Several months ago, I was paid a visit by a roaster who was curious about our machine and wanted to just see it work. The coffee was not particularly memorable and the grind could have been finer. Still, the strength measured a little over 1%.. In my opinion, not bad considering no tuning was involved. His parting comment was something to the effect, “… I would never want to damage the reputation of our coffee by packaging it in single-serve pods.”
If you subtract the theatrics, brewing a good cup of coffee is basically a chemical process where hot water is passed through ground coffee. To compensate for the shorter brew time (compared to a pour-over) you would choose a finer grind and perhaps increase the amount of coffee. Pick a premium fresh-roasted bean and you would likely experience a great cup of coffee.
Where the pod is often able to excel over the pour-over, the pod captures the flavor at its’ peak, whereas the bean used in the pour-over might be several days old. Another factor that favors the artisan roaster is premium coffee is inherently limited in small batches in keeping with the artisan’s experience. In contrast, companies like Keurig deal in large quantities.
I assert that pods when packaged under favorable conditions, can rival if nor exceed the quality of coffee shop pour-overs.
In his book “Innovation: the Attacker’s Advantage”, Richard Foster likens the life of a technology to an “S” curve.. In the beginning, progress is slow: a lot of effort for not too much gain, the learning curve. Then comes the steep part where a lot of progress is made for not too much effort. Finally, as the technology matures, we are again on the flat part of the curve where we experience diminishing returns for our effort. At that point, it is time for a paradigm shift. Those that recognize this and make the shift, tend to be long lived.
Away from your favorite coffee shop, the convenience of a pod is undeniable. For a properly filled pod, it borders on being addictive… almost compelling. If you would like to see your favorite coffee shop offer its coffee in single serve pods, pass on your name and the name of the shop and we will arrange to package some pods for both to test.
For more information on packaging premium coffee on site in compostable pods, please visit www.gorbycoffee.com or contact us at (651) 408-5768.