For the last several months, there has been a lot of ink spilled on the subject of the Covid-19 Virus. It is new, highly contagious, and deadly serious. Until we develop a vaccine, our strategy is self-quarantining and social distancing. Unfortunately, the very thing that makes coffee shops attractive makes them fertile ground for the virus to spread, and hence it is the coffee house that is the first target for shuttering. For how long, nobody knows… but some talk of 1-2 years before we reach widespread immunization. Perhaps, time to shift paradigms.
If one is unable to serve quality coffee in a shop, the next best is to provide quality coffee in a single-serve pod. Not the pods that adorn the shelves of the warehouse cubs, but quality pods that will rival a pour-over.
Starting from a blank sheet, how might that option play out…
Pods: Given that an estimated 13 B pods are added to the landfill each year, choose to make the pods from compostable plastic. The material of choice is Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) made from the non-edible part of corn starch.
Aside from being compostable, PLA starts getting soft at brew temps and will expand a bit but limited by the surrounding space. A spent pod may assume the shape of a walnut and is best extracted after giving the pod time to cool, several seconds. Not like the old style pods, but then again we are talking about the “new normal”.
Lids: It is important that the surface of the film is made from a similar material to give us an excellent PLA to PLA bond and able to withstand a degree of out-gassing pressure. This stops the aging clock and keeps the O2 from entering. The domed lids will keep the coffee tasting fresh for several months.
Local: On-site packaging affords total control to the artisan roaster. Aside from control, avoiding the two-way shipping of products (roaster-packager-roaster) protects the profit.
It is important to minimize space and use readily available power. The operation of the machine should be intuitive, flexible, and self-diagnosing. Parts should be readily available with telephone support.
Load: Within the constraints of the defacto standard pod, be able to hold more coffee than other pods. Invent a filter that will accommodate such loads.
Surprise, surprise, no need to start from scratch for such a machine already exists. While it does not replace the friendly and social components of your favorite coffee house, it may just rival the classic pour-over!
With the GORBY 1000, we are dealing with a fully certified compostable pod. We are packing the pod with as much coffee as can be safely held for optimum flavor. Finally, because of the PLA to PLA seal, we are able to use the natural degassing property of coffee to maximize the freshness. These elements, working together, will deliver that “WOW” cup of coffee that may just rival the pour-over and set your brew apart from the rest. (The new normal while we await a vaccine!)