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November 2016 Newsletter

As I said last month, I've already organised the specials for
November and December, so I thought I'd announce this month's right
out of the box.

Ethiopian Wenago Yirgacheffe

Traditional Yirgacheffe flavour with sweet jasmine and lemon aroma
and front palate acidity, creamy mid palate and punchy chocolate and
cherry aftertaste.

I know it's unusual to have 3 Ethiopian coffees on the list, 2 of
them from the Yirgacheffe area, but this coffee is so good I
couldn't resist. In fact, the last 4 months of this year, December
included, have been something I've wished for for years, an unbroken
run of 90+ coffees. (And yes, that was a teaser for next month.) If
you consider that I put the lowest scoring coffee, the El Salvador
Bourbon at 90.5, on first, it will give you an appreciation of how I
regard the coffees that have followed it.

I had a fair bit of feedback from last month's newsletter about
Kickstarter failures. One person in particular (not a customer or
from Oz) seemed rather put out, saying entrepreneurs have to accept
a high failure rate before succeeding. True, but that doesn't mean
that they get to take a swag of other people's money with them when
they fail. Anyway, this person more or less said "If you know so
much, why don't you invent something!"

To be honest, I don't think the market is crying out for another
variation on a domestic espresso machine. I suspect that's one of
the reasons that the Kickstarter startups failed. One thing that did
occur to me was the need for a Universal capsule machine. (All
right, I was pushing my trolley down the coffee and tea aisle of the
supermarket and saw that the shelf space for capsules had been
increased yet again, at the expense of both instant and roasted
coffee. There were 6 or 7 different types of capsules on display. As
well as an extensive bottom shelf of machines, all under $200.00,
designed to use said capsules.)

There are already a couple of attempts available, from Sunbeam and
Kenwood, but they involve adaptors which must be removed and
replaced for each different capsule type. My Brilliant Idea (you saw
it here first!) was to include all the adaptor chambers in a sort of
rotating carousel, so you clicked it round to the right chamber,
dropped in the capsule, and closed and sealed the chamber lid which
automatically started the brewing process. Viola! A mediocre
espresso of your choice whenever you want it.

Of course, commercial reality is that the capsule system
manufacturers make it as difficult as possible to change systems,
and the machine manufacturers are happy to make a very slightly
different machine for each capsule type. And much to the
disappointment of the gadfly who emailed me, you wouldn't need a
Kickstarter campaign to fund the development.

There are already more than 100 different capsule machines on the
market, coming from more than a dozen Chinese factories. It would be
both easy and cheap to modify an existing state-of-the-art machine
with the added functionality rather than producing everything from
scratch. Which appears to be yet another lesson that the various
Kickstarter startups have yet to learn.

Which, for coffee roasters like me, is probably just as well.
Otherwise Alan's Universal Capsule Carousel would take over and grow
the "capsule convenience" market to the serious detriment of the
freshly roasted coffee market, i.e. me. Not a good idea.

Until next month


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