U.S. Tariffs and Their Effect on Eco-Friendly Paper Products

As you know, the U.S. has been locked in a trade war with China for quite some time now. Our government enacted significant tariffs on thousands of products imported from China in 2018. China responded with its own round of tariffs, which was followed by even more tariffs imposed by us.

The eco-friendly paper products we carry have been affected by the trade war to some extent. Fallout from the tariffs has by no means been devastating, but there have been consequences. We are doing our best to stay ahead of price increases so that our customers do not suffer unnecessarily.

How Tariffs Work

A tariff is essentially a tax placed on imported goods. The first round of tariffs implemented in 2018 imposed a rate of 25% on a lengthy list of products coming in from China. So a product purchased from a Chinese company for $100 before the tariff would cost $125 after. Those costs are paid by U.S. buyers.

The federal government claims that the total amount of the tariffs imposed against China represent less than 1% of projected inflation. When applied across the board to every product bought and sold in the U.S., the tariffs should have a negligible effect on overall inflation. Still, those products directly affected by tariffs now cost more.

Products and Raw Materials

Where eco-friendly paper products are concerned, there are a couple of things to consider. Right off the bat are finished products like cups, plates, napkins, etc. Finished products manufactured in China now cost more thanks to the tariffs. But that is not the end of it.

Companies that make eco-friendly paper products domestically might still import some of the raw materials they need for the manufacturing process from China. Many of those raw materials are also subject to the tariffs. This adds additional costs to the manufacturing process.

Whether you are talking finished products or raw materials, tariff costs are ultimately passed on. How much gets passed on to the end customer depends on whether or not others along the supply chain are willing to absorb some of the pain themselves.

How We Approach Higher Costs

Galaxie Coffee is no different to any other U.S. business in that we hate the idea of passing on higher costs to customers. We are not happy about the fact that a trade war with China means some of our eco-friendly paper products might cost more in the future. But it is what it is.

It is normal practice for us to do everything we can to keep retail prices in check. Sometimes that means we have to look for new suppliers who can offer us better pricing. Sometimes that means going with less expensive products from the same supplier. And sometimes it means absorbing part of a price increase so that what we pass on to customers is minimal.

Know that we are doing everything we can to control retail prices. Doing so is a long-standing Galaxie Coffee practice that we intend to continue.

How Different Coffees Vary in Their Caffeine Content

If your daily diet includes foods and beverages with caffeine, you are not alone. Government data shows that 95% of U.S. adults consume caffeine daily, most of which comes from coffee. What is most fascinating is that different kinds of coffees have varying levels of caffeine.

The U.S. FDA says a typical 8-ounce cup of coffee offers anywhere from 80 to 100 mg of caffeine. Compare that to green or black tea with 30 to 50 mg. Soft drinks offer less caffeine but energy drinks contain substantially more.

Given that this post is all about coffee, here are some of the different coffee types and the estimated amounts of caffeine each contains:

Hot Brew

Hot brew coffee is coffee that is brewed in a conventional drip brewer or over the stove on a percolator. The ground coffee is kept separate from the brew by way of a metal or paper filter. A typical 8-ounce cup contains about 95 mg of caffeine.

Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is the latest big thing on the coffee scene. Cold brew is made by steeping ground coffee in cold or room temperature water. As such, cold brew is not the same thing as iced coffee. As far as its caffeine content is concerned, an 8-ounce cup contains between 100 and 157 mg of caffeine.

Espresso

Espresso is the extra strong brew normally associated with Italian cafés. It is made by steaming finely ground coffee under pressure. Due to its high caffeine content, espresso is normally served in 1-ounce shots with approximately 63 mg of the buzz-inducing substance.

Decaffeinated Coffee

Many people assume that decaffeinated coffee has absolutely no caffeine in it. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It is not really possible to completely remove caffeine from coffee and still have a usable product. So instead, coffee makers reduce caffeine content as best they can without ruining the coffee’s flavor profile. A typical 8-ounce cup contains about 2 mg.

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is a powdered coffee beverage that is made by freeze drying or spray-drying liquid coffee. It is reconstituted by adding water or milk. A typical 8-ounce cup contains about 63 mg of caffeine, which is just over two thirds of what you would expect to find in regular, hot brewed coffee.

Roasting and Preparation Methods Matter

If you haven’t caught on thus far, roasting and preparation methods matter in terms of caffeine content. For example, the high caffeine content in espresso is less about the coffee beans and more about the fact that it is prepared using high-pressure steam and finely ground coffee. Steam extracts more caffeine to begin with; its abilities are enhanced by the coffee’s finer grind.

Galaxie Coffee carries a complete variety of coffee beverages ranging from standard drip coffees to cold brews. We would be more than happy to set up regular delivery service to your office that includes a variety of hot and cold beverages, breakroom supplies, and janitorial supplies.

The Evolution of Office Coffee in America

Having coffee in the office is a normal part of work life in America. In fact, long before coffee houses became a thing in this country, groups of workers were chipping in at the office to make sure there was a regular supply of coffee on hand. Today, not having coffee in the office is rare.

The question is, how did we get here? That depends on who you ask. Historians generally agree on how coffee made it to the Americas and what made it popular here. But what took coffee into the office remains a matter of debate.

Coffee Replaces Tea

Tea was the preferred hot beverage from the birth of the colonies right up until the start of the Revolutionary War. From the end of the revolution through the Civil War, coffee’s popularity grew in the U.S. By the mid-1860s, smart business owners whose coffee sales were limited to families and small coffee houses started looking for bigger and better sales avenues.

Some started selling to cowboys out west while others tapped into California’s mining market. Still, having coffee in the office didn’t quite catch on. The office environment was still quite limited back then, and offices were not large buildings with hundreds of employees. They were one- and two-room spaces occupied by family-run businesses.

Then came the industrial era and two world wars. That is when large-scale employment and the offices that came with it began to flourish. It is when office coffee finally came into its own.

From Instant to Drip Brew

History is pretty clear on the evolution of coffee up through the start of the industrial era. This is where it gets a bit fuzzy. As best we can tell, office coffee became a thing in the years following World War II. That makes sense, given the big push toward industry and manufacturing. But office coffee in those days was instant coffee.

It was not until Starbucks came onto the scene in the 1970s that coffee providers realized they could install brewing equipment in customer offices to offer them the same high-quality technologically advanced equipment experience they got at the coffee house. Once the equipment started flowing, so did the coffee.

By the late 70s and early 80s, instant coffee in the office had been mostly replaced by drip brew. Coffee service providers like Galaxie Coffee started popping up all over the country. Advancements in technology led to better brewers, better coffees, and eventually the coffee pods we are also familiar with today.

Office Coffee is Still Evolving

It would be foolish for us to assume that office coffee is done evolving. It isn’t, and never will be. Our industry continues to innovate and change. We continually search for better beverages and more technologically advanced equipment.

If you are interested in learning about coffee service for your office, feel free to reach out to us. Galaxie Coffee is proud to serve the greater New York area with the finest beverages and best equipment in the industry.

Coffee and Alcohol: A Match Made in Heaven?

We have entered that strange time of year when it is hard to decide between a hot cup of coffee and a cold beer. You love both; so much so that you cannot decide between one or the other. Why not have both. But together in the same beverage? Yes, you can.

You could make the case that coffee and alcohol are a match made in heaven. One gives you the kick of caffeine along with an aroma that is unmatched by any other beverage. The other gives you the deep, rich flavor of barley and hops combined in a perfect pairing. Together… well, watch out!

The Coffee Beer Revolution

The marriage between craft beer and coffee wasn’t on anyone’s radar 10 years ago. It is now. Go to any major city and dig around until you find a craft brewery. Chances are you will find an artisan coffee shop somewhere within reasonable proximity. You might even find the two establishments swapping beverages.

There are two ways to make a coffee beer. The first is to add ground coffee directly to a beer batch during the fermenting process. This gives the beer a very dark and robust flavor that really allows the coffee to do magical things. Different coffees can be used to achieve different flavors.

The other option is to add cold brew coffee to finished beer. This creates a more subtle taste that still allows the beer flavor to dominate the show. On the positive side, cold brew is not nearly as acidic as drip brew, so it doesn’t drastically alter the taste of beer.

Introducing the New Coffee Cocktails

Coffee cocktail drinks date back to the Irish coffees and white Russians of the 1950s and 60s. However, there is a new coffee cocktail scene emerging in the nation’s biggest cultural centers. Right here in New York for example, coffee cocktails are the hottest thing at upscale bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.

Talented mixologists are combining traditional coffee and espresso with alcoholic beverages like brandy, vodka, angostura bitters, hazelnut liqueur, and even absinthe. Some of these drinks will knock your socks off – and then some. They are the perfect way to finish off a great meal or prepare for the first round of hors d’oeuvres.

Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

We are not serving coffee beer or coffee cocktails here at Galaxie Coffee. No, we will stick with nonalcoholic beverages including the best coffees, teas, juices, and bottled water. In the meantime, remember that coffee is not just for breakfast anymore. It is appropriate anytime of the day and in a variety of forms – from classic drip brew to cold brew and coffee beers and cocktails.

Galaxie Coffee is proud to be an office coffee service leader throughout the greater New York area. Please contact us for more information about setting up service for your workplace. We supply both the beverages and equipment to make your office a happier, more delicious place to work.

What is the Best Time to Drink Your Coffee?

We would be willing to wager that most of our customers utilizing traditional hot brew coffee machines get a fresh pot of coffee going first thing in the morning. Our single cup customers begin seeing the coffee capsules flying as soon as staff members start arriving for the day. With that said, here is a question: what is the best time of day to drink your coffee?

As strange as it sounds, the question is not random. It has been suggested drinking coffee first thing in the morning may not be the wisest choice if you are hoping to realize the maximum benefits from your beverage of choice. Waiting a few hours might be better.

Coffee, Caffeine, and Cortisol

Many studies have been done explaining the health benefits of drinking coffee. Some research indicates that getting the greatest health benefits out of coffee is likely influenced by the time of day you consume. Apparently, coffee consumption is best when cortisol levels in the body are low. The lower the cortisol, the better coffee is for you. The interesting thing is that the body starts producing cortisol the minute you wake up.

90 Minutes to Peak

It takes roughly 90 minutes from the time you wake up for cortisol levels to peak. So if you wake at 6:30, your body will peak somewhere between 8 and 9 a.m. Your body will then hit another peak somewhere between noon and 1 p.m., and then again between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., making each of these times perfect for that cup of office coffee.

The point here is that perhaps it is better to wait until after cortisol levels peak before having that first cup in the morning. Researchers suggest that consuming earlier not only reduces the benefits of coffee but could also make you more tired at the same time.

Great Coffee Any Time of Day

Thankfully, there is no right or wrong time to drink coffee. Even better is the fact that there are great coffees for any time of day. Start your workday with a great cup of hot brew as you plot and plan for the next eight hours. Grab a cold brew at lunch to complement the great sandwich you brought from home. Avoid ‘leaded’ in the afternoon so as to not keep yourself up at night, choosing a delicious decaf coffee instead.

We have them all here at Galaxie Coffee. Our product list includes dozens of different coffees for traditional equipment and the newest single-serve brewers. Along with great coffee, we also provide our customers the finest teas, juices, and bottled waters.

It looks like first thing in the morning is not the best time to drink coffee if you want to maximize its health benefits. Even so, any time of day is appropriate to enjoy a good cup of coffee just for what it is.

4 Reasons Behind the Coffee Upgrade Frenzy

We have experienced quite a surge in the number of offices wanting to upgrade their coffee service in the last couple of years. Things have gotten so busy that we are now referring to it as the ‘coffee upgrade frenzy’. This is not a bad thing; it’s just that this round of coffee upgrades is unlike similar periods in the past.

So what’s going on? What is behind the coffee upgrade frenzy? As we see it, there are four primary factors in play:

1. New Break Rooms

Throughout the Great Recession and in the years immediately following, businesses held on to their cash. They didn’t spend to remodel their break rooms or move into nicer offices. Now that the economy is humming once again, things are changing.

Many of the coffee upgrades we handle are the direct result of companies either moving to new buildings or redecorating their existing facilities. And when you are going new in the break room, it is only natural to upgrade your coffee equipment and beverage selection.

2. Demand for European Coffees

Next is the ever-evolving maturity of consumer tastes that has resulted in higher demand for European-style coffees and espressos. We are seeing that the same demand is facilitating the need for new equipment in some cases. How long the European coffee and espresso trend will last is anyone’s guess, but we are happy to be on board for now.

3. Cutting-Edge Equipment

The equipment that powers the office coffee industry has changed quite a bit. Some of the newest equipment on the market is truly remarkable. We are not surprised that more of our clients want access to this new equipment, especially since it gives customers access to a wider variety of beverage options.

For the record, Galaxie Coffee carries all the latest equipment, from drip brewers to single cup machines. We maintain it all ourselves as well. When you choose us to be your coffee service provider, there is never a worry about your equipment delivering the delicious beverages your staff expects.

4. Better Coffee Away from Work

Many of our clients offer office coffee and other beverages as a fringe benefit designed to recruit and retain employees. It works very well for that purpose until employees discover they can get better coffee away from work. Suddenly, office coffee isn’t as much of a draw.

A significant portion of our coffee upgrades are the direct result of our customers looking to compete with off-site providers. They are willing to upgrade because they want employees to continue getting the best coffee at work. The same goes for teas, juices, and all the other beverages we carry.

Is your company looking at a break room remodel? Are you planning to move to new digs later this year? In either case, your company is a perfect candidate for a coffee upgrade. Please contact us so we can talk about your needs. We are here to help you navigate the coffee upgrade frenzy.

Let us Replace Your Water Cooler with a New ION System

Let us Replace Your Water Cooler with a New ION SystemGalaxie Coffee is extremely proud to announce that we are now offering the revolutionary ION water system in both floor and tabletop models. The ION is not your typical water cooler. In fact it is not a water cooler at all. It’s a high-tech, all-in-one water solution that replaces the traditional cooler without sacrificing the quality you’ve come to expect from bottled products.

This fantastic dispenser offers cold, hot, ambient, and sparkling water in a single unit. It requires no heavy bottles and no tanks to refill. Just install it, plug it in, and it’s ready to go. Staff have instant access to clean, crystal-clear water in three different temperature options.

You might be wondering how we can offer you the quality of bottled water without actually delivering bottles. It’s easy. The ION system utilizes an exclusive filtering process that reduces a wide range of contaminants from common tap water. You get the clean and fresh water you want without having to pay for bottles.

Four Choices in One

There have been other water systems offering filtered tap water at the touch of a button. What makes this system different is that you get four choices in one. Choose cold water and the system will instantly filter and chill water flowing into the machine. The entire water pathway is completely isolated so that the water never interacts with outside air.

Choose hot water and the dispenser will once again filter water as it comes in from the tap. The water is heated rapidly as it moves through the machine, so you are not waiting on that next cup of tea or cocoa. Amazingly enough, this machine can produce upwards of 2 gallons of hot water per hour.

You can even choose sparkling or ambient water. Drink it straight up or add your own juices or flavor packets. It is entirely up to you. Both are available with the push of a button.

Touch Screen Ease

You would expect a machine like the ION to be in line with modern technology. Well, it is. Its touchscreen interface is automatically familiar to most people. And it is simple to use. If you can use a mobile device to browse the web, you will find getting fresh, clean water a snap.

The touchscreen interface also offers a quick glimpse of essential information, including a reminder of when it’s time to change the filter. We handle that, so don’t worry about it. In case you are interested, we can change the filter with a simple twist. We do not even have to turn off the water line to do it.

The ION pure water system is the new way to enjoy clean and fresh water in the office. Existing Galaxie Coffee customers now using bottled water and traditional coolers are encouraged to think about upgrading. If you are not yet a Galaxie customer, getting the ION is as good a reason as any to join our family.

The Rise of Cold Brew: A Coffee Revolution

Every now and again, something new comes along that proves truly revolutionary to the coffee-drinking community. One such development is the cold brew phenomenon. Although cold brew is not new, it has recently come into its own. Indeed, cold brew is the hottest thing in coffee right now.

If you have not yet tried cold brew, we encourage you to do so. We would not be surprised to look back at this time next year and realize that 2019 was the year of the cold brew. If you have tried it, what do you think? Do you like it better than hot brew coffee?

Not the Same As Iced Coffee

The first thing to understand is that cold brew is not the same thing as iced coffee. Not only are they brewed differently, they also taste different as well. A coffee drinker with discriminating taste buds can easily tell the difference between the two brews.

Iced coffee begins as a typical hot brew. It can be brewed with a traditional drip machine or a single cup brewer. What makes it iced coffee is that it is served over ice once brewing is complete. Putting ice in a cup of hot coffee is one way to cool it down but doing so also affects the taste.

Needless to say that hot coffee melts ice rather quickly. That ice dilutes the coffee as it turns to water. To counter this, some people put their hot brewed coffee in the refrigerator for a few hours. This does prevent dilution when you introduce ice, but it also increases the acidity of the coffee.

How Cold Brew is Made

Cold brew coffee takes its name from the fact that it is brewed using either cold or room temperature water. Rather than relying on hot water to extract the oils from ground roasted coffee, cold brew relies on time. It can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to brew a full pot.

There are two ways to cold brew. The first is to combine a lot of coffee with a little water to brew a concentrate. You just throw the coffee and water together and let it steep for as long as you want. Then you strain out the coffee and use the concentrate to make individual cups by adding water as desired.

The other method is to put the ground coffee into a filter, tie the filter closed, and steep it in the water. You use just about the same amount of coffee you would to make a hot brew, thus avoiding having to strain the coffee and work with a concentrate. You just drink it straight up once it’s brewed.

We carry some cold brew products here at Galaxie Coffee and we invite you to give them a try. Cold brew is a completely unique beverage with a much more subtle taste that can be quite rich. When you’re ordering cold brew, don’t forget to check out the rest of our beverages as well.

What is the Difference Between Light and Dark Roast Coffees?

Remember the days when the only choices for coffee were regular and decaf? Those days are long gone as evidenced by all the choices offered by the local coffee shop, the supermarket and, dare we say, the office coffee service. Among the plethora of choices are light and dark roasts.

Companies like Galaxie Coffee sell coffees in a variety of roast options. There are light, medium, medium-dark, and dark roasts to choose from. But do you know what each of those options means? Do you know the difference between light and dark roast coffees?

Roast and Flavor

Numerous factors go into determining what a cup of coffee tastes like. Roasting time and temperature influence flavor the most, which is why so much attention is paid to roasting these days.

Non-roasted coffee beans are very soft and largely flavorless. Roasting is required to bring out the flavor embedded in the oils deep within the beans. As beans are exposed to heat, those oils begin to rise to the surface. The more oil the bean releases, the more robust it will be.

Ranking Coffee Roasts

It would be rather difficult to rank coffee roasts according to flavor given all of the differences created by growing environment, cultivation, blending, etc. An easier way to address roasting is color. Thus, a light roast coffee is a light brown color with no visible oil sheen on the surface of the bean. Light roast coffees are mild but acidic. You can also taste the origin flavors of the beans themselves.

A medium roast coffee is slightly darker because it has been roasted longer. It also sports a more balanced flavor. There is less acid and fewer notes of origin flavors as well. And believe it or not, medium roast coffee has less caffeine than light roast.

A dark roast is a coffee that has been roasted for the maximum amount of time. It gets its name from the dark brown (or sometimes black) color of the finished beans. It is also visibly different in that you can see an oil sheen on the outside of the beans once roasting is complete.

Dark roast coffees tend to be more bitter. Some have a smoky or burnt taste, and all have very little origin flavor remaining. What origin flavors do remain are often overpowered by the burnt or smoky flavor. Dark roast also has the least amount of caffeine.

Roast Preferences

Coffee preferences in the U.S. are more regional than you might think. For example, coffee drinkers on the East Coast tend to prefer lighter roasts while those on the West Coast prefer darker. Europeans are also big fans of darker roasts.

Regardless of your preference, Galaxie Coffee has the right roasts for your office. We invite you to contact us to learn more about our office coffee service throughout the greater New York area. We would be happy to serve your workplace with the finest beverages and equipment.

3 Interesting Facts About Paper Coffee Cups

The paper coffee cup has almost all but replaced foam cups in many parts of the country. In New York City, a law passed in 2015 banned the use of foam food containers within city limits. Elsewhere, local and state leaders have taken steps to reduce the use of foam products by encouraging businesses to switch to alternatives.

Here at Galaxie Coffee, we are big fans of paper coffee cups. Our customers are too. In light of all that the paper coffee cup has done to reduce the amount of foam going into landfills, we thought it might be interesting to discuss three facts about paper coffee cups a lot of people don’t know.

1. They used to be sealed with clay or wax

Paper drinking cups have been around for quite a while. In fact, their roots can be traced back to the early 1900s and high rates of infection among schoolchildren and train station passengers who used community cups. The obvious need to put an end to those infections gave us single-use paper cups.

The first single-use paper cup was developed at the turn of the 20th century. Its success led to the Dixie cup’s introduction in 1908. Back then, paper cups were sealed with clay in order to make them waterproof.

Unfortunately, clay distorted the flavor of the beverage being consumed. It also caused problems with condensation on the exterior, leading manufacturers to transition to wax. Wax solved the flavor problem quite nicely. However, it didn’t do much for the condensation problem. So manufacturers kept looking for a better sealant.

2. They are now sealed with PE

Manufacturers eventually hit on the idea of sealing paper cups with a thin layer of polyethylene (PE). Because polyethylene is a plastic, it makes the inside of the cup waterproof and prevents significant condensation on the exterior. PE also holds up better than both wax and clay against hot liquids. Indeed, polyethylene paved the way for paper coffee cups that were unheard of before it was introduced.

As a side note, a new sealant was introduced in Finland in 2017. It is fully compostable and decomposes much more quickly than polyethylene. It also does not contaminate the recycling stream so there is no problem throwing paper coffee cups coated with this sealant in with other recyclable products.

3. They are often made with recycled paper

Finally, single-use paper coffee cups are often made from recycled paper. Manufacturers prefer virgin paper for any cup with a surface that comes in direct contact with food or liquid, but that’s not an issue for coffee cups sealed with polyethylene. That makes recycled paper a more attractive option.

Paper coffee cups are just one of the many products we provide customer throughout the greater New York area. For a complete list of our products and services, give us a call. One of our customer service representatives would be more than happy to discuss your office coffee needs with you.