new innovations

The Biggest Innovators in the Coffee Industry: Small Businesses

The Biggest Innovators in the Coffee Industry: Small BusinessesOur position as one of the leading providers of coffee and beverage service in the greater New York area gives our staff an opportunity to interact with a lot of coffee lovers. We get a lot of great questions including, “who are the biggest innovators in the coffee industry today?” We suppose customers ask that question because they are curious about what we may have coming in the future. At any rate, it’s a great question and one with an answer that might surprise you.

A fascinating article published by Craft Beverage Jobs in mid-April (2016) gives us a hint about the industry’s biggest innovators by explaining, in detail, what are known as the ‘three waves’ of coffee. Truth be known, the coffee waves we talk about in the industry are just a means for us to express the history of coffee in the marketplace since the 1800s.

During the first wave, the biggest innovators were the coffee growers and roasters themselves. They found new ways to take a product that was produced by individual growers and roasters as an alternative to tea and develop its mass appeal throughout the Americas and parts of Europe. They were so successful that their efforts gave rise to mass producers like Maxwell House Folgers and technologies such as vacuum packing.

The second wave was dominated by the coffee shop culture that began on the West Coast in the 1970s. The biggest innovator back then was Starbucks and although the company still exerts quite a bit of influence in their chosen arena, that influence is beginning to fade in light of the current third wave of coffee.

Coffee Today and Tomorrow

The coffee industry of today is all about consumers who want to know how their coffee is grown, how it is sourced, how it relates to environmental protection and fair trade, and so on. We expect the current trends to continue for quite some time. During this third wave, the true innovators are the small businesses who are getting back to the basics of coffee as a premium beverage to be enjoyed for its own sake rather than just drinking any old off-the-shelf coffee to get a caffeine buzz in the morning.

Craft Beverage Jobs cites companies like Intelligentsia, Counter Culture Coffee, and Stumptown Coffee Roasters as three examples of third wave innovators. We cannot disagree with that assessment. Each one exemplifies what coffee’s third wave is all about: product quality, direct trade, and sustainability.

As we see it, innovation is all about finding new ways to not only give customers what they want but to meet and exceed their expectations every single time. That is what innovators do.

Our goal at Galaxie Coffee is to provide the best possible coffee and beverage service we can. We want our customers to enjoy every single cup, every single time. Therefore, we continue to work with our suppliers to bring you the highest quality coffees from around the world.

New Coffee and Tea Innovations for 2015

New Coffee and Tea Innovations for 2015The coffee and tea industries owe their longevity, in part, to constant innovation that has been going on for hundreds of years. Innovation means the coffee and tea products of today are similar to those of old in some ways, but drastically different in others. This year should be a very good year to see even more innovations that promise to make the hot beverage experience even more enjoyable.

To prepare you for what is coming this year, we have spent considerable time investigating some of the more promising innovations coming down the pike. Some of these innovations may become mainstream; others may fall by the wayside. Either way, 2015 should be an interesting and exciting year for coffee and tea.

Purple Tea

Black, green, and white teas are the most commonly cultivated around the world. Moreover, while the market for these teas remains strong, growers are beginning to experiment with a purple tea. This new tea product is called purple tea because of an increased amount of anthocyanin that gives the leaves a reddish-purple hue. Growers love it because the higher levels of anthocyanin are believed to make purple tea more robust and resistant to adverse weather conditions. We are not likely to see it sold as an individual product; rather, purple tea will be ground and mixed with other tea varieties.

New Serving Choices

New research suggests that coffee served in white mugs or cups is perceived to be more bitter than that served in clear or darker colored containers. In an effort to reduce the amount of sugar people use in their coffee, we expect manufacturers to begin developing new cups and mugs that change those individual perceptions of our morning Joe. We suspect someone is already working on a disposable cup that is both clear and insulating at the same time.

New Production Environments

Soil conditions play a vital role in how vintners produce certain kinds of wine grapes. Science is quickly discovering that the same thing holds true for coffee. In some countries, such as Nicaragua for example, scientists are working on ways to create optimal, engineered soil types for certain varieties of coffee beans. We should start seeing the fruits of their labors later this year through higher quality coffees.

Non-Dairy Alternatives

One of the hottest areas for innovation in the coffee and tea industries is that of the creamers and flavorings we add to our hot beverages. On the way this year are new non-dairy alternatives that are based on natural ingredients rather than their manufactured counterparts. There are rumors of new non-dairy creamers based on almonds, coconut, cashew, soy, and rice.

Galaxie Coffee is looking forward to what 2015 brings. We hope you are too. You can count on us to continue providing the finest beverage and break room service in the greater New York area. Call us for more information about coffee, tea, bottled water and all the other products and equipment we carry.