On May 22nd, Nestlé’s Nespresso reached a five-year agreement with the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation to help improve the sustainability of Colombian coffee. Nespresso will invest $10 million annually to help Colombian coffee growers improve the quality, sustainability, and productivity of their coffee crops. Additionally, the money will be used to provide incentives for Colombian coffee farmers to grow crops that adhere to Nespresso’s AAA Sustainability Quality Program.
Currently, Nespresso sources about 25% of the green coffee used in their Grand Crus from Colombian coffee growers. In the last six years, Nespresso has tripled the amount of coffee sourced from farmers who meet Nespresso’s AAA Sustainability Quality program’s guidelines. Farmers who meet the AAA Sustainability Quality requirements are paid a premium by Nespresso for their coffee beans: about 30-40% above the standard price of coffee and 10-15% above the market price for comparable coffee beans. These farmers also receive technical support and farming advice from Nespresso to further help improve the quality and sustainability of their crops.
April 24th, 2012
In Europe, the Nespresso single cup coffee system and their Nespresso capsules is the most popular one-cup coffee system. Recently, three other coffee roasters have been producing non-Nespresso branded coffee capsules that are compatible with the Nespresso system. However, a recent ruling by the European Patent Office has held that non-Nespresso capsules are a violation of Nespresso’s patents on their one-cup coffee system and related capsules. The ruling can be appealed and there is no information on whether the other companies will be required to remove their Nespresso-compatible capsules from store shelves.
Additionally, Tassimo and Costa Coffee have reached a distribution agreement. Costa Coffee — which has over 2000 stores in 25 countries —will begin selling the Tassimo one-cup coffee brewer in their U.K stores this summer and fall. Tassimo will also produce Costa Coffee cappuccino, latte, and Americana single-serve T-discs for their European customers.
New Nespresso Naora Limited-Edition Grand Cru
April 16th, 2012
Nespresso has released a new, limited edition Grand Cru for its one cup coffee system. Inspired by wine-making, the Nespresso Naora takes advantage of a new varietal of coffee cherry that ripens for longer before falling off. These cherries are then picked late in the harvest, allowing for a more flavorful bean. The late harvest creates a coffee with the flavors of blackberry, blackcurrant, and blueberry; add milk to bring out notes of walnut and hazelnut. Nespresso rates the Naora single-serve capsule as a five (5) on their intensity scale. The Nespresso Naora is available now via The Club Nespresso or at a official Nespresso retailer or Nespresso Boutique near you.
March 26th, 2012
In the future, Starbucks Coffee fans will have four ways to enjoy one-cup coffee servings of Starbucks Coffee: Starbucks Via (instant coffee), Starbucks k-cups, Starbucks Verismo, and Starbucks Vue cups. On March 8th, Starbucks announced their Verismo single-serve coffee maker. The Starbucks Verismo will be manufactured by Krueger GmbH & Co., a German company. Available late 2012, the Starbucks Verismo one-cup coffee brewer uses high-pressure and high-temperature to brew espresso and milk-based espresso beverages.
When the Vue was released, there was no announced partnership between Keurig and Starbucks for Starbucks-branded Vue cups. However, in recent days Starbucks and Green Mountain Coffee have announced (.pdf file) that Starbucks-branded Vue cups will, in fact, be manufactured. While the Starbucks Verismo and Keurig Vue both brew espresso and milk-based espresso drinks, the Keurig Vue uses low pressure and the Starbucks Verismo uses high pressure.
February 21st, 2012
Caffeine Zone 2, an iPhone app available via iTunes, helps you track your caffeine dosing. One-cup coffee systems like the Keurig K-Cup brewer and Keurig Vue brewer make it easy to always have a fresh mug of coffee in your hand. And one of the great perks of coffee is the caffeine kick it gives you to help start or push through to the end of the day. Of course, too many Keurig K-Cups or Nespresso capsules and there may be more shaking than working.
The Caffeine Zone 2 app lets you simply track your caffeine intake so that you don’t brew another kcup or Nespresso capsule before you need it. Enter in information like mug size and length of time the cup took to drink, then the program displays how much coffee is in your system. You can even program the app to set off an alarm when your caffeine levels dip below a certain level, making it easy to know when it’s time to brew another k-cup.
February 15th, 2012
Today, Keurig released the details of their next generation one-cup coffee brewing system: the Keurig Vue. The Keurig Vue single-cup coffee brewer will retail for $249 and use Vue packs in place of the Keurig K-cups; unfortunately, the Keurig Vue is not compatible with kcups and only works with Vue packs, which are similar is function but not design to the Keurig k-cups.
The Keurig Vue single-cup coffee maker features touchscreen controls and can brew coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and iced coffee beverages in sizes from 4 ozs (for espressos) to 18 ozs (for travel mugs). The brew temperature can also be programmed to brew Vue packs at your preferred temperaturs. Finally, the Keurig Vue is Keurig’s first one-cup coffee brewer capable of brewing milk-based beverages. Similar to Tassimo’s two t-disc system, milk-based Keurig Vue coffee drinks are created using two Vue packs: one with the coffee, the other containing the milk.
Finally, the Keurig has responded to the wave of criticism regarding the difficulty to be recycle k-cups. The Keurig Vue packs are made of #5 plastic, aluminum, and paper. They are designed so that the top aluminum foil and filter can be removed and separated from the #5 plastic container. Both elements can then be recycled. The Keurig Vue is expected to be available online and in retail stores in the next few weeks.