power convinced it is a reality. They are armed with a new round of data that suggests some of the most productive tropical regions producing Arabica coffee right now could be damaged by climate change in the future. They say the data suggests a local temperature increase of just a degree or two would make it impossible to continue coffee production at current levels. The solution? Move coffee production to cooler areas.

Higher Wholesale and Retail Prices

Arabica coffee is the preferred coffee worldwide. It accounts for 70% of all coffee production and is second only to oil in terms of its importance as a global commodity. The problem for growers is that Arabica is especially sensitive to temperature. If temperatures get too high for sustained periods, the resulting beans will not have the same mild and inviting flavor that consumers have come to expect. Throw in a lack of adequate rainfall and a crop could be unmarketable altogether.

Whether climate change researchers are right or wrong will not change much in terms of perception. Most of the world already accepts climate change as a scientific fact, leading both governments and businesses to make preemptive changes now. We expect some of the world’s coffee producers to begin looking in earnest for new areas of production not likely to be as sensitive to climate change as others. This could lead to a loss of production and an increase in prices at both the wholesale and retail levels.

How soon we start seeing price increases depends on how soon producers start looking for new locations. It could be as early as a few years from now; it might not start happening for several decades. However, it probably will happen one way or the other.

Here at Galaxie Coffee, we will continue to serve our customers with the best office coffee products regardless of what happens. We are committed to your complete satisfaction with every single cup.

What Are the Most Prominent Trends in the Coffee Industry?

What Are the Most Prominent Trends in the Coffee IndustryNothing seems to deter dedicated coffee drinkers from enjoying their favorite morning habit. Not higher prices, not long lines, not anything. Therefore, it’s always interesting to keep an eye on what’s happening in our industry as a means of forecasting what might be in the future. For 2015, we are paying close attention to a few significant trends.

Keep in mind that the office coffee environment is but one small portion of the overall picture. The trends we are seeing also apply to independent coffee shops, large commercial chains, and even home brewing.

The Single Cup Revolution Is Slowing Down

Single cup brewer systems have been experiencing an explosive growth rate for the past 10+ years.  This has occurred despite the fact that people are aware of the significant price differential when compared with using an automatic drip machine or a bean-to-cup brewer. One particular coffee system has dominated the office and home single cup market with their wide choice of beverages and brewing equipment.  In the office, there are now some excellent single cup options that offer a more eco-friendly approach.  We are beginning to see these options gain momentum, even though there are fewer choices.  Office managers aren’t running coffee shops and they know it.  They can now offer a great cup of coffee at a more reasonable price, and still no clean up.  Most importantly, they feel better about the environment and their employees are demanding more eco-friendly alternatives.

Furthermore, we are seeing a comeback in traditional coffee brewing methods using the “old school” three burner or a more updated version with a thermal carafe brewer.  While there is some waste and coffee spilled out, the overall cost per cup is lower and the coffee options are totally up to the user.  We are working with a small batch roaster in Brooklyn who uses Brazilian beans in a medium roast and the coffee is excellent.  The coffee is sold in 5 lb. craft bags – you can’t get more eco-friendly than that!!

Greater Demand for Fair Trade Products

A fascinating survey conducted by PLOS ONE in 2014 clearly demonstrates a preference for fair trade products among individual consumers. The survey enlisted dozens of coffee drinkers in a blind taste test in which participants were told one brand was fair trade and the other was not. Despite both coffees being identical, 61% chose the brand they thought was fair trade as tasting better. The research also concluded that consumers are willing to pay extra to purchase fair trade products.

We expect the results of that survey to play out in sales numbers over the next few years. A rising political consciousness among young people is making free trade coffee more popular with this demographic; their numbers will only continue to grow as the numbers of older coffee drinkers gradually declines.

Office Support for Coffee Service

While workers generally prefer single cup coffee service, there are now lots of good options to consider.  It is now possible to reduce your break room expenses and increase employee satisfaction.  The key is to listen to your employees.  It will be interesting to see where the industry goes over the next 12 to 18 months. At Galaxie Coffee, we are ready for anything.

 

What Is the Most Eco-Friendly Option for Office Coffee?

What Is the Most Eco-Friendly Option for Office CoffeeIt is clear that the modern coffee drinker is concerned about using eco-friendly products that promote sustainability and fair pricing. The question for office managers is what constitutes the most eco-friendly option for office coffee consumption? The answer comes down to how one prefers coffee to be brewed.

When you compare energy use between automatic drip and single cup machines, it is pretty much a wash on a cost-per-cup basis. In some cases, newer single serve machines may even be slightly more energy-efficient. However, in the grand scheme of things, the amount of packaging required for single cup versus drip machines gives the clear advantage to the automatic drip model. In terms of environmental impact related to waste, the drip coffee machine is more eco-friendly.

With that said, it is evidence that more Americans prefer the single-cup method of brewing. So do their office managers. So in the single-cup arena, let us discuss the most eco-friendly options.

1. Bean-to-Cup Brewers

There is no argument that k-cups produce a tremendous amount of waste that goes into landfills. Furthermore, all of this packaging needs to be manufactured prior to coffee processing and packing. That means energy resources are being consumed as well. Currently, single cup brewers are the least environmentally friendly way to produce a single cup of coffee.  There are other single cup solutions that have coffee capsules that are 100% fully recyclable.

The most eco-friendly option is the bean-to-cup brewer.  Many of these brewers offer a high quality cup of coffee and several types of coffee drinks including lattes, cappuccinos, espresso-style coffee, mochaccino, hot chocolate and more.  The beans and powder are packaged in bulk which reduces the packaging and the price.  There is no waste generated for an individual cup.

2. The Single Cup Pod

A number of companies have decided to compete directly with single cup manufacturers by producing biodegradable pods. They provide the same convenience as the single cup but in a package that can be discarded without a significant environmental impact. The pods are generally priced lower than the more popular single serve options and produce a quality cup of coffee.  The downside is there are fewer choices in pods.  However, for most office managers – the choices will be sufficient.  The equipment has also been recently improved.

Galaxie Coffee understands that having eco-friendly office coffee options is important to many of our customers. To that end, we strive to provide a full line of single cup and single pot options for the broadest appeal possible. We invite you to check out our full selection of single serve coffee products on our website. Do not forget that we also offer traditional coffee products, bottled water, tea, and a whole lot more. We are proud to serve the New York area with complete beverage and break room service.

What Are the Most Popular Varieties of Coffee and Tea for 2015?

What Are the Most Popular Varieties of Coffee and Tea for 2015Americans are creatures of trend. In other words, we see the glimpses of a new trend catching on and we all hop on board like so many teenagers running to a rock concert. Being in the coffee industry, we find it fascinating to look ahead at the trends that might be coming our way. Every year we see certain products come, other products go, and still other products taking everybody by surprise in one way or another.

So, what are the most popular varieties of coffee and tea for 2015? Let’s take a look. You might be surprised by what we found. We will start with tea as it is more easily defined than coffee.

Popular Tea Varieties

Tea drinkers are more apt to not only prefer certain varieties, but also to know exactly what those varieties are. Coffee drinkers think more in terms of brand name. In light of this, it is fairly easy to pick out the most popular tea varieties based on retail sales and consumer trends. We have listed the top five below, according to Eater.com:

  • Pu’erh Tea –You may have never heard of this variety of tea if you do not consider yourself a connoisseur. Regardless, Pu’erh is a fermented tea that comes from China’s Yunnan province.
  • Black Tea – The tried-and-true black tea remains as one of the most popular teas sold around the world. Black tea is widely available, inexpensive and capable of producing very bold flavor.
  • Oolong Tea – A very well known tea that hails from Taiwan and China. It is known for its rich flavor brought out by steeping as many as 8 to 10 times.
  • Green Tea – Those who love green tea swear by its health benefits. It remains popular in America despite declining sales elsewhere.
  • White Tea – White tea is known for its gentle, delicate flavor and low oxidation. It requires very little processing between farm and market.

Popular Coffee Varieties

It is much harder to put our finger on popular coffee varieties because worldwide consumer preferences are not strictly measured. If you went to Ethiopia, for example, coffee drinkers could tell you details about each of the varieties grown in their country. Ask Americans about their favorite variety and they are likely to say something like Starbucks or Green Mountain.

What we can say is that standard, black coffee still dominates the market even though the hipster designer drinks are catching up. Among the strongest performers are lattes, cappuccinos, and Americano blend drinks. Iced coffee seems to have peaked, with sales now fairly flat.

Galaxie Coffee services the greater New York area with a full list of excellent coffees and teas. You can view all of our products here on our website. If you are currently being serviced by another coffee company, we would appreciate the opportunity to offer you a comparison. If not, can we have the honor of earning your business?