Green Mountain Coffee was the hit of the holiday season last year, sending the company soaring. Their Keurig single serve coffee maker sent the company soaring into the stratosphere. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the company showed revenue of over $710 million. Of that, $115.1 million came from sales of Keurigs or their accessories and another $475 million came from the sales of their K-Cups, utilized by the brewers. Between these two coffee maker related items, 83% of the company’s holiday season revenue was accounted for.
In 2011, the Keurig dominated the market by essentially creating the single serve coffee market on a broad scale. 2012 looks to be a different story. Competitors have come into the space, looking to take advantage of the burgeoning market. Of these, Starbucks and Nespresso are taking a leading role. But Green Mountain hasn’t been sleeping at the wheel. For this holiday season, they’ve unveiled their latest machine: the KeurigVue.
Green Mountain Ready for the Holiday Season
After years of dominating the market, the Keurig is facing some stiff competition. But the game has been stepped up. Keurig’s new machine is ready to match the industry standard. The new KeurigVue takes all the most popular features of the classic Keurig and ups the ante.
For the KeurigVue, the name of the game is customization. It seems like everyone likes their coffee a little bit differently and the KeurigVue embraces that. It introduces the brand new Custom Brew Technology which allows you to customize your drink based on what kind of beverage you are enjoying and how you like it.
The technology works by selecting the type of beverage you are enjoying. Of course, there is the classic black coffee but the KeurigVue also features teas, hot cocoa and what they are calling café beverages like lattes and cappuccinos. From there you can select the temperature you like (from unheated for iced beverages to scalding hot!) and the strength of the brew. Green Mountain has also used the KeurigVue to expand on the size options you can brew. Starting as small as 4 oz, the Vue also has settings made for the ever popular travel mugs. Often, this mugs are a lot larger than our normal coffee cups and there was no setting to handle this in the older Keurig. The Vue now allows you to select up to 18 oz of your beverage of choice. The power is really in your hands.
Perhaps the most controversial change is the Vue relies on different packs that the K-Cup which is usable in all other Keurigs. Instead they have created machine specific options called the Vue Packs. This is set to potentially irk people looking to upgrade their Keurigs who may have a stash of the old K-Cups that they can no longer use. In addition, many other coffee manufacturers took advantage of the popularity of the Keurig by manufacturing K-Cups. This may not be the case as it comes to the new KeurigVue.
Green Mountain Coffee is looking to keep the momentum rolling in the holiday season of 2012.
Coffee is becoming a more and more high tech experience. We are all moving towards having high tech coffee machines that allow us to brew our java exactly to our personal specifications. These machines are setting us back several hundred dollars but as that steaming cup of coffee is set before us in the morning, we know it was worth it. However, that is nothing compared to the most expensive commercial coffee machine in existence. While we may spend a couple hundred bucks, try taking a look at the Roasting Plant’s Javabot.
The Roasting Plant is taking New York City by storm and the Javabot deserves the credit. The system is a million dollar coffee brewing system that is more than likely the most expensive coffee making system in the world. It’s hard to beat the million dollar machine.
What Makes It Worth One Million Dollars?
Imagination is the first thing that comes to mind when you see the Javabot. The Roasting Plant likes to compare the beautiful machine to something out of the imagination of Roald Dahl and the Wonka Chocolate Factory. Featuring tons of clear tubes, each filled with different styles of coffee beans, the Javabot engages the senses of sight and smell immediately. The enticing aroma of thirteen different and freshly roasted coffee beans is amazing.
No single type of coffee bean is the same. They can be temperamental and fickle, tasting delicious if roasted perfectly but a bit off either way and the luscious flavor is replaced by an acrid and bitter disaster. The makers of the Javabot know this and perfectly understand their product. Each and every bean has been roasted over and over again until they learned the secret to a perfect roast for that particular style and the machine has been programmed to recognize each bean as it comes through the roasting perfect and roasts it to perfection.
However, a coffee bean only stays delicious once roasted for a set period of time. How does the Javabot make sure your coffee is always fresh? It only roasts beans as needed by sensing what is left. In fact, you can watch the system roast the beans right in front of your eyes as you hear a patented whooshing sound as green beans travel through the system and becomes beautifully roasted. The system utilizes a first in and first out system makes sure your coffee is always fresh.
If you are looking for something new and you’ve tried every different coffee bean in the Javabot, are you stuck? Absolutely not. The Javabot gives you the ability to blend up to three different beans into one coffee cup. The combinations are endless. With so many options, is there really any way that you can wrong? We think not. However, this system takes up an entire store so it isn’t exactly home friendly. But, if you have an empty space the size of a coffee place and an extra million bucks lying around, the Javabot is by far the most advanced system in existence for coffee.
Society has been uniting over the perfect blend of premium roast coffee for generations. In fact, who doesn’t have fond memories of gathering with some of their closest friends and relatives and chatting the day away with a warm cup in hand? Who would have thought that a machine as simple as a coffee maker could be the source of so much happiness? In fact, the popularity of coffee is so prevalent that many homes have a coffee maker, whether the inhabitants are coffee drinkers or not. Why is this? Throughout history it has been considered a social requirement (and in extremely good manners) to offer guests a hot beverage of some sort.
However, for the non-coffee drinker this often means brewing an entire pot of coffee only to have guests drink one or two cups and then it becomes necessary to dump the reminder of the pot down the drain. Something that is viewed as wasteful in a society that has become increasingly aware of spending money and wasted resources. Luckily, the shelves of many of the biggest retail and specialty shops are full with mini brewers and high end coffee makers designed to make a single cup of coffee and many other specialty beverages. This means that the non coffee drinker can offer guests visiting their home a warm caffeinated beverage without the guilt of the unused portions going to waste.
The Affordable Alternative to Fancy Coffee Shop Brews
Although designed to brew higher end specialty coffees and beverages, modern coffee makers are surprisingly affordable given the rising costs of obtaining a cup of the same beverage from a local coffee brewery. In fact, most machines engineered for home use can be purchased for less than most avid coffee drinkers spend on a months worth of coffee from Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. Since some of the most avid coffee drinkers can spend upwards of $500 or more each year on take out coffee beverages, purchasing a home brew unit means that it becomes possible to start putting the money that would normally be spent on daily trips to the local coffee house into a high interest savings account and actually turn a profit at the end of the year. See the new designer coffee makers from Panasonic in purple, silver, white or black.
Coffee Makers Becoming ‘Cool’ Again
Years ago, it was unheard of the make several trips to the local coffee shop and nearly every home had a coffee maker. Brewing hot coffee at home was a cultural norm then and is quickly becoming common practice now thanks to the widespread availability of coffee makers capable of brewing every type of hot beverage that the average consumer would visit a coffee shop for – only in the comfort of their own home and for far less than they would expect to spend otherwise. Owning a coffee maker is no longer considered a luxury, yet has become more of a necessity for those wanting to consume fresh coffee blends or offer the same to their guests.
The heating element inside of a coffee maker is a coil wire. If you’ve ever seen the filament in a light bulb then you may have a rough idea about how it works. Essentially, the heating element in a coffee maker is responsible for two things:
- Heating the water that is placed in the coffee maker.
- Keeping the coffee heated once it has already been made.
In most devices, this element sits between an aluminum tube full of water and a warming plate. The heating element is designed to pass right under the warming plate so that it can heat the coffee with little resistance. Keep in mind that there is a type of grease that conducts heat that is also placed on the warming pad. This allows for little resistance and allows the heat to quickly and easily be transferred.
Heating Sensors and Fuses
The duty of the switch on the coffee maker is to activate the heating element and begin the coffee making process. Most devices are typically installed with various fuses and sensors that will prevent the unit from becoming too hot. If a sensor detects that a coil is putting out too much heat then it will automatically shut off that machine. One it cools down, the sensor will allow the coffee maker to start again.
By working in this fashion, it is highly unlikely that a standard coffee maker that you purchase from a store is going to overheat. Fuses will simply cut the power off entirely if they sense that the device is putting out too much heat. Do keep in mind that fuses are the “backups” or sensors and are only designed for situations when the latter fails. The various fuses and sensors in a coffee machine lie in various places beneath the heating element.
Another very vital part of a coffee maker is its one-way valve. Basically, this is a valve that is responsible for preventing any air from entering the tube that the water is supposed to be running through. If there wasn’t a one-way valve installed in a coffee maker then the boiling water would simply run back into the bucket where it was originally placed. Because of this, the one-way valve is an extremely vital part of the unit as a whole.
After reading this article, you should have a greater understanding about how the heating elements in a coffee maker work. Keep in mind that everything in a coffee maker works relatively well together and understanding how heating elements work will provide you with the knowledge to fix or diagnose problems with your own coffee maker in the future.
There have been a number of methods to brew what most of us consider a morning essential – our coffee. Coffeemakers have been around and evolving since the mid 1800’s, and have been found in some of the following forms:
Vacuum style coffee makers have been in existence since approximately 1840. These coffeemakers tended to be fairly complex and therefore saved for special occasions. The vacuum coffee brewer heats the water in a lower compartment while the ground coffee sits in a higher compartment. The heated water would be forced into the upper vessel to brew with the coffee grounds. After enough time had elapsed, the heat would be turned off, and the coffee would come back through to the bottom compartment through a strainer or filter piece. This type of basic vacuum coffee brewer was popular for around a hundred years. The same technique was used in a side by side model, where the two compartments were balanced with a counterweight. When the weight came into play, producers were able to introduce the ability to automatically turn off the heat in the coffee maker. This side by side model then became the first sort of automatic coffeemaker in history.
Percolating Coffee Brewers
In the mid 1800’s, percolaters began to be produced in the United States. With a percolator, the water is heated in a pot. After the water is heated, it is sent through a tube into the compartment containing the coffee grounds. The hot water then filters through the coffee grounds compartment back into the pot. This cycle is then repeated until the coffee drinker is satisfied with the color of the coffee. Early percolaters relied on being set on a stove in order to heat the water. Once electricity became more standard in homes, manufacturers introduced heating elements into the coffeemakers, simplifying the entire process.
Drip Coffee Brewers
Drip coffee brewers are one of the standard types of coffeemakers in today’s market. In a drip brewer, the coffee drinker pours in cold water that is channeled through a hose into a heating chamber. The heated water then is poured onto the ground coffee, located in a basket (generally in the upper half of the coffeemaker). The water passes through the coffee and a filter, and drips down into the pot. These brewers are mass produced in today’s market with a wide variety of features, including: various designs for the heating elements and brewing chambers, timers and clocks, water filtering abilities, and built-in coffee grinders.
For those people that don’t mind being a bit more hands on in their morning coffee, French presses are a great alternative. With a French press, the coffee drinker places ground coffee into a large beaker. The user then adds hot water (no heating elements involved) and waits a number of minutes. The number of minutes the user waits generally depends on how strong they want their coffee. After enough time has passed, the user pushes down a filter, which then separates the brewed coffee from the grounds.