Los Angeles based Waka Coffee spotted a trend that youngsters just want coffee as fast as their wi-fi. Most coffee companies are either focusing on sourcing bean that cater to the luxury or the thrift. Few new brands aim to satisfy the instant market, after all didn’t Starbucks educate the world on Italian style brewed coffee.
Waka however is a leading newcomers in the instant coffee category. This month, they are announcing the addition of Indian instant coffee to its offerings. The new Indian instant coffee comes in a single-serve and a 3.5 oz bag.
“The new product is a light roast, low acidity coffee, with a pleasant, dry finish and notes of chocolate and hazelnut,” said Waka.
Unlike traditional instant coffee brands, Waka’s instant coffees are made from 100% Arabica beans, which are commonly used in coffee shops, to provide the best taste, at least they say.
David Kovalevski, the Founder & CEO of Waka Coffee, came up with the idea for the instant coffee company while living in New York City, juggling a hectic schedule as a full-time undergraduate student with a full-time job. David relied on coffee to fuel his daily routine. However, he quickly discovered that frequenting coffee shops and making coffee in a cramped NYC kitchen was complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. “I grew up in Israel, where instant coffee is much more common, and hoped to find a good instant coffee brand that would accommodate my needs. I wanted a simpler, easy-to-make coffee solution that was delicious no matter where I made it,” says David.
Founded in 2018, Waka Coffee is a direct to consumer coffee brand on a mission to bring the instant back.
Coffee prices referenced on the commodities market are trading near two year highs.
Prices are up 50 per cent since lows of 2019 on news of an expected drop in production going forward, while at the same time met with increased demand from developed nations for coffee.
“World exports are expected down 4.7 million bags to 115.4 million primarily due to lower shipments from Brazil and Honduras,” stated the Coffee: World Markets and Tradereport published this month by the US Department of Agriculture. “With global consumption forecast at a record 166.4 million bags, ending inventories are expected to slip 400,000 bags to 35.0 million.
The report stated that coffee production for 2019/20 is forecast 5.3 million bags (60 kilogrammes) lower than the previous year to 169.3 million, primarily due to Brazil’s Arabica trees entering the off-year of the biennial production cycle.
Arabica coffee futures are now at US$1.31 from just shy of the US$1.38 52 week high but far from the low of US$0.86. It follows on a series of measures which affected demand and supply.
It matters, as the commodity futures give a guide to the directional flow of pricing of most coffees, even those that do not trade on the exchange like luxury Jamaica Blue Mountain. The entire crop of JBM can fit into less than a day’s production in Colombia, so the island’s crop does not affect demand or supply. Buyers in Japan however which accounts for some 70 per cent of total sales of JBM beans will be less likely to pay a premium for JBM if coffee demand overall is down.
“The Japanese are buying again but the prices are not that great,” said a Spokesman for a large farming brand in the Jamaica Blue Mountains.
The data for this year’s total exports of Jamaica Blue Mountain are not yet disclosed.
China continues to grow its consumption with the growth of Luckin Coffee formed in 2017 and listed this year. It continues to add several stores a day now at some 4,280 up over 200 per cent year on year, at the time of this report. It is now the largest chain in China surpassing Starbucks which operates some 4,100 sores in China.
Ok, So there the coffee festival planned for the first weekend in March. To be precise its March 7, 2020. Interested , well it depends on whether you yearn for coffee or earn from coffee. Over the last two years, the festival was held over two days with the first day, dedicated to business Development workshops For Farmers.
It was really the perfect day for overseas and locals roasters and traders to meet with local farmers and processors. After all we all want the access to the holy grail–Green beans. You can barter with the farmers or play hard ball with the licensed processors.
The main event is in the Jamaica Blue Mountains on the soldier camp of New Castle . If you see an entry fee its really for transport . Last year, transport cost J$1,500 or about $12 USD from Mona.
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.”
Industry players are again contemplating sending green or unroasted beans to China in an effort to offset reduced demand in Japan, the largest buying market for Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) coffee.
The source indicates that its a real possibility despite concerns about the Chinese market and the potential for unauthorised blending of beans.
“We have to try something,” added the source.
In 2011, the Coffee Industry of Jamaica (CIB) sent its first shipment of green beans to China. The CIB sent representatives to live in the country in order to streamline the supply chain. The deal signed with Zhejiang Dunn’s River Import and Export Company Limited, would handle the commercial transactions of the Hangzhou Coffee and Western Foods. The deal was met with ambivalence from some Japanese buyers who questioned the price at which the beans were sold to China. The deal with the major importer wasn’t continued after the initial two year attempt. But with the softening of the Japanese market the search for new markets are inevitable.As the industry can no longer avoid the world’s second largest economy.
Good coffee costs up to US$8 a cup in Eastern Europe. Among the most expensive globally. So the fact that Russians and Ukrainians flock for bargain luxury coffee deals online is logical.
Nothing like the chocolatey aroma and lemon hints aroma of a balanced Blue Mountain cup to warm the bitter winter. Even better when a cup effectively costs US$3 because it eliminated the middle-man.
But what becomes illogical is enjoying coffee in conflict.
Putin’s intervention influenced a spike in global oil prices–the most traded commodity. It increased some 10 per cent February to March to US$104 a barrel (amid fears oil rich Russia would plug gas and oil pipelines running through Ukraine).
However the second most traded commodity–coffee also saw a rise during the same period (February to March) albeit a much higher spike up nearly 2/3rds from 120 to 196. Its blamed on drought in Brazil among the largest coffee producing nations.
It however is happening amid the heightened Ukraine conflict. It will no doubt result in a more expensive cup of coffee for this region.
Despite this impact–the true tragedy is death and conflict and not the cost of a caffeine fix.
The coffee nation of Jamaica will hike imports amidst slashing its local production by nearly half to 20-year lows.
Consequently, Government aims to formulate a coffee importation policy.
“Its a troubling situation,” said John Minott, president of the Jamaica Coffee Growers Association, (JCGA) at the Coffee Industry Stakeholders Retreat on the weekend at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
Rust disease, hurricanes and the abandonment of farms has reduced available trees and therefore production since the onset of the Western financial crisis in 2008.
“It’s not something that the JCGA is trying to promote but the stark reality is that today…we have to import coffee for certain segments of the market.”
Minott argued for an importation window during which replanting should occur.
Coffee imports hit some US$1.78 million in 2012 up some 23 per cent since 2008, according to data from the International Trade Centre (ITC) a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.
Contrastingly, exports dipped by double-digit levels to some US$17.3 million in 2012, according to the latest Bank of Jamaica data. But the crop traditionally earned about US$25 million annually up to the onset of the financial crisis.