As a follow-up to Thursday’s post where we covered the coffee pod revolutionaries, yesterday’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer published an article on how Big Beverage is plotting the demise of any actual coffee brewing: Drink makers want America to buy coffee to go.
What’s puzzling is how many usually sensible industries are getting the new coffee equation all wrong. The battle over more convenient, brew-less coffee was fought many decades ago — the result of which was perhaps the darkest, deepest point in consumer coffee’s Dark Ages.
American consumers saw the elimination of coffee roasting, then freshness, and then brewing as a progression of modern-era conveniences for the nuclear home. We survived percolators optimally designed to perform the worst kind of atrocities to the quality of our coffee, and we prized freeze-dried coffee flakes in a can made from garbage-grade robusta beans roasted months prior.
What’s different now is that consumers are finally re-discovering what a good cup of coffee might actually taste like, and consumers are asking for more of it. To go back to the legitimate parallels with wine consumption, consumers are showing that they want better wines — not wine coolers that come in a convenient bladder-in-a-box. And meanwhile, the likes of all these purely convenience-minded coffee marketing pushes — oblivious to the flavor and freshness aspects — are completely missing the point.
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