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The Industry

Time for a rant. I’ve been participating in a juicy thread on my favourite forum tooomuchcoffee.com. Lots of this post is extracted from the post, but I wanted to get it off my chest here too.

The thread basically started out as a do you use robusta in your blend (for those who know me I have been partial when the cup negates to use high quality robusta). Then it kind of veered of (as these things do) to talking about how true quality coffee has no place in the commercial “real world” and that the reason the worlds coffee is crap is because the “bigger boys” are aiming for consistency, and value for money. This forum is European based in membership (either in Europe or when they joined they were living in Europe), so thats where we are coming from.

Well firstly cost as an issue is ridiculous. How much extra would the consumer need to pay for a good cup 1 may be 2 pence a cup. And for the retailer 50 pence maybe a £1 a kilo (in fact it can be quite often cheaper).

The second point of consistency is flawed. Consistency can be found with better quality far easier than lower quality tripe the “real world” are throwing out. The amount of bad coffee I’ve tasted recently from wholesale customers swapping across to us has been scary. If they want to be constantly bad then they achieve it with flying colours.

The only reason the quality coffee is of no use to the “industry” as the majority industry doesn’t care about cup quality and hasn’t got the balls to pay good money for good coffee. I mean they may have to ask there customers for an extra 50p a kilo, and that cant possibly happen.

There is money to be made in the “Industry” with a model of quality consistency and still maintain value for money. I think recent developments with the NCA (national coffee association) and the cup of excellence in America have shown that the big boys (and these are the real big world market boys) in the USA have woken up to true quality coffee. It’s only a matter of time until it’s replicated across the world.

There is proof out there that a company can source quality coffee at a fair price and still maintain constancy. You only have to browse across the pond at Intelligencia to see a model that a big boy can do it right, and make a lot of money and success at the same time.

All I see are excuses “we cant do it this way because….” “its too tough to maintain because….”, “we have always done it this way so …” the truth is they don’t want to, or are so far up somewhere they shouldn’t be that they think they know best.

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