It cost a firm US$25 m to learn the difference between brewed coffee and instant coffee

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Brewed coffee and soluble coffee are not the same and a US brand found that out the costly way.

In late December 2019, it resulted in the makers of the Grove Square Coffee branded products setting aside up to US$25 million effectively to provide consumer refunds, according to a release on the matter from law firms Burke Harvey LLC and Ward & Cooper LLC.

The company labeled three roasted products as ready for use in the popular Keurig brewing machines. It however didn’t state explicitly that the pods were filled with instant or soluble coffee. Instead placing beans on the package which lawyers argued provided the impression that the coffee was in a bean or grounded state.

Instant coffee dissolves when water is added which contrasts with brewing of beans which requires a filter to separate the liquid from the ground coffee beans. In the factory, although the process to create instant involves more manufacturing steps it generally sells for less than whole beans. That’s because the process of creating instant coffee usually starts with imperfect cheaper beans.

Keurig cups or Kcups come in many different coffee origins including low price point to luxury Jamaica Blue Mountain.

“Defendants have agreed to create a $25 million settlement fund, which, after deducting attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, administrative expenses, and service awards, will be used to pay Class Members who submit valid Claim Forms,” stated a release on the matter.

Class action members will receive a set amount per claim form. Consumers who purchased in Alabama will receive up to $100 per claim; New York up to $275 per claim; and US$25 for California, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

 

Luckin Coffee stores overtake Starbucks in China and stock jumps to all time high

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photo: EqualOcean

Luckin Coffee (NASDAQ: LK), traded at all time highs on Monday as the stock continues to steam ahead in tandem with the growth of its store count now surpassing Starbucks in China.

Luckin is now the largest coffee chain in China: As context, Luckin took two years from its inception to overtake the 41,00  store count of Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) which took two-decades to build out. The store count for both companies are changing literally by the day

The stock hit US$36 on December 23, up from a low of US$13 in May, just a few days after its IPO. Analysts expect the company to earn US$2.1 billion in annual revenues by 2020 up from some US$743 million. Fuelling this growth are new store sales. Luckin Coffee formed in 2017 and listed this year, now operates 4,280 according to its website. This growth represents a more than 200 per cent rise year on year, at the time of this report.

Luckin’s prices its coffee noticeably lower than Starbucks. That results in Starbucks by default being set to serve wealthier customers. Starbucks lattes cost roughly US$4.30 a cup whereas “Luckin is way more affordable at $1.50,” according to a source in China.

Lets see how Luckin continues to grow the coffee culture in the traditionally tea drinking country.

The difference between Jablum, Island Blue and Wallenford

 

 

These three brands sell Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) coffee but over the years their stories were somewhat intertwined.

Things to know historically.

Jablum is the most known brand globally of JBM.

Wallenford is the oldest brand and was formerly the regulator of all JBM until Government split its regulatory from marketing functions in about the late 90s.

Island Blue is the newest but owns the largest non-blue mountain coffee lands.

Things to know about current ownership:

Wallenford was acquired by Canadian billionaire Michael Lee-Chin in 2013 and then in 2016 he also acquired Jablum.

IslandBlue was formerly called ‘Wallenford Blue’ but ceased paying royalties for the use of the name when Wallenford was acquired by Lee-Chin. Island Blue is owned by Jamaica Standard Products (JSP) which buys Jamaica Blue Mountain beans and brands it as Island Blue. JSP also separately operates the largest Jamaica High Mountain factory in the island. High Mountain coffee is farmed outside the Jamaica Blue Mountain region. Its High Mountain products are not branded as Island Blue.

Things to know about taste profile.

Wallenford and Jablum are both large JBM producers and now owned by a common company. Both brands share space and facilities now. It is not immediately clear whether all buying and roasting operations are amalgamated.  A general tip however is that Wallenford offers a chocolatey nutty and lemon almost wine taste profile while Jablum is light cocoa and at times hazelnut to vanilla.

Island Blue is more chocolatey with spice tones.

Rum coffee and lime

This cocktail creates a distinct blend of muscular and curved flavours that blend well together. It is great for personal philosophising or at gatherings.

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A shot of dark rum with smokey hints of coffee and zesty lime. But notes can be varied to one’s preference. The more aged the rum is the less coffee and lime required.

Preparation

One shot of rum, preferably aged in order to allow for a smooth finish with natural sophisticated notes. The more aged the rum the less coffee and lime is required.

Four beans per shot of rum. The beans require less than two minutes to begin to release tones in the drink. Preferably coffee from Jamaica to match the culture of the rum.

One slice of lime without squeezing. Place the lime within the drink. The lime will add zest but squeezing will add sourness to the mix.

Enjoy on the rocks or straight.

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French press coffee back to earth

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Brewing with a coffee-press, known also as a french press or coffee pot, will offer an earthy brew in contrast to a pour over or percolator. The press will keep the oils and the full body flavor in every cup. The pour-over, led by minimalist styling of a Chemex, on the other hand, will enhance the brightness and fruitiness of the brew as it filters out much of the full body.

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For many, the preferred method of brewing depends on the flavours one wants to enchance. Coffee geeks wants drinkers to consider the ratio of coffee to water. Research advises drinkers that the ideal is a 1-to-14 or 1-to-15 mix. They speak about the type of water, the type of kettle, the weight of the coffee, the time to allow the coffee to seep. Everything except the coffee.

For many however coffee isn’t math but rather art. And while quality products are nice amenities, it is quality coffee that’s the most important. There are many ways to know quality coffee, an easy method involves avoiding bottom-shelf supermarket beans in favour of premium single estate coffee.

Regardless, at the crack of dawn, quality coffee remains the most important ingredient even above the brewing method.

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Airport for Starbucks in Jamaica

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A private entity is now actively engaged in raising capital to carry the coffee chain Starbucks to Jamaica, it is understood.

 

The entity secured the services of an investment house to consider viable methods of raising funds, it is understood.

The players want to put the first location in Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. There are over 4 million passengers that commute through the airport annually. Visitors to the airport can buy an array of coffees from the airport including from Cafe Blue, Jablum, Coffee Roasters Jamaica.

Earlier this year local media reported that Starbucks is considering entering the island along with other Caribbean territories in the medium term.

Who are the two private sector players seeking to acquire the
Starbucks franchise in Jamaica–They are both in hospitality sector, the
media says.

Of course local players are concerned about the implications of a coffee giant entering the land of luxury coffee. Brands that sell to Starbucks including Amber Estate and Wallenford.

Will Starbucks increase the coffee culture? Will Starbucks improve a
cup of local coffee? Or would it simply increase the price? Let’s see. Not all cafe players are upbeat about the prospects especially those who earn from the tourist market.

Starbucks Jamaica to follow Colombia’s lead

Starbucks plans to consider opening a coffee store in Jamaica.
When Jamaicamocha spoke to Jamaica Blue Mountain farmers on the implications, most had a mixed bag of views.
Some say it will benefit the local industry provided the local authorities force Starbucks to follow the lead of Colombia: In that country Starbucks must only buy and sell Colombian beans.

Others, say it will hurt the local cafe sector, still burgeoning and still educating the public on how to drink brewed coffee. Remember that this luxury coffee producing nation generally drinks tea and imports instant coffees.

Those who want Starbucks to buy local also acknowledge another problem: How can Starbucks sell coffee at a similar price-point as in major markets while using expensive Jamaican coffee?

A solution involves using cheaper Jamaica low mountain beans but also allowing the giant to import commodity beans for blending as Jamaica Blue Mountain blends.

Even this solution would likely result in farmer protests and calls by other cafe players of favouritism.

Let’s see what brews.

Starbucks opened its first store in Colombia in 2014 and now has 11 stores. Medellin its latest, opened last September. But the chain wants to open 50 in that coffee producing country.

Starbucks now has over 1,000 stores in Latin America since entering Mexico in 2002. The new store, located in Medellín’s Milla de Oro on Poblado Avenue, is designed to honor Colombia’s rich coffee heritage while celebrating the city’s eclectic vibe.

“Since opening its first store in Colombia, Starbucks stores in the country have served 100 percent locally sourced and roasted coffee for in-store beverages to honor the country’s coffee heritage and the company’s 45-year history of sourcing premium arabica coffee from the region,” confirmed Starbucks on its press pages. “Customers can explore different varieties of Colombian coffees including Starbucks single-origin Colombia Nariño, Colombia Espresso, Colombia Espresso Decaf and the medium-roast Colombia coffee.”

Marley coffee links with NFL

Marley Coffee which sells commodity and luxury Jamaica blue mountain beans will partner with The Broncos NFL team to cobrand  coffee.

“Marley Coffee is played to announce a limited edition Mile High Blend in partnership with the Denver Broncos,”  Marley tweeted.

The company which is on track to break even this fiscal year based on sustained sales growth.

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Haitian coffee vs Jamaican coffee

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Selecto brand from Haiti provides a dark roasted brew. Its nutty with a cigar masculinity but with a clean aftertaste.
It is definitely a brand we will sell in addition to Jamaica Blue Mountain.
Only caveat is that the dark roast kills the fruitiness of the beans. But despite that the quality still brews true.

Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee aims to make tea

The Jamaica Agriculture Ministry wants to develop a pilot project to produce tea in the protected region of the Jamaica Blue Mountains.
contextually coffee grown in the Blue Mountains is amongst the worlds finest and fetches a premium price.

Agriculture minister Roger Clarke told Parliament in May 2013 that his ministry was currently negotiating a contract with a specialist to help devise an industrial plan for the nutraceutical industry.

“There are a number of herbs and spices known to us, such as mint, cerasee and fever grass that we use on a domestic basis with spectacular results,” Clarke told Parliament.

“The time has come for us to commercialise these herbs and spices,” the minister added.