NCA Member Spotlight: Driftaway Coffee

Company: Driftaway Coffee
Location: Brooklyn, NY
NCA Member Since: 2019
Website: driftaway.coffee
Facebook: facebook.com/driftawaycoffee
Twitter: twitter.com/driftawaycoffee
Instagram: instagram.com/driftawaycoffee

What does Driftaway Coffee do?

We are a direct-to-consumer coffee roaster, offering personalized subscriptions in an environmentally and socially conscious manner.

What drives your passion for this industry?

We started this company out of an urge to create. Create something we were passionate about. Something we could be proud of. And for our need for and interest in great coffee.

Why did you become a member of the National Coffee Association (NCA)?

I am interested in networking with other members and learning from everyone.

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Is Coffee Good for You? Our Coffee Doctor Weighs In

Yes, coffee is good for you. But did you know you that more of it can be better? Our resident Coffee Doctor, Mark Corey, PhD, recently traveled to Montréal, Canada for the East Coast Coffee Madness festival, where he spoke about how coffee’s not only good for the drinker, but good for the people who grow it, too.  Read on for a window into coffee madness:


East Coast Coffee Madness (ECCM) (Festival du Café de Montréal) was held on October 19-20th, 2019 in Québec, Canada, at the gorgeous Montréal Science Center.  Organized by Jonathan Gabbay and Nathalie Gabbay of RGC Coffee, the event brought together professionals young and old from every corner of the coffee industry – from baristas to roasters to purveyors of the finest self-contained, bicycle-powered espresso carts. (Really.)

Dozens of exhibitors showcased their artisanal craftmanship and expert ability to source, roast, and prepare coffee to perfection.  But I wasn’t just in Montréal to sample some of the finest single-origin coffees in the world (though that was a nice perk – Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, anyone? I had a mission: to take the stage and help spread the word about the surprising — and under-reported — health benefits of coffee.

Raising the Floor                                                  

The theme of the keynote presentations was “Raising the Floor” of coffee prices. A diverse roster of experts offered compelling insights into how we can address this complex issue for which there is no magic bullet. Phyllis Johnson of BD Imports, former Board Member of the NCA, spoke about the need to elevate the voices of women and minorities in coffee. By having their voices heard and increasing awareness of their contributions to the value chain, she said, we can help build stronger coffee-growing communities – in a sense, ‘raising the floor’ at the ground level.  

As we all remember from Econ 101, supply and demand dictates that when there is an oversupply of a something, market prices tend to fall. This is the situation we find ourselves in with coffee. Before coffee prices reached their current low, farmers were already struggling to stay above the farmgate value, or break-even cost of production — so asking them to limit production at the expense of their own livelihoods is not a viable solution. Instead, we should be working to increase consumption – and one way to do this is to spread awareness of the health benefits of coffee.  This was the focus of my address.

Coffee is Good For You — and More is Better

As a food scientist, I’ve spent much of my career evaluating the scientific consensus and the latest research to make sure coffee is safely produced and healthy to consume. The data is clear on coffee: It’s healthy, and the greatest benefits may be derived by drinking 2-4 cups per day (1).  The problem is, most consumers don’t know that coffee is good for you — let alone that more is better. In fact, the 2018 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) Breakout Report on Coffee and Health reported that 69% of consumers were unaware of the potential health benefits of coffee. To capitalize on this massive pool of consumers who could help balance out the coffee oversupply, my presentation highlighted the possible benefits of coffee consumption, such as how coffee drinkers:

  • Live longer than non-coffee drinkers (1),
  • Are LESS likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-coffee drinkers (2),
  • May benefit from liver-protective effects (3),
  • May experience protection from depression (4),
  • May derive other potential health benefits (5).

It was frankly a lot of information for anyone to absorb in a short period of time, but I’m hopeful that by interpreting the data and presenting it in an informal, conversational way, coffee pros are better equipped to share with their customers that they need not feel guilty about that extra cup of joe.

Several thousand years ago, Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”  I think we can all drink to that!   

Cheers,

Mark Corey, PhD, Director of Scientific Affairs at the NCA. 

References:

East Coast Coffee Madness – https://www.eccoffeemadness.com/

Supply and demand – https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_69.htm

Farmgate price –  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farm_gate_value

69% – National Coffee Drinking Trends Breakout Report: Coffee and health. 2018.  http://www.ncausa.org/Industry-Resources/Market-Research/Consumer-Insight-Reports

(1) Kim Y, Je Y, Giovannucci E.  Coffee consumption and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a meta-analysis by potential modifiers Eur J Epidemiol. 2019 Aug; 34(8): 731-752.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31055709

(2) Carlström M, Larsson SC. Coffee consumption and reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes: a systematic review with meta-analysis.  Nutr Rev. 2018 Jun 1; 76(6): 395-417.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29590460

NCA Next Generation Council Meets at SCTA Dinner in Switzerland

NCA Next Gen Council at the SCTA Conference and Dinner, Basel, Switzerland, October 10, 2019

2019 marked the 10th year of the annual SCTA Conference and Dinner located in Basel, Switzerland.  For the second year in a row, the NCA Next Gen Council was invited to participate in the event, a proposal which was once again graciously accepted.  In addition to the elegance of the dinner itself, our Council members were able to attend an information session and networking hour dedicated exclusively to Next Gen members. 

The initiative was led by Guillaume Zbinden, who has been at the forefront of the effort of the SCTA to emulate the NCA’s Next Gen platform.  Guillaume’s keynote speech was followed by a thorough review by Michael von Luehrte of the activities of both the SCTA Next Gen Council, but also those of the contingent of Next Gen Members throughout countries of origin. 

And to round out the conference section of the Next Gen session, attendees were able to see ‘into the future’ with remarks by Dean Sanders and a panel led by Susana Robledo. 

The event was a great success and the growth of the Next Gen “movement” was apparent! 

Plant Trees. Save Coffee.

Help Build Stronger Coffee Communities

By Bambi Semroc, Vice President, Sustainable Markets and Strategy for Conservation International and leader of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge


Trees get old. They get sick. They die. And it’s up to us to replant them.

I grew up alongside two beautiful, mature and statuesque maple trees in the back yard. My parents saved those trees when they built our house. Dad said you don’t cut down old trees because it takes too long to grow another one. I watched showers of helicopter seeds fall in the spring. I raked their leaves and jumped in huge piles every fall with my brother. We mulched and planted flowers around them. Those trees are still standing, but my dad is not. I have long-since moved away and so has my brother. My mom now cares for those trees on her own. Last month she called with the sad news that she has to remove one because it is dying. I can’t imagine that tree not being there, and I wonder what tree we will plant to replace it.

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Coffee is good for everyone – and more is better

Coffee Farmer Picking Coffee

With the UN General Assembly kicking off this week in New York and the International Coffee Organization convening in London next week, we’re heading into a busy time for the global coffee community. With all the travel hours ahead of us, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on the hard questions and big opportunities that will shape coffee’s future.

Numerous studies show coffee consumption reduces risk of everything from dementia to heart disease to depression to certain types of cancer.  The science is clear – coffee is good for the people who drink it. This past summer even California joined the side of scientific consensus to recognize coffee’s health benefits.

It’s not just that some coffee is good.  More coffee is better. In fact, research from the National Institute of Health shows that drinking six or seven cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of death from any cause by up to 16 percent. The average American coffee drinker only drinks three cups per day currently, meaning many of us are missing out on coffee’s full potential.

Even better – an extra cup of joe (or five) isn’t just good for the people who drink coffee, it’s good for the people who grow it.

The world currently grows a billion pounds more coffee than we drink.  A study commissioned by the World Coffee Producers Forum confirmed that coffee prices are stable based on current supply, particularly driven by increased efficiency in leading coffee-growing countries.

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NCA Member Spotlight: Vinh Hiep Co. Ltd. / L’amant International Corp.

Company: Vinh Hiep Co. Ltd. / L’amant International Corp.
Location: Pleiku City, Gia Lai Province, Vietnam
NCA Member Since: January 2019
Websites: vinhhiepgl.com or www.lamantcafe.com/
Facebook: lamantcafe.vn

What does the Vinh Hiep Co. do?

We export green coffee beans and roast coffee.

What drives your passion for this industry?

Our love for coffee beans and coffee flavor

Why did you become a member of the National Coffee Association (NCA)?

We joined because NCA is the leading trade association for the U.S. coffee market. NCA members are comprised of organizations from across the industry. NCA is an advocate for the entire coffee industry, an educator who leads the industry in market intelligence and a conduit for networking with industry peers to address key industry issues.

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Flavor as the common thread for coffee quality along the value chain

Coffee cupping prep ©2019 Decisive Moment, NCA Convention

The role of cupping in specialty coffee

By Mario R. Fernández-Alduenda, The Coffee Quality Institute
Excerpted from The Sustainable Cultivation of Coffee
Discount available for NCA members


The popularity of coffee is still growing, but the definition of what makes a ‘good’ cup of coffee is complex.

It might be tempting to think that it is largely subjective, with so many types of coffee grown around the world, so many processes to consider throughout the value chain, and so many local and national preferences.

However, the sustainability of the industry depends on the value placed on certain types of coffee. Local economies can thrive or fail, depending on the desirability of their crop.

The growing preference for ‘specialty’ coffee, sold at a premium price, is making the quality question even more critical. The ability to distinguish specific characteristics that make some crops more desirable than standard commercial coffee has become a major consideration over the last 20 years.

Physical characteristics of the bean or cherry are not good indicators of flavor in the cup, so how is this important choice to be made?

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Getting Started in Coffee Branding

It’s more than a logo.

To learn more about coffee branding, NCA members can access the on-demand webinar, “Getting Started in Coffee Branding.”

By Michael Wilson, Creative Director, Made Visible Studio

Branding is not some sort of black magic.

Rather, it is a methodic process by which an organization defines what makes them unique and how they are different from the competition.

A brand is a promise of an experience. It is up to you, the owner of the company, to decide and control what kind of experience that is going to be.

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NCA Member Spotlight: Nano-Purification Solutions

Companynano purification solutions
Location: Charlotte, NC
NCA Member Since: 2018
Twitter: @npsi_USA
Facebook: /nanopurificationsystems
Instagram: @nanopurificationsolutionsusa

What does nano-purification solutions do?

Nano is a manufacturer of nitrogen gas generation systems used for coffee packaging, manufacturing, cold brew coffee production and nitro draught service.

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NCA Submits Comments to 2020-2025 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

Related: NCA Update from the 2020 US Dietary Guidelines Scientific Review

The following is an excerpt from the latest NCA Member Alert

Do you remember the Food Guide Pyramid or MyPlate?

Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues a new edition of the Dietary Guidelines.  These are dietary recommendations for Americans to practice healthy eating habits. 

Shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), these guidelines have an enormous impact on US perceptions and behaviors regarding nutrition and health, which is why it’s critical to communicate the science on coffee and health.

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