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?

How Big Is the ‘Green’ Movement in Coffee?

How Big Is the 'Green' Movement in CoffeeThe ‘green’ movement is everywhere these days. From cars to the groceries you purchase down at the local market, everybody wants to get in on it. In some cases, going green is embraced out of genuine concern for the environment. Other times, companies claim to be green in order to market themselves better. We were curious as to how big the green movement is in the coffee industry; we were surprised by the results of our research.

Going green is as much about semantics as it is practice. In the coffee industry, whether or not we are embracing the green movement depends a lot on your definition. In a broad sense, there are those who consider everything from fair trade to sustainable farming practices as part of the green movement. There are others who limit the green movement to those things that directly affect the environment.

Truly Green Initiatives

We have divided current practices within the coffee industry into two categories: truly green initiatives and non-green initiatives. At the top of the truly green list is an emphasis on organic farming practices that eschew the use of pesticides and genetically modified materials. Organic farming seeks to produce a robust crop while doing little to no environmental damage. It is catching on across the globe.

Side-by-side with organic farming are sustainable practices that seek to conserve water and other natural resources in the growing process, while using sustainable energy sources for processing. Again, sustainability is catching on around the globe. Yet despite these efforts, there is one inherent problem: going green on the farm makes coffee too expensive to compete in the marketplace. Organic farming also requires more water in most cases, mitigating any water conservation efforts organic farmers engage in.

Non-Green Initiatives

There is a long list of initiatives that are presented under the green label without actually affecting the environment. The fair trade concept is a great example. The idea behind fair trade is to pay farmers a higher price for their crop, through either government subsidies or higher retail prices, in order to encourage them to practice organic and sustainable farming. Proponents of the green movement claim fair trade does help the environment and, perhaps it does indirectly. However, in light of how much fair trade coffee is sold on the open market, it is having little to no impact.

There are certain aspects of the green movement that are in play for the coffee industry. There are other aspects that are completely irrelevant. At this point, it is up to each player to determine how much green involvement is appropriate for his or her current business model.

In light of this, Galaxie Coffee will continue to do our best to provide the greater New York area with premium coffee, water, and beverage service. We invite you to take a look at our complete inventory of products. We combine an extensive list of product choices with excellent service upon which you can depend.

What New Products Are in the Works for Galaxie Coffee?

What New Products Are in the Works for Galaxie Coffee?Galaxie Coffee is proud of our reputation of providing the New York area with the finest coffee and beverage service. However, the coffee business is highly competitive. That means we cannot rest on the successes of the past – we must continually strive to do better for our customers. That is exactly what we are doing with the introduction of our new bean-to-cup brewer. This revolutionary brew system is just one of the new products we are currently working on.

We will soon be offering the Eccelenza Touch multi-beverage machine for customers looking for a large selection of hot beverages in a single machine with little maintenance. These types of multi-beverage machines have been on the market for a while, but they have not been attractive options until recently. What makes this bean-to-cup machine so attractive is that it combines the convenience of single cup service with the higher quality and better taste profile of traditional brewing. We cannot wait to start introducing it to our customers.

Beverage Choices

The Eccelenza Touch utilizes two product dispensers to offer a variety of hot beverages at a single location. One dispenser handles coffee beans; the other is for drink powders. Both have a capacity of over 2 pounds. Your office will enjoy a tremendous volume of beverage service between refills. The large dispenser capacity also means less maintenance and upkeep. What’s more, the dispenser sizes can be adjusted to account for a greater volume of coffee beans or powder.

Beverage choices include:

  • standard coffee blends
  • cappuccinos
  • lattes
  • hot chocolate
  • flavored coffees
  • plain hot water (for tea or soups)

Other Features

We have been testing this machine ourselves to see what it offers. One of the first things we came to appreciate was the easy to use, digital touchscreen that makes choosing your beverage simple and straightforward. Choose your beverage, your cup size, and your preferred strength, then press the start button and watch your cup fill.

The person in your office designated to handle the coffee area will be pleased with the easy setup and cleaning of the Eccelenza Touch. Intelligent, on-board diagnostics quickly let you know if something is wrong while an integrated dashboard can keep track of beverage consumption as you go. You will always know how much coffee to order because the machine will tell you how much has been used since your last delivery.

Galaxie Coffee is always looking for ways we can provide better service to our customers. We believe the Eccelenza Touch bean-to-cup machine is on the verge of becoming the next hot item in office coffee service. It is an energy-saving machine that maximizes convenience without sacrificing a good, quality cup of coffee. Moreover, it offers so much more because it gives staff multiple beverage choices in one station.

Keep your eyes open for this new machine. We will be sure to let you know when it becomes available.

What Makes Galaxie Coffee Unique and Special?

What Makes Galaxie Coffee Unique and SpecialWhen father and son team Leonard and Neil Robbins first opened Galaxie Coffee, their primary goal was to provide offices in the New York area with exceptional office coffee service capable of providing great tasting hot beverages at competitive prices. It was enough for the team to provide the quality service their customers were rightfully expecting while also reaching out to new customers.

Since those early years, Galaxie Coffee has grown to become one of the most recognized names in coffee service in the New York metropolitan area. We cover the entire New York region, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, and many areas of New Jersey and Southern Connecticut.

So, what makes Galaxie Coffee so unique and special? Our extensive product list and customer commitment.

Our Products

Galaxie Coffee is unique in that we offer the largest selection of products within our service area. What began as a small outfit offering drip coffee makers with regular and decaf options has grown to become an enterprise with a beverage selection vast enough to satisfy every need. Our hot beverages include regular and decaf coffee, flavored coffees, cappuccinos and lattes, hot chocolate, tea, and numerous other delicious choices.

On the cold beverage side, our selection is even greater. From Snapple tea to soda to energy drinks, one call to Galaxie can fill your break room cooler with all of the cold drinks you want and need. Alongside those cold drinks is a full selection of condiments and specialty waters. But we’re still not done.

A few years back, Galaxie expanded into break room supplies. It seemed the next logical step in our business growth. Then, in 2008, we acquired All Island Janitorial Supply, giving us the opportunity to offer our customers an even larger selection of break room and janitorial supplies. We now carry just about anything you could need including green cleaning supplies and cleaning equipment. No one in the New York area offers as large a product list combined with single-order delivery and invoicing.

Customer Commitment

We believe our commitment to customers is second to none. We also believe it is that which makes us special. In this fast-paced world, it can be difficult to find a service-based company that still puts the customer first. Nevertheless, that is what we have always done at Galaxie; it is what we will continue doing as long as we are active in New York.

Our commitment to customer service extends to everything we do. From taking your telephone calls to installing and repairing equipment to making your weekly deliveries, our goal is that you be satisfied with both the service and products. Any dissatisfaction on your part means we are not doing our jobs. Please let us know so that we can have an opportunity to make things right.

Galaxie Coffee wants to extend our thanks and appreciation to all of our loyal customers. If you are not yet a Galaxie customer, we hope you will give us the opportunity to earn your business.

What Countries Produce the Finest Coffee?

What Countries Produce the Finest Coffee?Asking a coffee drinker what countries produce the finest coffee is like asking beer drinkers what country produces the best brew. Coffee is such a personal thing to so many people; it is an experience enjoyed based on one’s personal preferences and tastes. The only way to even begin answering the question is to base it on some non-arbitrary information such as production, sales, etc.

Where raw production is concerned, there are clear winners and losers. According to the European Coffee Federation, there are about 70 coffee-producing countries around the world. Brazil is the clear leader in production, putting out nearly 50,000 tons of green coffee every year. Vietnam, Indonesia, Columbia, and Ethiopia round out the top five.

One could make the case that volume does influence quality inasmuch as the finest products would tend to sell the most. On the other hand, there are some very fine products in other categories that do not enjoy strong sales because only a select few can afford them. So raw production alone does not determine what country produces the finest coffee. Other criteria must be used.

Growing Conditions

Coffee growers the world over have learned what constitutes optimal growing conditions in terms of weather, soil and so on. Using this as a criterion can help us to determine who produces the finest coffee based on the idea that the best growing conditions will produce the finest product. What we are looking for are good soil, consistently warm temperatures, ample sunshine, and sufficient rainfall.

Using growing conditions as a measure leads us to Hawaii first. While Hawaii is the only U.S. state in which coffee is grown, the product that comes from the Kona region of the Big Island is some of the most sought-after coffee in the world. The Big Island’s combination of the tropical weather and rich, volcanic soil provide a near-perfect growing environment.

Growing conditions are also near ideal in Jamaica, Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Java. Colombian coffee is very popular around the world because of its mild flavor and well-balanced acidity. Small growers in Columbia would certainly be in the running as the world’s finest producers. That said, they face stiff competition from coffee growers in Ethiopia. History suggests that Ethiopia was the birthplace of coffee, and making the case that coffee’s birthplace is the home of its finest production is not hard.

Another front-runner is Jamaica and its Blue Mountain coffee. This coffee is extremely hard to find in the U.S. because production is limited. Nonetheless, Jamaica’s cooler temperatures and rich mountain soil produce a coffee that is milder and sweeter than products from Africa and South America.

In the end, the country with the finest coffee is simply the one you prefer. Here at Galaxie, we continually strive to bring our customers the finest coffees on the market. We proudly serve the greater New York area with coffee, tea, and a full line of additional beverages and allied products.

Cold Brew Coffee Makers the Next Big Thing

Cold Brew Coffee Makers the Next Big ThingIf there is one thing that we can say about the classic American marketing company, it is that they are incredibly adept at creating a need and then finding a way to fill it. We see this in the coffee business all the time. For example, the single serve coffee machine was considered a luxury when introduced in the early 2000s. Ten years and millions of marketing dollars later, single serve machines are considered a necessity. So what’s the next big thing coming in coffee? The cold brew coffee maker.

Cold brew coffee is today what latte and cappuccino were seven and eight years ago. It is the new hip coffee drink among young professionals and older coffee drinkers alike. How hip is it? It is so hip that even in a country like England, where they are more known for their tea than coffee, cold brew coffee is all the rage. You can buy cold brewers in London as easily as you can in New York.

Cold Brew Machine

A person who wants cold brew coffee cannot just brew a pot with a traditional hot water machine then throw it in the refrigerator for a few hours. No sir. Cold brewing is an entirely different process that extracts different flavors from the coffee bean. It has been said that cold brew coffee is milder, gentler, less acidic and naturally sweeter. The problem is that the brewing process takes 12 to 24 hours.

In order to allow your coffee to steep for that long without ending up with grounds suspended in the final product, you need a special cold brewer capable of suspending the coffee in the water while keeping it all together. To that end, a number of manufacturers have come up with cold brewers.

The clear leader right now is the Toddy Cold Brew System. Toddy has been making cold brewers since the 1960s, but they have remained largely obscure in the absence of a cold brew craze. Now that the craze is on, Toddy is quickly becoming a household name. Competitors include household products manufacturer OXO, French press maker Bodum, and Filtron.

Coming to Your Office, or Not

So, will the cold coffee craze make it to the average office environment? Probably not. At least not where brewing in the office is concerned. Who has the foresight to set up the cold brewer the day before the coffee will be consumed? Moreover, at the rate office drinkers down their java, it would take too long to cold brew enough to keep the entire office happy every day.

Cold brew coffee will continue to be the domain of neighborhood coffeehouses and mass producers capable of putting out thousands of bottles per day. As for the Galaxie team, we will keep right on with our mission of providing the greater New York area with coffee and beverage service that our customers can rely on. We would be more than happy to serve your office.

Galaxie Is Proud to Now Offer Kitten Coffee

Galaxie Is Proud to Now Offer Kitten CoffeeGalaxie Coffee is always looking for new products that we believe our customers will be excited about. In light of that, we are proud to announce that we are now offering Kitten Coffee, a premium roasted brand produced right here in the Big Apple. Kitten Coffee is located on Skillman St. in Brooklyn. They are one of only a small handful of premium coffee roasters in New York. We believe you will really enjoy what they have to offer.

Kitten founder Rowan Tuckfield is not a native New Yorker, nor is his company native to Gotham. Tuckfield and his coffee roasting business are originally from Melbourne, Australia. So why bring his premium-roasted coffee across thousands of miles of ocean to land in New York? Tuckfield says it is because “the greatest city in the world deserves the greatest coffee in the world.” Tuckfield and business partner Todd Broockerd share a passion for fine coffee and the coffeehouse culture. New York is the perfect venue to combine both.

What Kitten Offers

Kitten Coffee starts with three different blends roasted from Arabica coffee beans grown and harvested in southern Brazil. What makes their coffee beans different is that the company prefers the “natural method” of drying that leaves the fruit of the coffee bean intact as it dries naturally in the sun. This natural process allows for fermentation within the bean that produces a richer, deeper flavor without the bitterness.

The company’s Salmo, Antonio, and Siquiera blends all combine notes of chocolate and different fruits. Salmo even includes a slight hint of caramel. All three coffees are sold at the retail level in their Skillman St. shop or wholesale to companies such as Galaxie Coffee.

Above and beyond the roasting, Kitten also offers barista training at both their retail location and factory. You can learn the techniques of fine coffee artistry to use at home or in your own coffee shop here in New York City. Kitten believes so much in the coffeehouse philosophy that they are willing to teach anyone how to be a world-class barista, knowing that there is plenty of room for anyone in New York who wants to get into the coffee business.

For the person who just wants to know a little bit more about how to make great coffee at home, the Kitten website includes some important tips. For example, they recommend never storing coffee in the fridge because it absorbs odors. You are better off buying smaller amounts that can be stored on a shelf and used within a week to 10 days.

We invite you to visit the Kitten Coffee website for more information about this wonderful local company. If you are a Galaxie customer, be sure to ask us about Kitten Coffee for your office. And of course, we want to provide coffee and beverage service to your New York office if you are not yet a Galaxie customer. We pride ourselves on providing the best service anywhere in the Big Apple.