Monday Tuesday*! Some interesting coffee-related news from the past week: Coffee prices may soon be falling, the makers of The Ripple Maker unveiled a new app that makes it possible to turn your selfies into foam art, and the recently released U.S. Dietary Guidelines allow for quite a few daily cups of coffee in a healthy diet. Also, Starbucks added a new beverage, the Latte Macchiato, to their menu and digitally released the Starbucks Coffee Passport, previous only available to employees, as a web-based app for everyone to use.
Coffee prices may soon be lowing as favorable weather conditions in Brazil, Columbia, and Honduras are leading to favorable crop yields. Average U.S. retail prices have already fallen by 4.2 % to $4.412 a pound, the lowest they’ve been since 2011, and the trend is predicted to continue into 2016. The increase in coffee yield is great news, especially since emerging markets and rising coffee consumption has experts concerned a global coffee shortage is on the horizon unless coffee production is increased in the next 10 years by around 40 to 50 million more bags.
Steam CC, the company behind the Ripple Maker, a wi-fi enabled latte art printing machine that uses “Ripple pods” of coffee extract to print any image on top of milk-frothed coffee using patented printing technology, is now launching the Coffee Ripples App which allows users to upload any image they want straight from their phone and/or or use existing images from the Ripples’ library, add text if they want, and send it to a locale coffee shop with a Ripple Maker – which the app will also help you locate. The Ripple maker come with a price tag of $999 and a monthly service fee starting at $85, which covers the price of Ripple Pods, a regularly updated library of content, and support and service resources.
According to the recently released Dietary Guidelines For Americans 2015-2020, “moderate coffee consumption (three to five 8-oz cups/day or providing up to 400 mg/day of caffeine) can be incorporated into healthy eating patterns”. Although non-coffee drinkers are not actually encouraged to start drinking coffee, the guidelines are informed by all the many recent studies that have come out with “strong and consistent evidence showing that, in healthy adults, moderate coffee consumption is not associated with an increased risk of major chronic diseases (e.g., cancer) or premature death, especially from CVD”. It’s not exactly a glowing recommendation, but I’ll take it.
Beginning January 5th, Starbucks added a new edition to their espresso menu: the Latte Macchiato. Available in Starbucks stores in the U.S., Canada, and most of Latin America, the new drink is described on their website as “steamed whole milk that is perfectly aerated and free-poured creating dense foam reminiscent of meringue. The beverage is then marked by slowly-poured full espresso shots, creating a signature espresso dot”. A Latte Macchiato, as the name implies, is a cross between a Macchiato, espresso “marked” with a drop of milk, and a Latte, espresso topped with steamed milk and foam, and is made by topping foamed steamed milk with espresso (basically a reverse Latte), leaving the foam on the top “marked” by a drop of espresso. – I love how all these espresso drinks are simply milk and espresso, just put together different ways to bring out, enhance, and highlight different flavors and characteristics of espresso.
Starbucks Coffee Passport, the coffee tasting guide used by Starbucks partners (employees), is now available for everyone to use in a digital form as a web-based app. The informative guide allows customers to expand their coffee knowledge by detailing “a coffee’s journey from farm to cup, including the steps in growing, buying, roasting, brewing and tasting Starbucks coffee” right at their fingertips. Employees use the paper version of the passport during groups tastings where they sample particular coffees, browse for information about the coffee – including growing region and flavor notes – and make descriptive notes. They then apply a stamp or sticker to the paper passport when done. The Starbucks Digital Coffee Passport allows customers to do something similar while conducting their own tastings, making there own notes and collecting coffee tasting stamps along the way. To app can accessed on mobile devices at passport.starbucks.com.
*As one of those lovely little quirks of life, my first post after my New Year’s Resolutions post and I’m already experiencing problems 😛 Oh, well. C’est la vie.