Coffee Goes High Tech

Good news for coffee shop owners – with both the rebound in the economy and the dampening of the K-cup fad, people are drinking more cups of coffee outside the comfort of their own home. Now the bad news – that means that competition to provide an innovative product set and a distinctive experience in your store is stiffer than ever. If you want to win in this space, take note of the following trends in brewing techniques and delivery methods. They’ll be important to your business. Trust us, and check these out:

Caffeine Vape Pens
Definitely an innovation that could replace the need for the morning “coffee fix”, these devices “use the vapor technology from e-cigarettes to deliver caffeine quickly to the bloodstream through inhalation”, according to recent article published by Forbes. Luckily, guests still enjoy the experience of drinking coffee. You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on caffeine replacement products in the future though; they could draw away a few of your customers that visit multiple times a day.

Boxed Coffee
In the words of Kathy Griffin, “Just tip it!”
We promise you that this isn’t just a new, lackluster coffee product in a box. It involves a serious cold immersion process that lasts up to 24 hours. The end result? A more viscous & bodied drink than it’s sister brew - cold-drip - with an end profile a wee bit less concentrated than espresso. In other words, it’s meant to be a “concentrate” mixed with your liquid of choice. Rather than offering your customers one cup a day, why not send them home with a big, ol’ box?

Single-Origin Cold Brew Coffee in a Bottle
This one is a quick win for you coffee-shop owners looking for ways to be on trend while serving up products that require shorter lead times.  In just 5-12 hours (pop that baby in the fridge overnight and you are ready at the start of business the next day) you have a crisp, light product with floral notes.
Another thing to note while we’re on the subject of notes – you should seriously consider developing direct-trade relationships with coffee growers where possible. Millennials love supporting Direct Trade coffees with a solid sustainability story. Just look at what Hugh Jackman did with his brand Laughing Man Coffee.

Batches, Baby
You didn’t think we’d forget about online tools, did you? BlueCart gives coffee suppliers the power of batch calculation and fulfillment management on top of the award-winning online ordering platform that cafes across the country use to restock their shelves. We won’t toot our own horn too much, though. Here’s what Eli Williams, Director of Sales & Operations for Cafe Kreyol has to say about our app: “BlueCart (formerly Improvonia) has helped us organize the many orders that come in each week. They also have many connections in the business and we have found their invaluable resources to be a real asset in the growth of our business!” Did you hear that? “Invaluable resources”… What invaluable resources? These invaluable resources.

Coffee Carts
Watch out for more businesses that innovate the coffee experience like Convoy Coffee in Seattle, Washington. Why? Well, your customers no longer expect their cup-of-joe to be delivered in the traditional brick-and-mortar coffee shop. That leaves room for you to deliver an innovative, alternative coffee drinking experience!

Coffee Served with Butter, not Milk
While Bulletproof is pretty closed-lipped about its production process, customers cannot stop raving about the benefits provided by the company’s “health-conscious” coffee product offering. Sure, it seems counter-intuitive to associate coffee with butter in the same sentence and call it “healthy”. But Bulletproof CEO Dave Asprey swears that his cup-of-joe will make you “thinner, smarter, without the jitters”. As grocery retailers and coffee shop owners alike explore the landscape of alternative creamers hitting the market, it only makes sense to take a “buttery” brew seriously.

Coffee Robotics
What if we told you that you could provide a consistent cup of coffee to your guests. Every time. Sounds like a futuristic concept, doesn’t it? It’s not. Let us introduce you to Brooklyn-based startup Poursteady, a “maker startup hoping to bring delicious, reliably brewed robot-assisted coffee to a café near you.”