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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Video: The Future of Coffee Pods in North America

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Learn more about the maturing coffee pod market at the 2019 National Coffee Association Convention in Atlanta

Peaking at $5.7 billion in sales in 2016, demand for single-serve capsules has leveled off after capturing a significant portion of the US coffee market, according to Euromonitor market research reported by STiR Magazine.

Experts say that the industry will need to undergo some major changes in order to recapture some of the old excitement and increase growth rates in the category.

What lessons can be learned from the mature pod markets of Western Europe that could be applied to the category in North America?

The Future of Coffee Pods in North America | Market Research Blog

Find out at the 2019 National Coffee Association Convention in Atlanta, on March 7-9.

Euromonitor‘s Matthew Barry will lead an in-depth educational session discussing the coffee pods market in North America, including the effect of private labels and off-brand pods as well as environmental sustainability.

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TRUE Green & Roasted Coffee Taste Descriptions

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Exploring TRUE coffee descriptions: Trustworthy, Realistic, Understandable, Enticing

A Shared Industry Vocabulary to Keep Us On the Same Page

Learn more about coffee quality: Join Blue Donkey Coffee for a specialty coffee cupping at the 2019 NCA Convention in Atlanta, March 7-9


Part I: How To Communicate TRUE Coffee Quality

The following article was originally published as the first installment of a 2-part special series in Tea and Coffee Trade Journal in the July/August 2018 and September 2018 issues

By Spencer Turer, Coffee Enterprises – via LinkedIn


Aroma and taste descriptors are most easily understood when primary flavors are referenced for the perceived attribute.

When attributes are categorized into groups it becomes difficult to understand their meaning without additional training or explanations. Confusion is created when conclusions are used for flavor descriptions, or when adjectives or verbs are used in place of nouns when presenting descriptions.

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NCA Cold Brew Toolkit: FAQs

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New! NCA Workshop for Coffee Professionals:

The Business & Safety of Cold Brew | Nov. 6 | Sponsored by: Toddy, LLC


What is cold brew coffee?

“At its core, cold brew is a brewing method, not a serving method,” explains Mark Corey, Ph.D., NCA Director of Scientific & Government Affairs.

Dr. Corey led a team of specialized experts to develop the NCA Cold Brew Toolkit, now available to the entire coffee industry. (Read more background about the report and related food safety considerations.)

The Toolkit offers science-based technical guidance and recommended best practices – visit the NCA website for more details.

While working on the report, we received a lot of questions – from consumers and companies alike – about the beverage market’s hottest trend.

Here are some expert-approved answers to common questions about what “cold brew coffee” really means:

NCA Cold Brew Coffee FAQs

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Cold Brew & Food Safety

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The NCA Cold Brew Toolkit draft will be open for coffee industry comment through the end of May

An edited version of the following article was originally published in the May 2018 issue of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal

 

Cold brew has taken off – and it’s changing the way we drink coffee.

Total retail sales of refrigerated cold brew grew by about 460 percent from 2015 to 2017, reaching an estimated $38.1 million in sales this year, according to research from Mintel.

And, unlike avocado lattes, cold brew is more than a passing trend. About 10% of coffee drinkers reported having cold brew daily in 2017, according to the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends report – up from only 1% in 2015. Experts predict that this category will continue to drive coffee market growth.

But despite of – or perhaps due to – this sudden popularity, there are still a lot of questions and misconceptions around cold brew.  This is especially true for coffee companies that are considering making, serving, or selling cold brew.

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