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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.

5 Regions Whose Coffee You Should Try in 2019

If you have ever heard someone speaking about the flavor notes of coffee and thought that person was just being snooty, think again. Snootiness may have been part of the equation, but coffees from different regions of the world do taste quite different from each other.

To this end, we encourage you to sample some brews from various regions around the world. If you can get beyond traditional American coffee, you realize that there is an entire range of subtleties and flavor notes that define what is arguably the world’s most popular beverage. To get you started, here are five regions whose coffees we recommend you try this year:

1. East Africa

The two most prolific coffee producers in East Africa are Ethiopia and Kenya. History suggests that Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, though that has never been conclusively proven. At any rate, Ethiopian coffee tends to be bold, full flavored, and rich with earthy notes. Kenyan coffee, by contrast, tends to be sharp and fruity. It also has a very rich aroma that sets it apart from other African coffees.

2. Central America

Guatemalan coffee is the most recognized coffee from Central America. Its rich, distinctive flavor comes from the volcanic soil the region is known for. Guatemalan coffee is deep and complex with a somewhat spicy flavor. If you are looking for something with medium body and more balance, try coffee from Costa Rica. A combination of regional weather and processing practices give this coffee a distinct flavor.

3. South America

Colombia and Brazil are two popular sources of South American coffees. In fact, Colombian coffee is considered in some circles as the standard by which all others are judged. Both regions are known for medium-bodied coffee with good balance and low acidity.

4. Asia

Though we do not normally associate Asia with high quality coffee, some exceptionally good coffees come from Indonesia and Vietnam. Indonesian coffees tend to be aged over time, resulting in medium body and low acid content. Coffee from Vietnam is mild, slightly acidic, and well-balanced. It is a frequent choice for blending.

5. Hawaii

Although Hawaii is a state rather than a region, no list of this sort would be complete without recommending Kona coffee. Kona is a uniquely Hawaiian coffee grown on the slopes of an active volcano. Hawaii’s climate provides natural cloud cover during the afternoon hours and just enough rain on a daily basis to create a rich, delicious flavor unlike anything else.

Needless to say that the regions listed in this post only scratch the surface. There are dozens of countries around the world where dedicated growers are producing some excellent beans. Just remember that processing, roasting, and blending all affect the overall taste of a cup of coffee.

If you would like more information about bringing coffee service to your office, feel free to contact us at your leisure. Galaxie Coffee is proud to serve the tri-state area with a fine selection of coffees, teas, and other beverage choices.

Galaxie’s Success Profiled by Automatic Vending

Galaxie's Success Profiled by Automatic VendingIt has been said that the best kind of attention in business is positive attention from others in the same industry. If it’s true, and we believe it is, that makes it all the more special that Galaxie Coffee was recently profiled by Automatic Vending in an excellent article written by Emily Refermat. Our thanks go out to Emily and the entire Automatic Vending staff.

Automatic Vending is a digital and print magazine devoted to the retail vending and beverage sectors. It is one of the most respected publications in the industry, making it all that more important that they chose to profile our company. Through Refermat’s writing, we were able to tell the Galaxie story in a way that we hope will inspire our customers, our employees, and other entrepreneurs who are not sure they have what it takes to succeed.

Built from the Ground Up

Galaxie CEO Ed Seidenberg provided most of the information for the article. He began by explaining that our company was built from the ground up by five partners who started Galaxie way back in 1969. Back then, office coffee service was in its infancy. Galaxie’s original staff was tasked with the difficult job of convincing employers to give up their coffee clubs in favor of weekly coffee delivery from a managed provider.

Those early days were not easy, but the company maintained steady growth by offering quality along with convenience. Over the next 30 years Galaxie expanded from a small facility in Massapequa to a larger facility in West Babylon, and then on to our Farmingdale headquarters. What started as a business serving a small number of customers in the Massapequa area eventually became one that services all of the greater New York metro and beyond.

It is About Quality and Variety

Ed was quick to point out that two of the keys to our success have been quality and variety. Quality has always been our number one priority, whether we sell drip coffee, single cup pods, bottled water, or juices. We want our customers to choose Galaxie because the coffee and other beverages we supply are delicious. That commitment to quality is one of the things that has allowed us to leverage our own branded coffees to such a large degree.

In retail, variety also helps a lot. So over the years, we have acquired a number of competing coffee companies along with a janitorial supply company. The combined acquisitions have allowed us to expand our product inventory considerably. Today we not only deliver coffee, but we also carry a full line of additional beverages along with breakroom paper products and janitorial supplies.

After 50 years of steady growth and success, Galaxie Coffee is still a family affair. Ed’s wife is part of the business, as are Neil Robbins – the son of one of the company’s original partners – and his two sons. Their vision and leadership are that which motivate us to continue working hard on behalf of our customers.

Embrace the Winter Season with Traditional Drip Coffee

Coffee trends come and go with the passing seasons. But if you stop and think about it, you come to the realization that traditional drip coffee has withstood the test of time. While other fads fade away with waning consumer trends, traditional drip coffee continues to be served at home, in offices, and at nearly every restaurant and café in the U.S.

We think that winter is a great season to get back to traditional drip coffee. In fact, setting aside those cold coffee drinks and designer concoctions with strange names in favor of drip coffee is a wonderful way to embrace this time of year.

Old School Brew

There is no doubt that drip coffee is definitely old school. Slow drip brewing dates back to the early days of pour-overs and stove-top percolators. It is what we Americans grew up on, at least where coffee is concerned. But here’s the thing: being old-school doesn’t mean drip brewing gives you inferior coffee.

We have a tendency to think that anything old is not as good as newer alternatives. That is not necessarily true. Traditional drip coffee is not better or worse than any other kind of coffee. It is just different. And yes, it’s still very good. A delicious cup of old-school drip coffee is a perfect way to start the day or finish off a meal.

Secrets to Great Traditional Drip Coffee

It has been our experience that one of the reasons traditional drip coffee has such a bad reputation is that we have lost the skill of making and storing it correctly. It is like anything else. Without the skill and knowledge, you do not produce the same quality.

Great drip coffee starts with the right water temperature. Ideally, drip machines should heat water to somewhere between 195 and 205°F. If the water is too cold, it will not extract enough of the ground coffee’s oil to give you the full-bodied flavor you want. If it is too hot – particularly if it’s boiling – the water will burn the coffee.

Once coffee is brewed, it should be placed in an insulated carafe or a thermos. As you know, leaving coffee on a hot plate or burner ruins the flavor in short order. Why? Because the high heat burns the coffee. Along those same lines, traditional drip coffee should be consumed within a couple of hours. If it’s not, and you put it in the refrigerator overnight, reheating it in the morning will drastically change its flavor.

Galaxie Coffee and Brewers

Are you looking for something to get you and your office through the last few weeks of winter? If so, we invite you to embrace a good cup of traditional drip coffee. Here at Galaxie Coffee, we have both the coffee and brewers you need to equip your office.

Winter is the best time of year for traditional drip coffee. The coffee is hot, delicious, and very comforting. For more information about adding coffee service to your office, contact us today.