March 2020 - Ethiopia Natural, Gunpowder Green Tea, Secret Label and Express Post surcharges
Date Posted:2 March 2020
“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” — Confucius
*** Our coronavirus status page contains important information regarding recent changes by shipping companies in how your parcels are delivered to your premises. ***
On top of the recent natural disasters in Australia, our local hospitality industry continues to crumble with more closures of high profile venues - an inevitable fallout of wage scandals, intermediary food delivery apps disrupting customer buying patterns, systemic price deflation in the food service segment over the last decade and recent threats of the coronavirus all combining to form a perfect storm.
It's hard to see any blue sky for hospitality at present without a major reboot and pricing reform, yet operators continue to blindly race towards the bottom with cut-priced dark kitchens popping up everywhere (sometimes in less appropriate locations) offering multiple phantom brands feeding our growing demand for home delivery. It's not going to end well I'm afraid and the standards are declining along with the pricing.
February's Secret Label resonated successfully with our customers coming back to ask for more. March's offering is different with a lovely blend of 3 origins delivering dark plum, cherry ripe, poached pear, honey and milk chocolate - more than a mouthful.
This month we are also featuring an additional coffee for a limited time. This superb fruity natural micro lot from Ethiopia is also certified FAIRTRADE Organic with amazing aromatics, notes of blueberry, plum and dark chocolate with a delightful medium citric berry acidity. We are loving it's lush, rich and heavy body with molasses and vanilla in the finish. Perfect for a black coffee and in milk there is surprising complexity.
We have some delicious new gunpowder green tea in store packed into resealable 250g and 500g rippa-zippa bags representing excellent value.
AusPost are at it again creating new surcharges. This time it applies to Express parcels only and it's called a Security surcharge. Apparently, it's related to the increasing costs of moving freight into and out of our airports due to compliance for security.
Customers will have noticed the pricing of our certified FAIRTRADE coffees has been adjusted. This reflects the increasing costs associated with participation in the controlled FAIRTRADE system - licensing, specialized sourcing, auditing and levies we pay on every kilo bought and sold. We remain committed to the FAIRTRADE program as the only genuine system giving back to coffee farmers and their communities and our offerings continue to be the most competitive in the market place.
Ethiopia FAIRTRADE Organic - NATURAL
The wonderful thing about this big, diverse world of coffee is that there's no right or wrong, no black or white, just plenty of grey shades.
Coffee enthusiasts often rave about "fruit" when they encounter something deliciously complex and satisfying, particularly those that enjoy their elixir "au naturel", a.k.a. black.
But fruit can be a highly polarizing element - with every plead for a fruit bomb experience there will inevitably be an equally opposite reaction from a chocolate lover going "what the".
We tend to play it relatively conservative here at mycuppa when it comes to the fruitti-tutti numbers for a simple reason after being around coffee for more than 40 years we get how it's the sensible middle where most people want to play - careful of not kicking own-goals or offending people in a selfish pursuit of generating truck loads of fruity coffees.
But of course, that doesn't stop us trying.....or at times wondering......and of course playing.
We do sneak in some fruity lots once in a while - just a few months ago it was the delightful Sumatra Wahana Natural that so many people loved and came back to ask for more, but we still copped a few "did not like" feedback responses - which you have to guess is always going to happen with coffees on the edge of boundaries.
This month it's time to jump on the fruity natural train with some seriously delicious coffee from our all-time favorite origin of those banging sweet, punchy, rich, complex cups - a full natural with powerful aromatics from Ethiopia.
As an extra benefit, it's fully certified Organic and FAIRTRADE.
Blueberry is such a rarity in coffees these days - even just the smallest hint of blueberry will send me absolutely gaga....... it's delicious, especially in milk coffees with plenty of choc notes.
For black drinkers - yes, this is coffee you need.
As a unique micro-lot with certification, there is a fixed limit on the quantity we have available - we don't think it will last the month, so if you are even just a little bit tempted - jump in early to avoid disappointment, it's a great cup with the added benefits of organic and supporting farmers in the FAIRTRADE system.
Intense aromatics, blueberry, plum and dark chocolate notes, with medium citric and berry acidity.
Heavy body, carries a molasses and vanilla finish.
1kg Whole bean packs only.
Sorry, no 500g and no ground packs.
Grab it here - Ethiopia FAIRTRADE Organic Natural
March Secret Label
Last month's Secret Label resonated well with our customers- a big thank you to all the customers that provided feedback.
It's important we listen to our customers - and moments like those with February's Secret label loved with a genuine passion inform us on how and where to act.....hence, we will.
Whilst the lots used for that coffee are not readily available now, it has inspired us to re-think one of our existing blends to re-engineer it around a theme of February's stunning success.
For March, like every new month, we aimed for something a little different.
There's no point running a repeat of the same format just because it proved popular, so we pulled together coffees from 3 origins to create a blend that has a unique style and distinct attributes - setting it apart from everything else.
Notes of dark plum, cherry ripe, poached pear, honey and milk chocolate - a cup of rich, layered textures with soaring sweetness and a long, clean finish.
For a limited time only - ending before the end of the month.
Grab it here - March 2020 Secret Label
New Security Surcharge for AUSPOST Express parcels
AusPost are at it again - inventing new surcharges to increase their revenue from what it generally regarded as a captive, monopoly market - residential freight.
Around 18 months ago they did it by adding a new fee called fuel surcharge when the price of diesel jumped a bit and it's now a mandatory part of their monthly charging.
Over the last few years there's been a merry-go-round of new Executives running the show with careers in logistics and experience working for other couriers, so dreaming up new surcharges is something they are well adept at managing.
Surcharges are a secondary thrust intended to give AusPost some "breathing space" against the backlash of rate rises on zones, but we can all see it's effectively enabling them to double the ways at which they can lift prices, firstly via the zone increases and then via surcharges.
So the bean counters at Australia Post - allegedly battling against the lame excuse of rapid declines in high margin letters business invented this new surcharge called "Security Management Charge" and it's proposed to only apply to Express services.
Apparently, it's explained as the costs for moving freight through Australian airports has risen dramatically due to higher levels of compliance required for security.
It's almost a believable story they spin, except for the obscure reasons it does not entirely make sense given their volumes of freight are astronomical and growing (you would think they should be able to enjoy the benefits of economies of scale and efficiencies that come with such volumes) and let's also not forget that long-term besties Christine (Holgate, CEO AusPost) and Alan (Joyce, CEO Qantas) recently consummated a new mega deal that gives Qantas even more of the AusPost cargo capacity, so the extra surcharge it adds to each consignment is a really nice revenue machine for AusPost.
We have been regular critics of AusPost's Express performance - to the point we sometimes just switch it off to avoid heat from customers, particularly when we can see the freight network showing the signs of meltdowns - generally around public holidays.
Express never achieves 100% and stats we have seen (which are not available to us on demand) show it's closer to 92% than 100%. What we don't see in those performances is whether proper attempts were undertaken to deliver versus the lazy approach of carding parcels for collection - that's an interesting and significant problem in itself.
Our customers also need to keep in mind that AusPost does not guarantee delivery of Express parcels via merchants like us and the other 100,000 businesses in Australia that use this same service. You see, that's limited by conditions that apply only to official AusPost branded merchandise purchased over the counter in licensed AusPost outlets - the devil is in the detail.
Our advice to customers remains the same - Express is faster than standard road service, but it's never guaranteed and we are certainly not in a position to have the resources available to navigate the difficult and inefficient engagement methods of dealing with AusPost on every single service performance failure - however, customers are more than welcome to take up the challenge directly with AusPost - as it should be, given the merchant has no value to add in a service failure investigation or remediation - just don't fall for the false promise of contacting the sender for a refund - because they off use this teflon response to deflect.
Christine Holgate (CEO AusPost) is trying to improve the performance of Express by reducing the reliance upon sub-contractors handling the last leg of the journey - apparently, they are letting the team down and gaming the system (gee, what a surprise - subcontractors sabotaging the delivery metrics!).
You will have seen those cute Swiss-made electric vehicles used by postie's replacing the Honda motor scooters - this effectively loads up postie's to deliver express parcels more promptly, but it's a going to be long, slow reform as the Post's business is a labour intensive operation with entrenched cultures of working to a basic rule and a history of militant unionism.
As much as we push AusPost to perform better, we are stuck with them and from our end we do everything we possibly can to ensure the freight performance gets off to a great start.
Thanks for your support and loyalty - please stay safe during these uncertain times.