The future of coffee?

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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Balthazar_B

Postby Balthazar_B » Jul 08, 2019, 12:32 pm

Thought some of you would find this news interesting. Could certainly change the dynamics of the coffee industry dramatically, perhaps forever.

One curious factoid I wasn't aware of:

Despite the fact Atomo makes its products without coffee beans, it can still be called coffee because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have a "standard of identity" or official definition for coffee.

Maybe the FTC doesn't either?

A Bitter End For Regular Joe? Scientists Engineer A Smooth, Beanless Coffee
- John

LMWDP # 577

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Jul 08, 2019, 1:28 pm

Coffee sellers aren't required to nutrition label the cans as long ass it's all coffeee (they can include chaff, coffee wood, etc, but no non-coffee ingredients). In that way, it works like buying apples or spinach. Pretty sure this 'coffee' will require a nutrition label; which will make for fun reading by an appropriately round eyed person :shock: in counter-ads for regular coffee.
Jim Schulman

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redbone

Postby redbone » Jul 08, 2019, 1:43 pm

Have a feeling the coffee industry will fight hard to have the word coffee eliminated from any product that does not include coffee. This would be similar to what the dairy industry did with the word milk and cheese. Early nut based drinks used the word milk in their naming such as almond milk or cashew milk. Through strong lobbying milk could only be used in dairy from lactating animals. The fight continues. There goes "milk of magnesia," as we know it. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicksibilla/2019/01/31/fda-crackdown-on-calling-almond-milk-milk-could-violate-the-first-amendment/#45bb3df67b70.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

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Balthazar_B

Postby Balthazar_B » Jul 08, 2019, 4:19 pm

I suppose they could always brand it Joe or something (although predictably, "Joe" has been trademarked by someone -- perhaps an attorney? -- in connection with coffee...so be careful). The bigger impact to the coffee industry would be if they get the flavor profiles right to appeal to the mass market, if it can be manufactured and distributed with such incredible margins for the company itself as well as for its resellers that adoption by major channels (think McDonalds, Whole Foods, etc.) mushrooms like crazy, it could displace some of the traditional coffee industry/ecosystem if the cost disparity is too great. Then if the efficiencies of scale are reduced for the latter, the cost disparity might widen further (especially if global warming and unseasonable hailstorms do their thing to coffee crops worldwide). Vicious cycle.

Now the FDA will need to be involved, since this is a new food product, and it will contain caffeine. But I wonder if that could provide an opening for more direct regulation of coffee itself. It would beg the question, anyway.

And if Nestle or someone like that just outright purchases Atomo, they'll probably be able to take care of those pesky details.
- John

LMWDP # 577

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TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Jul 09, 2019, 11:24 am

Unscrupulous sellers during the turn of the last century were on a race to the bottom in terms of price. They put peas of all sorts and chicory in their "coffee" to increase their razor thin margins. They'd cup the coffee and stop removing actual coffee at the point that it didn't have a noticeable flavor that could be ascribed to coffee.

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Balthazar_B

Postby Balthazar_B » replying to TomC » Jul 09, 2019, 12:14 pm

It's kind of fascinating how many people actually developed a preference for chicory in their coffee, even though the majority of coffee drinkers would regard its flavor as a flaw. Sort of the same as retsina in the wine world, I guess.
- John

LMWDP # 577

mokava

Postby mokava » Jul 09, 2019, 2:35 pm

I wonder what was peoples' reactions to advent of instant coffee back in time it got to the market?

Probably, similar fears for instant coffee to push away the ground coffee or whole beans from the shop shelves. Yet, here we are, 2019 - there's a jar of instant on my kitchen counter (mixes well with condensed milk) and several choices of whole beans next to it.

I guess, another alternative could be a novelty choice, hardly the only choice.

OldNuc

Postby OldNuc » Jul 09, 2019, 4:36 pm

When instant coffee first hit the market it was regarded as a poor substitute for bad real coffee. And in some circles still is.

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C-Antonio

Postby C-Antonio » Jul 11, 2019, 4:55 pm

TomC wrote:Unscrupulous sellers during the turn of the last century were on a race to the bottom in terms of price. They put peas of all sorts and chicory in their "coffee" to increase their razor thin margins. They'd cup the coffee and stop removing actual coffee at the point that it didn't have a noticeable flavor that could be ascribed to coffee.


must be old as coffee, according to Turgay Yildizli Turkish roasters used to add chickpeas to coffee which was bought already ground, that pushed people to do the job at home themselves and developed the Turkish hand grinder...

Maybe we'll have to add roasters to the list of lawyers, undertakers, insurance and cars salesmen... :?
“Eh sì sì sì…sembra facile (fare un buon caffè)!”

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yakster
Supporter ♡

Postby yakster » Jul 11, 2019, 8:44 pm

Their Kickstarter page is really interesting. They talk about putting back the flavors in green coffee and mention that their coffee expert roasts his own coffee, but it reads like a solution in search of a problem. The way to eliminate bitterness in coffee is not to engineer your own substitute but rather to roast the green coffee properly and enjoy it fresh. They also are only providing ground "coffee" sized for drip only I guess. (not espresso)

Their FAQ seems to skirt the whole issue of how their "coffee" handles aging, have complaints from some backers about missed updates and have found a headquarters in Seattle.

I also don't understand that if they succeed and manufacture the perfect cup of Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, or other origin of coffee are you really going to enjoy that perfect cup as much if it tastes the same every time?
-Chris

LMWDP # 272