September 5, 2005 Competition improves the breed, and no market segment on the planet can ignore that imperative. There is ALWAYS a better way, no matter what the endeavour and the growth of the capsule-based single cup brewer market over the last decade has been spectacular, with the market started by Nespresso, then followed by Senseo, Illy's E.S.E Espresso pods, and the Keurig system, amongst others.
The pod system makes sense and in a world starved of the one commodity you can never get enough of (time), a semi-automated micro system providing top quality makes infinite sense, particularly when it comes to delivering one of the most used commodities in the world. Coffee is the world’s second largest traded commodity, second only to petroleum, and exploration of the statistics indicate why – 1.5 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day in the world, more than half the U.S. adult population drinks coffee daily and they average 3.5 cups a day. Coffee makers constitute the largest segment in the small kitchen appliance category with over 19 million coffee makers sold every year in the U.S.
But now, there’s a new system that uses a microprocessor that makes intelligent choices for you and refines the science of coffee making enough to give it a competitive edge – using barcode scanning. The Tassimo system has two key components: the Tassimo brewing machine and proprietary Tassimo discs (T-DISCS). Through Tassimo's smart technology, developed and designed by Kraft Foods, the machine's microprocessor reads the bar code printed on the T-DISC label after it is inserted into the machine and automatically calculates the correct water quantity, brewing time and temperature to prepare the perfect beverage. All of the brewing happens inside the T-DISC. An inverse flow of filtered water guarantees optimal flavour with virtually no clean up or residue from previously made beverages. Most beverages are ready in under a minute.
In 1970, Nestlé’s Research and Development department invented the Nespresso capsule-based coffee pressurized coffee extraction system for consistent high-quality coffee brewing on a per cup basis. The first patent applications were filed in 1976 after considerable R&D and after further R&D the system was launched commercially in 1988. Since its launch, the system has experienced 25 % annual growth and there are now 1.6 million active affiliated Nespresso Club members. The consistency of the process and its success was bound to attract competitors and now, it appears that there is once again, a better way. Single Serve Coffee, the One Cup Coffee Lovers Blog has a review of the Tassimo system here.
Interesting coffee facts
According to the National Coffee Association’s Coffee 2002 Drinking Trends Study, in the U.S.
Another 57 million adults drink coffee occasionally
29 million adults drink gourmet coffee every day
Coffee drinkers consume an average of 3.3 cups of coffee per day
There are over 100 million coffee makers in use in the U.S. today
Over 350 million cups of coffee are consumed in the U.S. every day
62% of gourmet coffee drinkers prepare coffee at home
Coffee faced considerable resistance in many cultures over the centuries. It was blamed for, among other things, fueling riots, spawning seditious speech and even encouraging Satan worship.
During the 16th century, the Mufti of Constantinople forbade drinking coffee. Users in Cairo and Mecca also faced prohibitions. And in Turkey, where coffee drinking was banned as well, those caught taking the forbidden drink after a second offense supposedly were sewn into leather bags and dumped into the Bosporus Strait. from PBS
The origins of the Cappucino
The "cappucino" was created when 17th century priest Marco d'Aviano rallied Christian armies to drive the Ottoman Turks from Vienna in 1683. When the Turks left Italy, they allegedly left behind their notoriously bitter coffee. The Viennese added milk and named the resulting concoction after the religious order of their priest -- Capuchin. from PBS
Coffee's role in world commerce
Coffee has influenced world trade in many ways, not the least of which was the foundation of world maritime insurance house, Lloyds of London. Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house in 1688, encouraging a clientele of ships' captains, merchants and ship owners - earning him a reputation for trustworthy shipping news. This ensured that Lloyd's coffee house became recognised as the place for obtaining marine insurance.
According to legend an Arabian goatherd named Kaldi found his goats dancing joyously around a dark green leafed shrub with bright red cherries in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Kaldi soon determined that it was the bright red cherries on the shrub that were causing the peculiar euphoria and after trying the cherries himself, he learned of their powerful effect. The stimulating effect was then exploited by monks at a local monastery to stay awake during extended hours of prayer and distributed to other monasteries around the world. Coffee was born. Coffee Research
And finally, for an interesting look at the history of coffee with all th thoroughness you'd expect, check Wikipedia's coverage of coffee and its origins.
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