New Happenings in the World of Coffee - Try Coffee
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New Happenings in the World of Coffee

There are always new happenings going on in the world of coffee. New inventions come out on a regular basis, news about java makes its way to headlines or social media, and studies come out that improve the public’s knowledge of this brown brew that so many of us appreciate starting our day with. Today, we want to look at some of the newest things going on with coffee so you can stay in the loop and increase your knowledge base.

Pakt Coffee Kit Kickstarter

 If you’re anything like me, you can spend hours looking at cool new products on Kickstarter. It’s even better when those crazy new inventions have to do with coffee. Some of our news from this week comes in the form of new items on the market that you can invest in or look forward to when funded on this platform. The first thing we are going to look at is the Pact Coffee Kit, which is billed as “the complete brewing system for travel.”

Anyone who loves coffee but is required to travel on a regular basis will tell you that most travel coffee options are clunky. Many of them also tend to take up a lot of space. This can be frustrating when you’re trying to pack everything into one or two suitcases. That is exactly what Pakt is here to change. This is an all in one brewing system that uses nesting technology to cut down on its size.

When you get the Pakt system, you get an electric kettle, a mug, a conical pour-over brewer, a coffee storage canister, and a reusable filter. This might sound like a ton of stuff and it is, but it all folds into itself to take up no more space than a pair of shoes would. It is 12.5” long and 4.5” wide, which is small enough to fit into anyone’s luggage. The only real downfall is that it doesn’t come with a grinder so you will need pre-ground coffee available. Or, you can buy a grinder to add to the Pakt kit for your travels.

How does this product work? You fill up the kettle to a line with water and then turn it on to start the heating process. Next, you set up the dripper by twisting and put it on top of the mug. The filter goes inside along with three scoops off medium to coarse ground coffee. After the kettle is done warming things up, you just need to pour water evenly over the coffee grounds. Pour from the center toward the outside in slow circles until all the water is gone. Let the water drain and you are good to go!

This product has already hit its goal on Kickstarter of $25,000 and is now at over $135,000 in funding. That also means many of the best deals are long gone. However, the kit can still be received for under $140 while the recommended price is just under $190. The kits are expected to be sent out in December 2019.

Kickstarter Campaign for the Voyager Kettle

 This Kickstarter campaign is technically over, but it hit its goal and is well worth talking about. This might be an option for you later if you aren’t really in need of an entire coffee kit for travel. The Voyager is a kettle for those who need one and don’t like how clunky most of the options on the market are. This is a portable electronic variable temperature kettle. It has a collapsible design and is made of a food-grade silicone which can squeeze down to 2” when packed and moves up to 6” when being used.

This kettle can hold 20 ounces of water and keep it at the temperature you prefer for up to 30 minutes at a time. However, there is a drawback that you should be aware of. This kettle is powered by electricity and there is no option for a battery model at this time. That doesn’t matter for hotel or bed and breakfast use, but it’s not going to be very helpful if you are out in the wilderness camping or hiking. On the other hand, you can pick up a solar-powered battery to handle this issue if it’s going to be a problem for you.

The Voyager Kettle hit its goal early and comes in three different colors, including lime green, navy, and light blue. Those who signed up for the campaign can get the kettle for $109 while it will retail for $130 when it hits the larger market. Those who are backers can expect to receive it in June 2020 but watch out for it to hit store shelves sometime after that if you want to own the kettle of the future.

Rens Recycled Coffee Shoe Kickstarter 

For those who don’t do a lot of traveling and have all the coffee gear they need, there’s another option out on the market right now. Rens Recycled Coffee Shoes are perfect for hanging around your house or doing errands around the city. There are great looking shoes that are waterproof and happen to be created from used coffee grounds. The shoes are antibacterial, lightweight, block UV rays, and odor proof so you know that they can get you through even the roughest of days. They use something called AquaScreen Tech to prevent water from seeping into the material while letting air continue to get through.

These shoes are 100% vegan and made of six recycled plastic bottles and 300 grams of coffee waste. The shoes currently come in nine different colors so you can find a pair that fits your style. The Kickstarter was looking for $19,000 in funding and has made more than $300,000 so far. There are still great rewards available for those interested in the shoes. Pick your favorite color in your perfect size and get them for $99 and free shipping. The shoes are expected to ship out in November 2019.

Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp Applications Are Now Open 

One of the biggest things to come out of the 2019 US Coffee Championships was the success of something called Glitter Cat. This barista boot camp was created by T. Ben Fischer, a two-time finalist of the US Barista Championship. It is a space that offers resources and training to groups who are underrepresented in the coffee competition world. This group placed two people into the 2019 USBC Finals and a third almost made it to the final six. It was easy to see that the baristas of Glitter Cat were good at what they do and that is expected to continue into 2020.

The second offering of the Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp is now expanding beyond just the Barista Championship and will also include the Roasters Competition, Brewers Cup, and Coffee in Good Spirits. The applications have just become available so you can sign up any time you like.

The boot camp will happen during October and November 2019 and each of the four groups will have access to a two and a half-day boot camp with all expenses paid. Instructors include a Head Judge as well as a former US Champion. The schedule for the camps is as follows:

Barista Bootcamp
Dillano’s Coffee Roasters in Sumner, Washington
November 2 through 4, 2019
Instructed by US Barista Champion Samantha Spillman

Brewers Bootcamp
Work Bench Coffee Labs in Kansas City, Missouri
November 16 through 18, 2019
Instructed by US Brewers Cup Champion Kaley Gunn

Coffee in Good Spirits Bootcamp
Kohi Coffee in Provincetown, Massachusetts
November 23 through 25, 2019
Instructed by Coffee in Good Spirits Champion Matt Foster

Roasters Bootcamp
Mill City Roasters in Minneapolis, Minnesota
October 25 through 26, 2019
Instructed by US Roasters Champion Shelby Williamson and US Cup Tasters Champion Jen Apodaca

Just like the very first boot camp, Glitter Cat is looking to teach those with various experience levels who “identify as part of a marginalized community,” including but not limited to “LGBTQIA+, womxn, racial/ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.” Applications are going to be taken until August 15th through the Glitter Cat website.

Indian Coffee Tycoon Found Dead

 VG Siddhartha, an Indian coffee tycoon, was reported missing mysteriously a while ago and the resolution of the case has just come to be reported. This man is the founder of Coffee Day and was reported to be missing while he was out talking a walk in Karnataka a week before he was found. Police were searching for the man, but his body was recently found floating in the Netravati River.

Siddhartha was one of the richest men in India and built a coffee empire with his two hands. There is a rumor that a letter was left by him to his employees and board that talked about financial trouble, pressure from lenders, tax authority harassment, and succumbing to all the negative things going on. So far, this letter has not been authenticated, but the letter was released in lieu of other evidence.

The letter said, “I have failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts. I fought for a long time, but today I give up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend. Tremendous pressure from other lenders led to me succumbing to the situation.”

“I sincerely request each of you to be strong and to continue running these businesses with a new management. I am solely responsible for all mistakes. Every financial transaction is my responsibility. My team, auditors and senior management are totally unaware of all my transactions. The law should hold me and only me accountable, as I have withheld this information from everybody, including my family.”

Coffee Day Enterprises has put out a statement with condolences for Siddhartha’s family and mentioned his “matchless energy, vision, and business acumen.” Reports from Reuters show that shares in Coffee Day Enterprises have reached an all-time low with the news of the founder’s death.

Innovations with Coffee Waste Continue to Grow 

Years ago, you might have spent time in Australia and seen pubs all over the place. However, times have changed and all of the capital cities now offer more coffee shops than bars. You will find all sorts of different specialty shops that offer beans which are ethically sourced and baristas happy to make you a craft nitro brew. The problem is that six million tons of used coffee grounds end up in landfills every year and processing the waste is a major challenge for authorities.

Coffee Waste into Biodegradable Plastic

Because of this challenge, scientists and startups in Australia have been stepping up to change things. A Ph.D. student last year came to the conclusion that there was a way to take the coffee waste and turn it into plastic biodegradable coffee cups. Dominik Kopp from Macquarie University found a way to take coffee grounds and turn them into lactic acid, which can be made into eco-friendly plastics. This process has been being refined ever since.

Kopp explains that more than 3,000 tons of coffee waste is created every year in Sydney alone. Over 90% of that ends up in landfills, where it creates gases that contribute to global warming. The man determined that 50% of the grounds are made of sugar, which makes them a great option for creating biobased chemicals, which are made from animals or plants rather than oil.

Anwar Sunna, one of Kopp’s associate professors, said, “We were looking for new ways to convert biowaste – whether that be agricultural, garden, paper, or commercial food waste – into valuable raw materials that could be used to produce high-value compounds in more environmentally-friendly ways.”

The grounds were sourced from one of the university coffee shops on campus and removed to the lab for research. The team created a synthetic pathway to take the most common sugar in the grounds and turn it into lactic acid. This substance can be used to produce biodegradable plastics for a more environmentally sustainable alternative to fossil fuel plastic.

Making Roads from Coffee Waste

In another area of Australia, engineers at the Swinburne University of Technology have been using discarded coffee grounds to create building materials and make roads. Arul Arulrajah, who is a professor of geotechnical engineering and a huge coffee lover, has been tasked with looking at how various recycled materials like concrete, brick, and glass, can be used when constructing roads.

The professor and a student collected used coffee grounds from the cafes around the campus and then dried them in an oven for a total of five days. The used grounds were then put through a sieve to remove any lumps that remained. The coffee was mixed with slag, something that is a waste of manufacturing steel. A solution of liquid alkaline was used to bind the mixture together. After being compressed into blocks, it was found that they were strong enough to be used for the subgrade material that is underneath roads.

Mushroom Farms and Coffee Waste 

The final frontier in the world of coffee waste when it comes to Australia doesn’t have to do with scientists. It just goes to show that innovation can come from anywhere. Two health workers quit their jobs in the mines in 2014 to start a company called Life Cykel, a startup that takes coffee grounds from cafes and uses them to grow mushrooms.

The company now also sells drinks, extracts, and powders that are mushroom-based. They also offer oyster mushroom kits so you can grow mushrooms at your own home. You can order the kits online and watch as mushrooms grow right in front of your eyes. Co-founder Ryan Creed said, “We had launched our oyster mushroom farm in Fremantle and chose crowdfunding to expand to Melbourne, so that more people who support fresher food and cleaner living (could get) behind us.”

The mushrooms the company makes are sold to restaurants and cafes while the coffee waste from those places goes to Life Cykel to continue things. It also means restaurants don’t have to pay for the disposal of these items. As coffee is one of the largest commodities on a global level, recycling all items possible to create coffee is something that the world is working on and Australia is on top of things.


Nestle Now Offers Espresso Chocolate Chips with Real Coffee 

Are you excited about baking? If so, Nestle has something new that you are undoubtedly going to want to try. Instead of using traditional chocolate chips, you may want to swap them out for the newest product from Toll House. This company has recently come out with espresso chocolate chips made from actual coffee. That means all your favorite pastries and sweet treats can have a nice touch of coffee flavor and a bit of a caffeine buzz.

The little chocolate drops are made with all the ingredients you would expect like milk, cocoa, and roasted coffee based on the Nestle Toll House website. These will go great in any brownie or cookie recipe. You can also toss them in protein breakfast cookies or add them to your pancakes in the morning if you want an alternative to a cup of coffee.

Walmart is going to be carrying these chocolate chips and you can have them held for in-store pick up for less than $3 for a nine-ounce bag. This isn’t the only new change to baking that you can expect from the company. They are also putting out unicorn-inspired chocolate chips. These are going to be vanilla flavored and come with pink and blue swirls to add some color and light to your desserts.

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Coffee Mate’s Holiday Dark Chocolate Peppermint Creamer is Coming 

It’s not even fall yet much less Thanksgiving or Christmas season, but many people are ready for the temperatures to start dropping and leaves to start changing colors. This time of year is also when all the new exciting coffee creamer flavors start to come out with wintery coolness or warming spices to enjoy in your cup. Coffee-Mate is on top of things and you may see new options on the shelves quicker than you expect.

The new natural bliss Dark Chocolate Peppermint creamer is going to be available in just a few weeks. It will also be coming out at the same time as the maple and pumpkin spice creamers that were talked about earlier this month. For those who can’t wait for autumn to start, you can get a jump on it by making fall-inspired coffee while it is still deep in the heart of summer.

This coffee creamer has cream and milk along with peppermint extract and cocoa to create a mix-in that offers the taste of a holiday latte without having to go outside to order one. The dark chocolate peppermint creamer will be available in 16-ounce bottles and costs $3.29 a bottle.

Don’t get this version confused with the peppermint mocha option, they are very different. The mocha one has a touch of a coffee taste to it since that’s what mocha is known for. However, the dark chocolate peppermint offers a bit more of a chocolate flavor instead. It’s a bit richer than other chocolate-flavored creamers you may have tasted in the past. It is new for 2019 while peppermint mocha has been around for ages. Only the new creamer is part of the natural line.

If you are someone who prefers healthier options like creamer made with mostly milk and cream rather than vegetable oil, water, and milk derivatives, you may appreciate the natural bliss line for the simpler ingredients. The ingredients for this creamer include nonfat milk, heavy cream, natural flavor, and cocoa. That’s all there is. Keep in mind that this means there is lactose in this creamer so those with dairy-related dietary concerns may want to try something else.

But don’t worry. Peppermint mocha is also going to be back this year with favorites and newcomers alike. You can find pumpkin spice on the shelves now with a natural bliss option coming in September. The maple almond milk and red velvet creamers will also come out in September for those who enjoy a sweet drink. As with many of the flavors from Coffee-Mate, many of them are limited edition, so get them early and stock up.

Those who aren’t really into the pumpkin flavors of Halloween can grab the dark chocolate peppermint and skip that holiday flavor entirely by hitting the store in September. It is limited edition though so make sure you get in and get your bottle before it is too late.

New No Espresso Café Coming to Chicago 

Pretty much every café that comes out has a staple and that tends to be espresso drinks. Every shop makes a selection of lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and more. It’s pretty much what people expect to see. That’s why it was such a strange thing when a new Wicker Park shop in Chicago said it would be doing things in a different way.

Philz Coffee is located on Division and opened in June, but there are plans to open three more of the cafes over the summer. It offers great coffee and for a nice price point, so it’s sure to be a popular option for the hipsters and creatives that cover Wicker Park.

What makes Philz different is that it offers great coffee, but in an atmosphere like a cocktail bar. You aren’t going to see a menu covered with dozens of lattes and blended drinks like every other place you visit. Instead, you are going to find 12 different coffee blends that are available iced or hot. Each cup of coffee is brewed and then sweetened to order, so it’s very fresh.

You can tell freshness is important to the place when you see there are no holding tanks or carafes filled with coffee. The first thing that happens when you step inside is a conversation with a barista who will work with you to find the perfect flavor profile for your taste. The cups are served as modified pour-overs, with beans steeped and ground right in front of your eyes.

Service is something that Philz takes seriously and that can be seen by the fact that the franchise has over 60 locations in places like San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Virginia. Jacob Jaber, CEO of the company, said, “We just try to make the perfect cup for each person.”

This company also sells a range of teas and whole bean coffee. There is a great food menu that goes beyond the bagels and muffins you might find at most cafes. Dishes like almond butter and jam toast, avocado and egg toast, and the protein energy bowl are all delicious and prepared on-site. The pastries come to the store courtesy of Aya Pastries and Fabiana’s Bakery.

The main roast at Philz is the Tesora, which was made in 2003 and has hints of nuts and caramel. Some of the other popular choices are the Philharmonic, which is a medium roast with maple notes, the Philtered Soul, which is a medium hazelnut coffee, the New Manhattan with a citrus taste, the Turkish which is dark and rich. Many of the drinks come with a mint leaf and fresh cardamom.

When you step inside, you’ll find this place has an atmosphere, unlike other coffee shops. It is a hangout instead of a workspace and it can get pretty busy at times. The space is filled with retro couches, pub tables, and bar stools, which offers a friendly feel and leads to conversation among patrons.

The drinks are also made with a flourish that has people coming back. After an order is taken, a barista head to bins of beans and grinds them up fresh before hot water is added. After the cup is brewed, the coffee is circulated a bit to cool it and offer the most balanced flavor. Brewing takes around four minutes and drinks are sweetened to order and topped with cream or milk.

Magic Mushroom Coffee May Be Coming to Colorado

 Strava Craft Coffee is currently looking into something that many would consider a little bit crazy by making the option to add magic mushrooms to your cup of coffee. With looser regulations on marijuana, many anticipate that psilocybin will be more publicly accepted in the near future. As such, this company has announced that it wishes to sell both tea and coffee bean products with the psychedelic substance inside.

The coffee and tea are going to be used for anxiety and depression, but you might not want to start getting too excited (or alternatively up in arms) about the possibility. Strava has explained that they do not expect to start selling these beverages until 2020 at the very earliest. This all comes down to what new regulations are based on or whether they are loosened over the next few years.

Strava CEO, Andrew Aamot, put out a statement saying that, “Just as cannabis has been misunderstood and controversial for decades, psilocybin from mushrooms has been equally polarizing, yet proponents of both suggest they each can contribute meaningfully to the human experience. As research is proving, with measured consumption, cannabis and psilocybin can both promote physiological, mental and spiritual health.”

As of May, Denver voters approved an initiative that would decriminalize the mushrooms and their psychoactive ingredients. A month later, the city council of Oakland, California also voted to decriminalize the mushrooms along with peyote. However, two cities deciding to change their laws doesn’t mean that things are going to be that easy on nationwide or even statewide levels.

Strava is sure that things are about to change for the better, which is why they are betting on their innovative product. In 2019, the USDA offers something called Breakthrough Therapy designation that allows for quicker drug development to a company assisting treatment for depression with psilocybin.

It has been shown that small doses of the substance help with severe depression and anxiety based on many studies and trials. Based on that, the coffee and tea from Strava are expected to be infused with microdoses of psilocybin. This isn’t the first time the company has looked at things of this nature as it is one of the first roasters that sold coffee infused with CBD in 2017.

Flagship Press Coffee Roasters Opens in Phoenix

 Press Coffee Roasters out of Phoenix has just moved its entire roasting operation to a new two-story facility that also acts as the eighth coffee shop by the company. The building is 5,600 square feet and located near East Shea Boulevard and North 32nd Street. It houses a Probat P12 and two Probat P25 roasters, which ups the capacity of the company by a large amount. Right now, the head roaster, Will Andrews, oversees the roasting of 225,000 to 250,000 pounds of coffee every year.

Rather than selling the current production facility, the company will be keeping it and turning it into a factory for cold brew manufacturing. This expiation will create the option for the company to make more kegged coffee to sell to wholesale accounts and stores while keeping up with the demand for the cold brew line found in retail establishments.

The company also adds to the love of customers with the new 3,000 square foot retail café where customers can enjoy the smell of coffee being roasted while trying unique beverages like the cold brew shaker which is made with peanut butter whiskey.

The drinks that are made behind the bar are created using Mahlkonig grinders and a three-group Synesso MVP Hydra espresso machine. There is also a Curtis Corinth hot water fountain that will be used for tea and manual pour-over brews and a Curtis G4 which will be used for large batches of coffee.

The café has a great industrial look that is super modern and shows off production for everyone who steps inside. In addition to that, the space has plenty of room for private meetings and events. There will also be public coffee educational offerings like Coffee 101.

Wrapping Up 

These are the newest happenings for the month in the coffee industry and well worth knowing for anyone keeping up with the industry. As always, there are new products out on the market that are worth trying as well as inventions that might be part of our daily life years in the future. Those in Chicago, Denver, and Phoenix all have exciting things on the horizon and you should check out the new cafes available in some of those cities. In the meantime, enjoy your coffee however you like it and we’ll update you again soon!

Bonus Questions:

1. Is coffee a vegetable or a fruit?

Coffee is actually a fruit, but more than that, it is a stone fruit. There is a pit inside the purple or red fruit that is called the cherry. While coffee beans are actually seeds, the term bean is used before the seeds look similar to traditional beans.

2. Is coffee inflammatory?

There have been studies done that show coffee can lower markers of inflammation. In addition, coffee can lower your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Coffee contains polyphenols, which also help lowers inflammation in the human body.

3. Is coffee a neurotoxin?

Caffeine is known as a neurotoxin alkaloid which stops insects from dining on the plants. Caffeine sits on the adenosine receptors of neurons to prevent adenosine from reaching them. That means that receptor activation cannot happen, in fact, the opposite occurs instead.

4. Does coffee make your hair grow?

Caffeine from coffee is actually very good for the hair. When it is applied topically to the scalp or hair, it gets down in there and stimulates the hair roots. Coffee improves the root growth and structure, so it actually ben help prevent hair loss and restore growth of hair.

5. Does coffee cover gray hair?

While you may know what drinking coffee can give you an energy boost, you may not realize that coffee can also dye your hair. It can add a shade or two of darkness to your locks and in some cases will cover up gray hair. All you need to do is add the coffee to hair that is damp and clean. Let it sit for about an hour before washing it out.

6. Does coffee flush toxins?

Coffee is capable of stimulating the colon and has a minor diuretic effect. This allows it to assist in clearing waste out of your body, including substances that could be potentially harmful for you.

7. Can coffee give you pimples?

Coffee does not lead to acne. However, if you drink lots of coffee and load it up with sugar and milk or other flavorings, this can make any acne you already have worse than it already is.

8. Can coffee put you to sleep?

Coffee is best known for making you stay awake since it gives you a burst of caffeine, which leads to energy. However, if you drink a cup of coffee before a short nap, it can help you maximize that alertness once you get up again.

9. Who were the first to drink coffee?

The first people who are known to have consumed coffee were Ethiopians in the 15th century. Knowledge of the coffee tree and some evidence show coffee was around at this time in the Sufi monasteries in Yemen before the practice spread to Cairo and Mecca.

10. Does coffee give you cellulite?

Coffee is not known to give you cellulite, but drinking lots of coffee with sugar, along with processed food and alcohol can lead to the issue. In order to prevent the issue, you should drink organic coffee and eat natural foods.

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