Coffee, Coffee News

Monday Morning Coffee News

Happy Monday! Important goings-on in the world of coffee: Starbucks tests out beer flavored coffee, Keurig brewer 2.0 at the center of an anti-trust lawsuit, and scientists work on alternate way to produce civet-like coffee that doesn’t involve civet animals in the process.

 Select Starbucks stores across Ohio and Florida are testing out a new beer flavored coffee beverage with a “roasted malt flavor” reminiscent of Guinness stout beer. Called the Dark Barrel Latte, the alcohol free beverage is made with espresso and a “chocolaty stout flavored sauce” and is served topped with whipped cream and drizzled with dark caramel sauce. – Although I’m not the biggest fan of stout beer (I find it too bitter), this sounds delicious to me and I hope it tests well so that I can see it soon on Starbucks menu near me.

– Green Mountain’s release of Keurig 2.0 with its DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology which “locks-out” the ability to use single serve coffee pods made by other companies has caused quite an uprising in the companies that make said pods, launching a slew of lawsuits accusing Green Mountain of violating anti-trust and anti-competitive laws. The latest lawsuit launched is by the Canadian company Club Coffee and is accusing Green Mountain of not just using DRM technology, but also lies and coercion to prevent consumers and third-party retailers from buying and carrying their products. They are seeking damages to the tune of $600 Million dollars. – Maybe we should just stop using pods all together. I have a Keurig brewer and I use a reusable single-serve coffee filter and bagged coffee and it works well for me – it’s a greener alternative and cheaper too.

A company called Afineur is working on using a natural fermentation method inspired by the civet digestive process to produce Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee, a coffee traditionally made from coffee beans that have been ingested and digested by civets and then collected from their droppings. This coffee has been considered a costly delicacy for years and as its price and popularity rose, the treatment of the animals responsible took a nose dive and reports of animal cruelty came out detailing horrible conditions where the animals were kept in cages and force-fed coffee beans at an alarming and unhealthy rate in order to increase production of the hot commodity coffee beans. Why are these coffee beans so expensive and desired? Apparently enzymes in the civets gut partially digest the beans resulting in coffee that is less acidic and bitter and has a unique and desirable flavor. –  I’ve long wanted to try civet coffee to see if it lives up to the hype, but the way it’s made squeaked me out and reports of animal cruelty put me off completely.  If Alfineur is successful, I’m putting a bag of their cruelty-free Kopi Luwak on my Christmas list.

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