The Evolution of the American Coffee Culture

The Evolution of the American Coffee CultureAs far as commodities go, coffee is second only to oil in the global marketplace. In America, it is the beverage of choice as evidenced by the fact that we are the largest consumers of coffee per capita. However, how did we get here? Moreover, how has the coffee culture in this country evolved over the years? It all started with the American Revolution.

Americans were largely tea drinkers during the colonial period. The vast majority of colonists were of British heritage, and imported tea was relatively inexpensive. Then came the Boston tea party, when revolutionaries overran a fleet of ships in the Boston harbor in 1773, throwing an entire shipment of tea overboard. It was a protest against the unpopular Tea Act, which had imposed a tax on tea and gave the East India Company a virtual monopoly on tea imports.

From that point forward, consuming British tea was considered unpatriotic in the colonies. And because domestic tea production was almost nonexistent, coffee emerged as the replacement hot beverage. It has never looked back.

Post Revolution

America’s newly found freedom after the Revolution resulted in a culture desperate to break all ties with its imperial past. Coffee was now seen as an American beverage while tea was relegated to British loyalists. This gave rise to the cultivation of coffee here in the States and the start of our ‘official’ coffee culture.

With increased cultivation on American soil, the price of coffee began dropping through the early 19th century. Creative individuals also figured out new ways to roast, grind, and blend coffees to achieve different kinds of flavors. Slowly but surely, coffee was being transformed from just a hot beverage into a social drink. Coffee houses began opening in some of America’s largest cities, albeit in small numbers.

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution is responsible for catapulting coffee into its position as the world’s number two commodity. With industrialization came the ability to roast and grind coffee on a large enough scale to make it affordable for anyone. The Industrial Revolution also brought us mechanical grinders, electric percolators and, eventually, the fancy and highly technological equipment we use today.

The modern coffee culture we associate with the chic, urban coffeehouse can be traced back to Seattle in the early 1970s. The first Starbucks opened in 1971 amidst a number of competitors in the city’s Capitol Hill district. As a city with a cutting-edge technology industry and plenty of young, affluent residents, it was only natural that Seattle’s coffeehouse culture would spread across the United States en masse. Even our 21st-century love of gourmet coffees and designer flavors traces its roots back to Seattle.

Galaxie Coffee is thrilled to be part of an industry that is so vital to America’s culture and economy. As a leading office coffee service provider in the New York area, we do our best to stay on the cutting edge in order to meet the demands of our customers.

A Look at the Coffee Industry Horizon for 2015

A Look at the Coffee Industry Horizon for 2015With the arrival of November and the annual holiday season, consumers are looking at closing the books on 2014 and starting afresh in 2015. We are expecting some interesting changes in the coming year for the coffee industry. Some of those changes are expected, others will be a surprise. One thing will not change – America’s love of coffee in any form.

Americans are the largest consumers of coffee in the world. Coffee is our morning wake-up beverage, our fuel to get through the workday, and the beverage of choice for social gatherings. That will stay the same. However, there are changes on the horizon:

1. Coffee Prices

Coffee prices reached a nearly three-year high last month thanks, in part, to severe drought in Brazil that has taken out nearly 10% of the coffee crop. Brazilian government officials say next year’s crop could end up being weak as well. The news has pushed the price of coffee futures ever higher, which, in the end, results in higher prices at the retail level. Unfortunately, we will all be paying more next year for our favorite caffeine beverage.

2. Brewing Equipment

Throughout 2014, there has been a noticeable increase in the use of single cup brewers both at home and the office and a correlating decrease in the use of drip brewers. Surveys released over the summer suggest that trend will continue into 2015. People love single cup brewers because of the convenience and flavor choices; they are willing to pay more for both the equipment and coffee in order to make brewing as convenient as possible.

We expect the demand for single cup machines to continue rising in the office coffee industry, though not as quickly as the demand for them in homes. Companies paying for office coffee programs are less likely to absorb the extra cost of single cup brewing. We believe traditional drip brewers will remain strong for office coffee.  In fact we are seeing a resurgence in brewing pots of coffee in offices due mainly to taste preferences and sustainability issues.  Call us at 631-694-2688 to talk about this and Kitten Coffee, our new high-end coffee product.

3. Espresso Drinks

The National Coffee Association says the daily consumption of espresso drinks has risen from 13% to 18% over the last year. They expect that trend to continue and so do we. Espresso is the new, trendy coffee drink among those who use their choice of beverages to make a statement. The only question is how much consumers will be willing to pay if retail prices spike in response to demand.

The coffee industry horizon also looks favorable to flavored coffees, nontraditional creamers, and better pairings of coffee drinks and pastries for morning commuters. It does not look good for straight, non-flavored coffees and the neighborhood coffee shop. As far as coffee shops go, today’s coffee drinkers are more about drive-through and less about sit-down and long lines.

At Galaxie Coffee, we will continue watching the trends in order to provide the best possible service to our customers. We offer office coffee, bottled water, and a full range of juices and teas to customers throughout the New York area.

Traditional Cowboy Coffee Enjoying a Renaissance

Traditional Cowboy Coffee Enjoying a RenaissanceIt is safe to say that we have become obsessed with coffee in America. From the local coffee shop to gourmet single cup coffee machines, the tasty hot beverage is everywhere. One of the beneficiaries of our coffee obsession is something known as cowboy coffee. This old way of brewing is enjoying a renaissance among coffee drinkers looking for bold new flavors.

You will not likely see cowboy coffee being consumed in the workplace; the means to make it are not available at the office. However, at home or on vacation, cowboy coffee is becoming as popular as it ever was in the past. You might want to try it yourself if you are the kind of person who finds adventure in new things.

Where It Started

Long before there were electric percolators, coffee was competing with tea as the number one hot beverage in America. However, unlike tea that could be shredded and put into nice little bags, coffee beans were large and unwieldy. The best way to brew a pot of coffee was to roast green beans, grind them, and then boil them in a pot. Once the grounds settled to the bottom, the resulting liquid could be poured and enjoyed.

This traditional means of coffee preparation got the name “cowboy coffee” from the fact that the process was used by the cowboys and frontiersman living on the open plains. These adventurers did not have modern kitchens with the latest equipment of the day; they had campfires and cast iron coffee pots.

The cowboy of the past would typically buy already roasted beans from a trading post or local merchant. If he had enough money, he might also purchase a hand-cranked grinder. Otherwise, a pestle and mortar or a couple of rocks would do just fine. He would put his ground coffee beans into his pot and boiled them over the open fire. The only major difference is that the cowboy wouldn’t be so concerned about allowing all of the grounds to settle. It was common back then to enjoy your coffee with a certain amount of texture.

Fading Away

Traditional cowboy coffee began to fade with the invention of the electric percolator. The old process would still be used out in remote areas, but percolated coffee became the norm in cities during the post-Civil War era. By the time World War II came to an end, cowboy coffee was about as scarce as the cowboy himself.

Today, we prefer our coffee come from a coffee shop or state-of-the-art drip machine on the kitchen counter. Nevertheless, if you are interested in getting a little taste of the past, consider making your own cowboy coffee at home. You may find you really like the bold flavor.

In the meantime, Galaxie Coffee will continue to provide the greater New York area with the finest coffee and beverage service in the industry. We offer a long list of coffee products along with teas, other beverages, paper products, and janitorial supplies.

Three Coffee Industry Trends to Watch For in 2015

Three Coffee Industry Trends to Watch For in 2015Coffee is among the best selling commodities in the world. In fact, coffee is a beverage that is enjoyed by hundreds of millions of people on nearly every continent. As such, the coffee industry is one that is constantly evolving to meet consumer tastes. As those tastes go, so does the industry in America.

A number of important research studies this year have shown some interesting trends among American coffee drinkers. These trends will shape the future of both home brewing and office coffee service in 2015 and beyond. Here are three specific trends to watch for in the coming months and years:

1. Coffee Will Displace Other Beverages

Data from earlier this year shows that coffee consumption in America is on the rise. Some 61% of American adults report drinking coffee daily, up two percentage points from the year before. Furthermore, coffee continues to dominate other popular beverages such as sodas and teas. We expect that to be the case for the foreseeable future. In addition, we could see the start of the decline in energy drinks early next year with a corresponding increase in coffee interest. Now that the word has gotten out about the high caffeine content of energy drinks, consumers are less willing to embrace them.

2. Home Brewing Will Make a Comeback

The rise of popular coffee shop chains back in the 1990s led to fewer people brewing their own coffee at home in favor of grabbing a cup on the go. It was a lot more convenient to stop at the drive-through on the way to work than to set up a drip brewer every morning. However, the introduction of the single cup brewer has changed that.

Today’s single cup brewers are capable of producing a tasty cup of coffee in less time than it takes to make toast. The consumer just inserts a pod or cup, presses a button, and waits no more than a minute or two for a fresh cup of coffee. We believe this will create a resurgence in the home brewing market as evidenced by research data that suggests 15% of Americans already have a single cup brewer and 25% of those who do not are planning to buy one.

3. Fair Trade Coffee Will Become Extinct

When the idea of fair trade coffee was first presented, it was offered as a way to eliminate poverty among the world’s coffee growers by paying them above-market prices for their beans. Yet even as Americans pay more for this coffee, the poverty it was supposed to eliminate is still pervasive. We expect consumers to gradually stop buying fair trade coffee as they begin to understand they are paying higher prices for little or no results.

Here at Galaxie Coffee, we are excited about the future of our industry. We look forward to providing our customers industry-leading coffee and beverage service for years to come. It is what we do better than anyone else.

Office Coffee: No Longer One-Dimensional

Office Coffee: No Longer One-DimensionalMany great things have happened in the coffee industry over the last several decades. Thank goodness that most of those great things have made their way to the office environment. Truth be told, office coffee is no longer the one-dimensional offering it once was. Today’s office coffee service offers a ton of great options by way of both coffee products and the equipment used to provide workers with that morning cup of Joe.

If your current coffee service offers only one or two blends and an outdated pour-over machine, it might be time for you to consider switching services. The modern office coffee service offers all of the latest equipment along with dozens of varieties of coffee products; most also carry other hot and cold beverages as well.

Coffee Flavors and Blends

Coffee is a very personal thing. Moreover, because people are different, their tastes and preferences are different as well. The coffee industry has responded by producing dozens of different flavors and blends to satisfy any palate. Gone are the days when your choices were limited to only the regular, Colombian, and dark roast. Today’s flavors include things such as:

french vanilla
hazelnut
banana cream
chocolate raspberry
toasted almond.

We haven’t even scratched the surface with these five flavors; there are many, many more. Needless to say, there is something for everyone. As far as blends go, creative roasters are coming up with some very unique products. For example, you can choose a premium French roast or a popular donut shop blend.

Coffee Equipment

The biggest change in the coffee service industry since the turn of the 21st century is the introduction of the single cup machine. The single cup machine makes it possible for workers to have a fresh, hot cup of coffee at any point during the day – without having to worry about “stale” coffee that’s been sitting on a burner for four hours. Single cup machines also make it easy for people to enjoy different flavors as they see fit.

The convenience of the single cup machine is probably its biggest selling point. With an older, pour-over machine, someone in the office has to be responsible for cleaning the pots and burners, cleaning the filter basket, and making sure burners are turned off at the end of the day. The single cup machine is virtually carefree. Every worker is responsible for his or her own cup. There are no pots, burners, or filter baskets to worry about.

Of course, the single cup machine would not be the best choice for board meetings and other gatherings where individuals do not have easy access to coffee. Now though, we have thermal brewers that can brew the equivalent of a 12-cup pot and keep it hot for hours on end, with no burners involved. It is yet another way to keep coffee hot and fresh throughout the day.

There is no doubt the coffee service industry has changed over the years. At Galaxie Coffee, we pride ourselves on always being at the cutting edge of service and technology. We would be honored to be your coffee service provider in the greater New York area. Please feel free to browse our website to see all of the exciting flavors, blends, and equipment we provide. In addition to coffee service, we also offer a full range of cold and hot beverages, paper products, janitorial supplies, and more.

Five Health Benefits of Coffee Consumption

Five Health Benefits of Coffee ConsumptionDo you remember the “I gave up coffee” slogan of the late 1970s and early 80s? Many American consumers were ceasing to drink the world’s staple hot beverage thanks to flawed research that linked coffee consumption with heart disease and cancer. The problem with that old research is that it never took into account other bad habits, including tobacco use and lack of exercise. New, more refined research now shows there are multiple health benefits that come with daily coffee consumption.

For the record, WebMD explains that coffee research comes down to asking people about their consumption habits. In other words, it is largely observational in nature. Having said that, here are five of the health benefits of coffee consumption upon which medical science agrees:

1. Prevention of Type II Diabetes

Studies at Harvard University and UCLA suggest that regular coffee consumption can reduce the risk of developing type II diabetes. The Harvard researchers believe increasing consumption from one cup to 1.69 cups per day reduces diabetes risk by as much as 11%.

2. Liver Disease/Liver Cancer

The liver is an organ that helps to filter toxins out of the bloodstream while also producing some of the chemicals needed for digestion. Research suggests regular coffee consumption reduces the risk of certain liver diseases, including cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. Researchers from Italy believe regular coffee consumption reduces the risk of developing liver cancer by 40% to 50%.

3. Better Heart Health

Dual studies from Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center showed the health benefits of coffee relating to heart disease are significant. The research indicates that moderate coffee consumption can reduce the risk of heart failure by as much as 11%.

4. Prevention/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Multiple U.S. studies have shown a link between moderate coffee consumption and preventing or treating Parkinson’s disease. One study showed a reduced risk of Parkinson’s among moderate coffee drinkers; another study showed that coffee could help treat the symptoms of those who already have the disease.

5. Prevention of Stroke

One of the more recently released studies followed more than 83,000 coffee drinkers in Japan. The study found that those consuming coffee on a regular basis were 20% less likely to suffer stroke, compared to those who consume coffee only occasionally.

Beyond the five health benefits of coffee we listed here, there are other things to consider. For example, black coffee is a great beverage choice for those who are trying to limit their calorie intake. Black coffee has only about 2 calories for an 8-ounce cup. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants, which, some scientists believe, are vitally important to good health and disease prevention.

Here at Galaxie, we believe the health benefits of coffee are definitely something worth considering. If you are interested in office coffee service for your workplace, please give us a call. We service the greater New York area with a full range of hot and cold beverages, paper accessories, and more.

Interesting Facts About Where Coffee Comes From

Interesting Facts About Where Coffee Comes FromYou probably haven’t given much thought to where coffee comes from, except when you’re running late and don’t know whether you’ll have time to stop for your morning brew. That aside, you probably take for granted the fact that coffee will always be there when you want it.

It turns out there is quite a bit involved in growing and producing the roasted products you find on the grocery store shelf. It all starts with the coffee beans chosen for a particular blend and where these are grown.

Producing the perfect coffee bean requires the right combination of soil, sunshine, and moisture. However, these things vary so much that it is nearly impossible to create two crops that taste exactly alike. That is one of the reasons roasters blend a variety of beans to produce the distinctive flavors that bear their names.

Two Primary Beans

There are two primary beans responsible for the majority of the coffee consumed around the world. The first, and most common, is the Arabica bean. Arabica accounts for nearly 70% of the world’s coffee; it is available in a number of different varieties directly descending from the oldest known coffee trees in Ethiopia.

The other bean is known as a Robusta. This bean is smaller than the Arabica, but it packs a greater punch – between 50 and 60% more caffeine. Robusta production around the world is increasing thanks to its ability to thrive in warmer climates and the fact that it is less expensive to grow and process. You are familiar with the unique taste of Robusta if you use instant coffee.

Where It Comes From

The best coffees are grown in climates that are near, or at, the equator. That is where you will find the right combination of temperature, sun and moisture. It is also where you will find the best soils. According to the National Coffee Association USA, coffee beans are grown in more than 50 countries around the world.

In North America, coffee production is limited primarily to Mexico. As far as American blends are concerned, the best come from Hawaii. You have had Hawaiian coffee if you’ve enjoyed a Kona blend. Meanwhile, a once robust coffee industry in Puerto Rico is making a comeback after years of dormancy.

Central and South America are where we get most of the coffee sold in the US. The best-known country is Colombia, where growers and government officials take pride in producing what they believe is the finest in the world. Other Central and South American coffee producers include Costa Rica, Guatemala and Brazil.

Africa and the Middle East provide some excellent coffee beans from Ethiopia, Kenya, the Ivory Coast and Yemen. It turns out that the Yemen was the first place coffee was commercially produced. Unfortunately, a sustained lack of water has greatly reduced Yemen’s output.

Lastly, we cannot leave out Vietnam and Indonesia. These countries also contribute significantly to global coffee production. Now that you know more about where coffee comes from, consider giving Galaxie a call. We provide our customers with the finest coffee and beverage service in the New York area.

The Truth behind Rising Coffee Prices

The Truth behind Rising Coffee PricesIt is no secret that the price of coffee has risen considerably since the start of the year. In fact, spikes in retail prices are not all that unusual over the long-term. The fact is that coffee is affected by a number of different factors that cause price fluctuations on a regular basis.

Here at Galaxie Coffee, we want our customers to understand how coffee is priced. We believe that understanding what goes in the coffee prices will help alleviate some of the anxiety customers experience when prices rise. With that said, here is what you need to know about rising coffee prices:

Coffee Production

The single biggest factor determining the price of coffee is supply versus demand. As with anything else, if supply is reduced while demand remains constant or increases, prices go up. That is economics 101. Unfortunately, the two most recent spikes that occurred this past November and January are directly related to lost production.

Brazil is the single largest coffee producer in the world, accounting for roughly 40% of the commercial market. When things go well in Brazil, the coffee market is stable. The opposite is also true. Unfortunately, some parts of Brazil experienced their hottest weather on record in January. What’s more, the two areas responsible for the majority of Brazil’s coffee production have been hard hit by a sustained drought and unseasonably warm conditions.

Some experts say that as much as 30% of this year’s crop was lost due to the weather conditions. Such a steep drop affects prices in both the short and long terms.

Coffee Pricing

Coffee is considered a commodity on the open market, meaning it is sold by way of contracts that can be secured up to 12 months in advance. The nature of these contracts means that buyers must speculate on what they believe the price of coffee will be at the time the contract is fulfilled. Any change in supply has a definite impact on the price.

Practically speaking, contracts that were secured in late 2012 or 2013 could have been negatively impacted by the reduced production out of Brazil earlier this year. Until production resumes at normal levels, future pricing will also be affected. That is the nature of commodity exchange regardless of the particular product you are talking about.

Another part of coffee pricing is directly related to the costs of bringing it to market. For example, one of our biggest expenses at Galaxie is the fuel required to run our trucks. When gas prices surge, we feel the impact.  All the way up and down the production line there are costs built into the price the consumer pays at the market.

Despite recent price hikes for coffee, America’s most loved hot beverage continues to be one of the least expensive beverages per fluid ounce. It is our pleasure at Galaxie Coffee to provide our customers with some of the best coffees in the New York area.

Upgrading Your Break Room with Eco-Friendly Paper Products

Upgrading Your Break Room with Eco-Friendly Paper ProductsBeing eco-friendly these days is about more than just driving a compact car and paying attention to the thermostat. It is about doing whatever we can to save energy and reduce waste at the same time. Many companies in the greater New York area are doing their part by upgrading their break rooms with eco-friendly paper products.

Next to office supplies, paper products for the break room present one of the easiest and most effective ways companies can become more eco-friendly. The key is to look at two things:

using biodegradable paper products
using products made with recycled materials.

The concept of being eco-friendly in the break room is not as complicated as it might sound. It is just a matter of knowing what to look for when purchasing supplies. Galaxie Coffee is pleased to offer a number of eco-friendly options.

Biodegradable Paper Products

At one time, foam cups were the standard in the coffee service industry. Foam is inexpensive, lightweight, rugged, and very good at insulating hot or cold beverages. The problem with foam is that it takes nearly forever to degrade. It has been said that you could throw a foam cup into a landfill, dig it up 100 years later, and still find it intact. Paper is different.

Because paper is made from tree pulp, it decomposes rather quickly. Yet paper cups have not always been popular for hot beverages because these lacked good insulation capabilities. That has changed. Today’s paper cups provide as much insulation as foam cups in most cases.

The concept of biodegradable paper also extends to paper plates, bowls, napkins, drinking straws and cutlery. Today’s plates and bowls are stronger than ever, providing excellent receptacles for lunchtime meals. It is not necessary to use foam anymore. As for drinking straws, paper is every bit as dependable as plastic. Moreover, using a paper straw has the added benefit of bringing back some of those memories of childhood – if you are over age 40. Eco-friendly cutlery is now made better than ever and the prices are significantly lower than they were two years ago.

Recycled Materials

Paper product manufacturers are able to keep a lot of paper out of landfills by recycling it for use in break room supplies. You have seen recycled paper for copy machines and printers, but now you can purchase paper towels, napkins, cups, plates and bowls all made from recycled materials. When you choose products made with recycled materials you are helping extend the life of your local landfill while also cutting down on less environmentally friendly products.

Galaxie Coffee encourages customers to consider upgrading their break rooms with eco-friendly paper products. The cost of such products is coming down as more companies begin to use these products.  Please get in touch with us to find out what products on your list we carry. Our current inventory includes everything from cups and cutlery to towels and napkins.  Galaxie Coffee has found ways to allow companies to begin using these eco-friendly products immediately and gradually increase their costs.

We are a leading provider of coffee service, water, break room and janitorial supplies in the greater New York area. Our customers include businesses of all sizes across multiple industries. We’d be happy to serve your company as well.  Call us at 631-794-1910 to discuss your needs.

Gourmet Coffee Showing up in More Offices

Gourmet Coffee Showing up in More OfficesCoffee service representatives from all over the country gathered in Las Vegas this past spring to learn about the newest products and trends in the business. The theme of this year’s convention seemed to focus around one topic: gourmet coffee. Customers are now demanding the same high-quality gourmet coffees in the office that have long been a staple of the neighborhood coffee shop. Thankfully, service providers are more than happy to oblige.

Gourmet coffees are products that offer coffee drinkers more than just a fancy name. These are special blends using coffee beans from exotic locations, combined with different roasting techniques and additional flavorings. What’s more, gourmet coffees span every category, including:

standard coffees
lattes
cappuccinos
espressos.

In order to satisfy customer demand, coffee service providers are working with roasters to come up with unique, signature blends they can call their own. For the genuine coffee lover, this is a great time to be engaged. It is also a great time for your office to get some incredible products from your service provider.

New Equipment

Along with all of that gourmet coffee is a new line of equipment meant to take advantage of the single cup craze. When single cup machines were first introduced nearly a decade ago, there was considerable speculation as to whether these would become a coffee service mainstay or not. Well, you know the rest of the story.

Single cup coffee makers not only dominate the office coffee environment, they are also popular among consumers at home. A single cup machine provides a way to have a fresh cup of coffee any time of the day, quickly and conveniently. Our customers love single cup machine because they:

provide a hot, fresh cup of coffee instantly
allow for drinkers to choose their own flavors
reduce the need for machine cleaning and maintenance
reduce coffee waste.

The challenge for coffee service companies is to adapt gourmet coffees to the single cup mentality. For example, a latte is not truly genuine if it is not made with liquid milk. The same can be said about cappuccino and espresso. Providing our customers with gourmet lattes requires equipment that can handle liquid milk instead of relying on powders.

Keeping Customers Happy

By the time the 2014 convention drew to a close, it was apparent that coffee service businesses have a lot of new tools they can use to keep customers happy. And in fact, that’s what coffee service is all about. It is about making sure customers have as many choices for hot beverages as possible at their fingertips, and equipment capable of producing high-quality beverages reliably and efficiently.

Galaxie Coffee is proud to be one of the leading office coffee service providers in the greater New York area. In addition to gourmet coffees and single cup machines, we offer a full variety of hot and cold beverage choices along with tea, juices, energy drinks, soda, bottled water, water coolers, break room and janitorial supplies.