Wednesday, February 15, 2012
So in the world of single-serve coffee brewing today was a busy day. Whether you think that the new Keurig Vue Brewing System is a revolutionary game changer or just a clever way for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) to get consumers to buy something new as their patent of the K-Cup Portion Pack delivery system is about to expire, there is no mistaking the fact that there was a lot of news made today.
Here's our wrap up of what some of the major media outlets had to say about the new Keurig Vue Brewing System:
Green Mountain Announces New, Fancier Keurig Brewer (Fox Business News)
Green Mountain Introduces Nestle-Rival Latte Brewer (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
Green Mountain rolling out latest Keurig brewer (MarketWatch)
Green Mountain to Add Higher-End Coffee Machine (Wall Street Journal)
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Unveils New Keurig Brewing Platform (MarketWatch)
Just for the moment, we'll put aside the fact that it will cost you right around $1.50 per drink to make any of these 2-Pack beverages at home, but like we said earlier, we'll hold our opinions until at least tomorrow, today is to focus on the features of the new Keurig Vue Brewing System.
Right now, it seems like Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) will make these 2-Pack drinks available under their Barista Prima, premium brand name, and they will be available in these varieties:
- Cafe Mocha
- Vanilla Latte
- Sweetened Cappuccino
- Cappuccino, Italian Roast
All of these will be sold in packs of 16 Vue Packs, which GMCR is referring to as 8+8 Packs (because they contain 8 frothy topping packs, and 8 coffee packs).
If you were wondering exactly how the Vue Packs create these 2-Pack Beverages, here is how Keurig answered it in their FAQ section:
Q: For a two-step cafe beverage, what happens if I brew the coffee first and then froth?
A: The sequence of FROTH first and then the COFFEE base has been optimized for the Keurig Vue Brewer. If this sequence is not followed, you may receive a sub-optimal beverage. Also, if the FROTH is the last to brew, we recommend running a Cleansing Brew.
Basically, we think Keurig is trying to say, if you use the packs in the wrong order, that drink just cost you $3.00 because you're going to have to make it again...
Along with all of the excitement about the extremely sexy new Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System (yes, we called a coffee brewer sexy), the idea that your Keurig K-Cups will not work in this system may initially get lost.
Yes, we said existing Keurig K-Cup Portion Packs will NOT work with Keurig's New Vue Brewing System. Here's exactly what it says in the FAQ section of Keurig's website:
Q: Can K-Cup packs be used with Vue Brewers and vice versa?
A: No, the packs are NOT interchangeable across systems. An entirely new system was developed for the Vue Brewers - one that would maintain the simplicity and ease of the earlier system, while adding features consumers have told us they are looking for - the ability to brew stronger, bigger and/or hotter.
So that's that. No K-Cups in the new Keurig Vue V700 Brewer.
So basically, moving to a Keurig Vue Brewer and Keurig Vue Packs is basically like adding a whole new brewer to your kitchen. This isn't upgrading from a Keurig B40 to the Cusinart SS-700 Keurig Brewer. This is the equivalent of switching from a Keurig B40 to a Tassimo brewing system (it just happens to still be manufactured by Keurig).
Many of your favorite beverages now available in Keurig K-Cups like Coffee People Donut Shop Keurig K-Cups and Green Mountain Breakfast Blend Keurig K-Cups will be available in Keurig Vue Packs as well - we have yet to hear anything about Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks Vue Packs.
The price of Keurig Vue Packs is wide ranging as well starting at about $0.67 per cup on some of the core offerings up to $1.46 per cup for some of the two-pack Barista Prima offerings.
As a loyal Shoffee.com customer, a question you might have is, "Will the new Keurig Vue Brewing System be available on Shoffee?" Right now, the best answer we can give you is that we honestly have no idea, but as soon as we know anything one way or the other, we'll have it on The Shoffee Blog first.
Before we even bother going into any details on the concrete facts that we now know about the new Keurig Vue V700 Home Brewer, we will give you our best answer to the number one question on everyone's mind, directly from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' (GMCR) news release:
"GMCR's new Vue brewer and Vue packs will compliment the current Keurig K-Cup brewer and its K-Cup packs."
So that is exactly how much we know when it relates to the questions "Will my K-Cups work with the new Keurig Vue Brewer?" and "Will Keurig still make K-Cups that work with my current brewer?"
Here is what we do know:
According to the extremely long subject line in this morning's email from GMCR announcing the release of the Keurig Vue Brewing System: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Unveils New Keurig Brewing Platform; Keurig Vue offers greater customization to brew what you like stronger, bigger and hotter dl (yes, that is really the subject line, and we're not too sure what dl is).
GMCR lists the Vue Platform Benefits as 1.) Brew Stronger: With Custom Brew Technology, the Vue brewer adjusts the water pressure, timing and airflow so consumers can brew to better suit their taste preference. 2.) Brew Bigger: Consumers can brew a larger travel mug with the new Vue packs specially formulated to brew a bigger cup up to 18 ounces. 3.) Brew Hotter: Vue offers a brewing temperature range between 187 and 197 degrees Fahrenheit so consumers have more ways to customize the perfect cup.
Here is a list of Vue Brewer Features:
- Fully programmable color touchscreen featuring auto on/off, temperature and strength control, energy saver mode and size selection.
- Eight brew sizes - from 4 ounces to 18 ounces (travel mug)
- Removable 74-ounce water reservoir
- Removable drip tray with adjustable plate.
- Cord storage
- Brews in under one minute.
These are some of the first pictures of Keurig's new Vue V700 Brewing System and their Keurig Vue Packs. It looks like a big change will be the addition of two-pack drinks for things like cappuccinos and lattes.
We will have additional information coming on the Keurig Vue Brewing System and what it means to you in the next hour or so here on The Shoffee Blog.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Just this morning I was looking for something interesting to post about here on The Shoffee Blog, and I somehow ended up on Peet's Coffee site, and ended up purchasing a pound of limited edition Peet's New Guinea Gold whole bean coffee for $18.95.
After sitting at my desk, beating myself up for a while about how in the world can I spend almost $20 for a pound of coffee - limited edition or not.
Then I started thinking; how much do other people spend on coffee? We fill hundreds of orders a day at Shoffee.com, and our customers (the greatest customers in the world) are very comfortable with what they spend on their coffee.
Unbeknownst to me, Oliver Strand of The New York Times had already done a pretty comprehensive breakdown of what people are actually paying per pound when they brew their coffee at home using some of the most popular Single-Serve Brewing Systems.
Using Folgers Black Silk Keurig K-Cups, bought in a grocery store as an example, Strand figured that with each Folgers Keurig K-Cup containing 8 grams of coffee, and selling in the grocery store for $10.69 for a box of 12 Keurig K-Cups, a pound of of Folgers Black Silk Coffee actually costs about $50 per pound.
After seeing that, I immediately turned to our most popular Keurig K-Cup at Shoffee (Coffee People Donut Shop Blend Keurig K-Cups), which regularly sell for $13.97 per box of 24 Keurig K-Cups. Coffee people Donut Shop Keurig K-Cups also contain slightly more coffee per Keurig K-Cup checking in at just less than 9 grams of coffee per serving.
Some quick math brought us to the realization that by purchasing your Keurig K-Cups from Shoffee as opposed to at the grocery store saves you nearly 40% per Keurig K-Cups. This means Coffee People Donut Shop Keurig K-Cups check in at about $29.58 per pound.
So in the grand scheme of things, brewing your coffee using any Single-Serve Brewing System is going to cost you a little more per pound than simply buying a bag, and brewing the old fashioned way; but if you shop smart, there is savings to be had. And more importantly, my nearly $20 bag of Peet's New Guinea Gold whole bean coffee seems like a deal now.
Friday, February 10, 2012
So it might make more sense to go in chronological order, and start more than a year ago when we sat down with a design firm from the west coast, and came up with a plan to totally rebuild our Java Cafe Brand of coffees.
But, we thought about it, and decided that sharing each step with you as we wrap up the process of completing our Java Cafe Coffee Pod lineup might be more interesting.
This week, we printed the film that will wrap each Java Cafe Coffee Pod, and seal in the freshness. Creating the perfect film for our Java Cafe Coffee Pods was big for us, mostly because of our commitment to freshness. Even back when we first discussed launching our own brand of coffee pods, our goal was to bring the freshest possible single-serve coffee experience to our customers.
The first step was finding a "local" coffee roaster, willing to roast only the freshest coffee for our Java Cafe Coffee Pods in extremely small batches. Once we found a coffee roaster who matched our needs, we turned our attention to the way our coffee pods would be packed.
While many other coffee pod manufacturers rely on one or two-ply film to seal in the freshness of their coffee pods, Java Cafe Coffee Pods use a three-ply film to lock in the freshness of each pod. This truly ensures that after packaging, the first time your Java Cafe Coffee Pod is exposed to air or light (both of which can have an affect on the coffee's flavor) is when you tear open the package, and place the pod in your brewer.
We were even shocked by the amount of manpower that goes into creating the rolls film which make up one layer of the packaging of our Java Cafe Coffee Pods. The press which they are printed on was manned by no fewer than 10 people, each of them working towards perfecting the end product.
While we wrapped up the printing of the first layer of film for the Java Cafe Coffee Pods this week, even that process is far from finished, the film will go on to be laminated and backed with a layer of freshness-sealing foil early next week.
This month we will continue to introduce each coffee pod in our Java Cafe lineup one by one, and we'll be providing another post like this when we actually roast and package the coffee in very early March all leading to our launch of the Java Cafe Coffee Pod Lineup on exclusively for homes at Shoffee.com on March 12, 2012.
A special thanks to the team at Ultra Flex in Brooklyn, New York for welcoming us into your facility yesterday.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The first thing we'll need to admit is that we were way off when we estimated the price of the Trifecta MB, which SSC says will come in at a $499 (it is going to be very tough to convince my wife that we need a $500 coffee brewer in our kitchen - but trust me honey, we do).
The most exciting thing about the new Bunn Trifecta MB is that it does in fact use the same patented Air Infusion technology as the commercial model Trifecta "to unlock each flavor note for a smooth, deep-bodied coffee or tea experience." The result is a beverage simply called "Full Cup."
The "Full Cup" is a beverage is "a unique, amplified microbrew beverage that a coffee or tea lover can customize to enhance natural flavors from individual coffee and tea origins." The Bunn Trifecta MB gives the user the ability to create 25 unique brew setting combinations, which gives a user the ability to discover their perfect setting for their favorite hot beverage; and then recreate it again and again.
While we've already told you that the Bunn Trifecta MB will utilize patented Air-Infusion technology to produce a "Full Cup" coffee or tea, you should also know that it has an adjustable Turbulence Cycle and Infusion Time controls to enhance the taste and body. The coffee or tea is pressed through a fine-gauge metal filter to preserve oils and aromatics.
Last week, we referred to the Bunn Trifecta MB as a possible "Keurig Killer," but with a price tag of $499, that is clearly not what Bunn is aiming for with this product. The Bunn Trifecta MB is truly intended for the coffee connoisseur, someone who doesn't just want drink their coffee; someone who wants to experience every single cup.
The Bunn Trifecta MB will be available at BunnAtHome.com beginning February 24, 2012, and we hope to add it to Shoffee.com as soon as it becomes available.
And we promise, this is not the last you will hear about the Bunn Trifecta MB here on The Shoffee Blog - we can't wait to do a hands-on test.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
In all seriousness, the stress caused by worrying about coffee's effect on you heart may be worse for your heart than the coffee itself.
According to a book excerpt posted at TheAtlantic.com today, while the caffeine from two cups of coffee can increase the blood pressure of non-habitual coffee drinkers by two to three mm Hg, this effect is usually absent among those who drink coffee regularly. Furthermore, it has proven to be uncommon for coffee to cause abnormal heart rhythms and the chemicals in coffee which are known to increase total and LDL cholesterol levels are actually removed during the filtering process - thus meaning, most coffee has no effect on cholesterol. Other research even proves that two cups of coffee per day actually causes arteries to relax.
The excerpt also gives some interesting historical references, including the fact that in 17th century Europe, coffee was thought to aid digestion and gout, but cause impotence and paralysis - pretty sure Shoffee would not be here if that was still the case, lol.
The post titled, Coffee's Effect on the Heart Is So Small You Should Stop Worrying, is actually an excerpt from the book, Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You'll Ever Need (Three Rivers Press).
Monday, February 6, 2012
Maybe it's just me, but I really feel like Keurig is everywhere.
Recently, I can't walk through a major department store without seeing a Keurig K-Cup display, and I certainly can't read on anything about the stock market without some analyst having a strong opinion one way or the other about Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).
That's why, I was caught by surprise when I found a lengthy article on Business-Standard.com that stated "single-portioned coffee -- known as either cups, discs or pods -- makes up only 8 per cent of total worldwide coffee sales." Furthermore, Green Mountain (who accounts for all Keurig K-Cup sales) is responsible for only 7.6% of the 2011 worldwide market share of single-cup coffee.
So all of those hundreds of millions of Keurig K-Cups sold last year accounted for less than 10 percent of worldwide single-serve coffee sales - that number seems shocking.
While Nestle leads the way in the single-cup category worldwide, holding a 34.7% share of the market, in 2011 Kraft and Sara Lee held a larger percentage of the market segment than Green Mountain.
With Sara Lee's planned discontinuation of it's Senseo single-cup brewer next month, and the Starbucks brand leaving Tassimo for Keurig (GMCR) during the 2011 calendar year, Green Mountain's hold on the single-cup market segment should skyrocket in 2012. If we were to look at this same chart at the end of 2012, we would not be at all surprised to see Green Mountain trailing only Nestle in worldwide, single-cup market share.
While the worldwide sales show plenty of room to grow, the fact that Green Mountain and Keurig already control three quarters of the single-cup coffee market in the United States may make it seem like there is not much room to grow domestically; but this is very far from true.
The fact is that while Green Mountain does control 75% of the U.S. single-cup coffee market, the U.S. single-cup coffee market is still in it's infancy. The vast majority of U.S. households still use traditional ground or instant coffee, and a survey by the research firm Mintel found that about 36 percent of people who do not use single-cup brewers said the machines were too expensive.
So even if those 36% of users who feel that single-serve coffee brewers are too expensive never come around to using a single-cup machine, that leaves 64% of the "vast majority" who are theoretically open becoming single-cup converts.
There is no doubt in my mind that the percentage of single-cup coffee drinkers in the U.S. will continue to skyrocket month after month, and we will see the single-cup coffee sales, which totaled nearly $6 billion in 2011 grow as well.
Business Standard's entire article, Single-cup coffee sales seen growing is also a great read if you have a few more minutes to spend reading about coffee on your coffee break.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Since there really hasn't been much of a Winter thus far, the team at Shoffee felt that our customers may have forgotten the best way to deal with the cold of Winter. That's why we're here to remind you that the best way to stay warm on cold winter days and nights is with Green Mountain Hot Cocoa Keurig K-Cups.
For the next six (6) weeks, Shoffee.com will offer our very popular Green Mountain Hot Cocoa Keurig K-Cups for $3.00 off the regular price (and while you're there, check out all of our Discount Keurig K-Cups of the Week).
Green Mountain Hot Cocoa Keurig K-Cups will be available for $3.00 off the regular price through Thursday, March 15, 2012 (or while supplies last).
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
So for the second day in a row, the Shoffee Blog is going with a post that in one way or another is speaking about a change in single-cup brewing; and while yesterday, we spoke about the BUNN Trifecta MB as a possible "Keurig Killer," today's post is much more about what Keurig has planned to stay on top of the single-serve coffeemaker world.
Last night, the good folks over at WirelessGoodness.com revealed that Keurig has filed with the FCC it's plans for a new RFID-enabled single-cup brewer, most likely as a way to combat the recent arrival of Keurig-safe (but not Keurig-approved selections from companies like those from Grove Square and Roger's Coffee). While we're pretty sure that Keurig will have some more RFID-enabled tricks up there sleeves - maybe two-pack drinks (ala FLAVIA or Tassimo), or even possibly giving it's brewers the ability to differentiate hot and cold beverages like the Esio machine Walmart announced it will be offering earlier this week).
Aside from our best guesses on what the RFID-enabled Keurig may be capable of, here are some things that the team over at WirelessGoodness.com gave us in their post:
The Keurig RFID-enabled brewer has the FCC ID YMSKAEFUHRVI1G200. In 2010, Keurig won approval for the Keurig B80V "Vue" Brewer. WirelessGoodness.com says that to the best of their knowledge, the Vue has not yet been released despite gaining FCC approval more than a year ago.
Keurig's RFID-enabled brewers will use a new type of coffee pack called V-Cups (that's right, just as K-Cups have become a totally accepted term), which were originally identified in the user manual of the Keurig B80V "Vue."
As you may already know, Keurig does produce both office and home brewing systems, but based on their traditional model numbering system (never having a commercial brewer with a model number lower than 100), the Keurig B80V "Vue" looks to be a home model.
In the WirelessGoodness.com post, they speculated on what RFID-enabled V-Cups might cost, but since we honestly have no clue where the cost per cup might go, we are going to stay away from estimating that.
Leading up to the expiration on many of the patents Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) holds for both the Keurig Brewing Systems and the Keurig K-Cups it uses in the Fall of 2012, we are sure the information on new, RFID-enabled products from Keurig will be rolling in. So be sure to check out The Shoffee Blog, and Shoffee.com regularly for all of the latest details.
All of the images, and most of the information in this post was provided by WirelessGoodness.com.