June 2017 - Celebrating 10 years, Coffee Scrubs and New Arrivals
Date Posted:3 June 2017
“Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it.” — Mahatma Gandhi
A milestone and a big next step
This month marks a decade since we began the journey selling premium coffees online. In the e-commerce world that ranks us as veterans.
Back then, there were just over 230 brands in the market and essentially just a few dedicated online providers of quality, fresh roasted coffees - you could literally count them on one hand.
Fast forward and today we battle with 1,100+ brands and so many online providers we have simply lost count. It's a really tough market as new brands are popping up everywhere, even in the most remote locations, all offering the same promises of best quality and freshest coffee.
It's fair to say that it has been a difficult decade for us - 5 roasting plants (each takes up to a year or more of planning, implementation of then of course getting the damn things to work properly), 3 warehouses and 4 different software platforms. If you joined it all together it would appear as one long era of constant change with many things changing at the same time, et just like a swan on the surface it appears smooth and graceful.
I've often wondered what it would be like to take a deep breath and not have to worry about the constant treadmill of change we seem perpetually chained.
Along the way we have used each change point as a key opportunity to do things a lot better, to improve our overall offering and to apply learning from our experiences of what works and what doesn't. It's one thing to roast great coffee, but to span the entire life cycle through to securing customer loyalty and growth is entirely different.
Today, we run arguably the largest and most efficient dedicated online premium coffee service in Australia. Everything we do revolves around the key metrics of quality, freshness, value and speed.
We live in some warp-speed zone that measures deliverables in minutes, not hours or days.
According to major suppliers of coffee roasting equipment, there are no other facilities attempting to roast 20+ different coffees every day, 5 and 6 days a week. Its a complexity and precision that is challenging to maintain.
Sure, there are plenty of larger brands pumping out huge volumes every day for their mass markets, but they are running like sausage factories dealing with just one or a couple of different coffees on any given day (or week).
Of course, not everything we touch turns to gold as behind the scenes there are always plenty of dramas and problems, but we have enough experience to manage risk, contingency and continuity to ensure we deliver all day, every day.
There are also plenty of areas in which we can do a lot better - like our coffee descriptions need to be updated more frequently to match our rapid turnover of new coffees moving through the facility, our labeling could be improved to give more information and the sensitive topic of how we handle feedback loops is at times is a little abrasive and harsh (someone I know has a thin skin perhaps ;-).
So what's the next destination........
Over the last year we have been planning a push into markets outside Australian & New Zealand - into select parts of Asia, US and maybe the Middle East.
These markets are not as easy as adding another shipping service. They represent challenges in how we manage the logistics promptly so our fresh roasted coffees arrive in days, not weeks and of course meet all entry compliance requirements as not all markets are free/open to our type of product trade.
Whilst nothing ever stands still in the world of coffee, neither does the landscape of consumer retailing.
Are all Coffee Scrubs created equal ?
We are often contacted by manufacturers of coffee scrubs wanting very cheap, low grade, even stale coffees or distressed inventory they can buy for literally nothing.
As we don't source low grade coffees, nor do we have stale coffees in our warehouse, we politely refer them elsewhere.
The sort of coffees many suppliers of scrubs are using are essentially undrinkable. They just want anything that resembles coffee particles because to them it makes perfect sense as the scrubs are not for ingestion. Lowest quality and cheapest price are all that matters.
However, there are a small number of ethical scrubs manufacturers that care about the ingredients they use and the quality of their finished products. Unfortunately, it's not easy to identify these brands as the marketing is often promoting false promises via seductive images.
One company we know for sure that is using quality coffees in their scrubs is Bondi Scrubs (www.bondiscrubs.com.au).
We roast and grind the genuine, certified Organic coffees for the folks at Bondi Scrubs. These coffees are indeed very drinkable and identical to the same coffees we sell in our mycuppa store.
The only discernible difference being the roast profile and grinding. The reason our coffee prepared for Bondi Scrubs are roasted differently to that used for general espresso brewing is because we target higher levels of aromatics and less breakdown of the starchy carbohydrates inherent within the coffee beans.
We developed this process for Bondi Scrubs to ensure the highest possible preservation of active ingredients. By using quality ingredients, Bondi Scrubs is rapidly emerging as the fastest growing provider in that market segment.
DISCLAIMER: mycuppa does not endorse or promote any health or well-being benefits relating to the use of coffee scrubs. The purpose of this article was to highlight that many scrub brands are using "questionable" quality coffee in their formulations and we know for sure that our client Bondi Scrubs are using certified organic quality products. This article is not sponsored by Bondi Scrubs.
What's new & different
The following list of coffees are either already in our warehouse and ready to roll...... or, they are arriving at different stages throughout the month of June.
Please visit product pages periodically for updates.
New season Burundi will be arriving in 2 weeks time. This lot is super-sweet and a step up on what we have been offering for the last year or so. We are excited to see this coffee and eager to have it in front of our customers.
We have also picked up just a 180 kilos of an incredible Burundi Natural that scored a whopping 89.5 points at the table. This coffee will be allocated to the Subscription and Pony Express programs.
The new Supremo is a delicious offering from Huila Fluata and will be staged in during the middle of June. It's a really lovely, rounded coffee scoring a fraction over 85 points - dried cherry, plum and cashew aroma, high acidity, full juicy body, dark chocolate, med/high sweetness notes of red grape, melon, apricot and honey with a cocoa finish.
Back in April 2017, we featured an article on the latest "trend" in farming processes designed to improve quality - a system called Long Ferment Process, or LFP. We have an excellent example of LFP in our Colombian Excelso and it's a coffee that continues to kick balls right out of the park.
We have loved this LFP coffee from the very first roast and it will remain in our holdings probably up until Xmas now that we were lucky enough to secure final shipments arriving in July and August.
The farm that produces this coffee is only small and their dedication to quality is exceptional. Clean, sweet, consistent, rich, honey-infused buttery goodness. At the moment, the LFP is playing a pivotal role in one of our key blends but we are keen to let our customers get their chops around this baby as a single origin - watch this space....a potential candidate for the 20% sale frenzy.
The new lot of Honduras 87 is an absolute cracker. From the same farm but an entirely different varietal and processing method as we like to keep things changing and interesting.
Last season's lots of Honduras 87 displayed African-like winey acidity with delicious dominant dark chocolate notes. It has been a very popular coffee among our mycuppa customers and at a few tons it's certainly up there in volume.
This new lot has amazing flavors of peach, orange and apricot up front but what it does next is nothing short of amazing as it dances across your palate with a sublime velvety body.
Rich in complex flavors with a long, sweet finish the acids are perfectly balanced in total harmony. A stunning coffee.
Our new season Pluma Organic lot is due in at the end of June.
This has been a true dark horse champion coffee that has performed head and shoulders above almost everything else. The bar has been set high and we hope this coffee lives up to it's current standard as one of our top 5 favourites.