a bright orange hand peeling back sticker on decaf coffee bag
coffee, guide

How to Improve Your Decaf Coffee Marketing and Attract More Buyers

Decaf coffee marketing is pretty archaic. For all the developments the coffee industry makes technologically and culturally, this niche might as well be in the stone age!

Coffee marketing in general aims to provide several critical values in a single package. On average, a coffee bag will boast its environmental sustainability, ethical sourcing commitment, and/or specialty bean cultivation. Where decaf coffee marketing often stumbles is its missed opportunities. When today’s approaches are not spouting tired catchphrases, they’re failing to stress the physical or mental health benefits.

Falling back on clichés may be easier, but they won’t make your business stand out from the competition (and may even turn buyers off entirely).

How can you improve your decaf coffee marketing to raise awareness or clinch more buyers? I’m going to share a few tips on how to promote your coffee business, from my perspective as both a coffee marketer and a passionate decaf drinker.

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coffee, industry news

A Tiny Cafe That Unfolds Like A Present

Step aside, hole-in-the-wall shops. We now have a business that’s so small it could give Polly Pocket a run for her money.

Miharashi is a tiny cafe is designed much like a toy box, able to be situated just about anywhere due to its small size and ability to unfold like a present. Japan is well-known for being densely concentrated, with its metropolitan Tokyo and Osaka regions taking the cake. As such, they need to get extra creative just to put down basic locations such as coffee shops, parking lots, or one-bedroom apartments.

This rooftop cafe comes fully equipped with all the bells and whistles to deliver delicious coffee quickly. This is a novelty I can see catching on very quickly. As populations expand and space becomes increasingly expensive, these locations provide a much-needed middleground.

Or…one-fourth of a middleground, anyway!

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coffee, review

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Topeca Coffee Roasters’ House Decaf

Something I love about ordering freshly roasted coffee are the pleasant surprises. It’s not just a delicious cup awaiting me: sometimes I get entirely new gifts.

I’ve opened up coffee packages and received little postcards. I’ve gotten stickers. Occasionally I get a handwritten note from the roasters, which always puts a huge smile on my face. The surprise this time around was a real conundrum, because the first clue I had concerning an addition to my purchase was how heavy the box was. Before we dive into that…

If you’re embarking on your own coffee journey and want to lay off the caffeine, check out my Decaf, Decaf Everywhere series. I explore the brewing methods and flavor notes of a wide variety of origins, specialty roasters, and commodity-grade coffee. I also analyze packaging design and discuss elements like ethical sourcing and coffee culture.

Why is Colombian coffee so good? Much of it has to do with the history of the region. Let’s take a look at Topeca Coffee Roasters’ unique surprise below:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Topeca Coffee Roasters’ House Decaf”
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coffee

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Rwanda Bean’s Amahoro Peace Decaf

This…is a very late review. It’s not for lack of wanting!

I’ve been curious about Rwanda Bean for quite some time. The roaster first caught my eye for being a lesser-known origin in a sea of Colombian and Brazilian coffees. It proceeded to hold my attention for being up front about their efforts to equalize pay for coffee farmers. Their site states each bag of coffee sold sees 50% going back into farmer pockets, alongside the ability to fund farmers’ health insurance through coffee subscriptions.

Now that is something I don’t usually see. Oftentimes roasters and roaster-cafe hybrids stick to generic buzzwords of transparency and the occasional certification. Over the years I’ve found myself increasingly disillusioned with the usual approach of the coffee industry, which means outliers stand out all the harder.

If you’re thinking of getting into single-origin decaf coffee — and decaf coffee in general — check out my Decaf, Decaf Everywhere series. I’ve got Ethiopian, Mexican, Colombian, Brazilian, and Peruvian origins, just to name a few.

What does Rwandan coffee taste like? Let’s take a look:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Rwanda Bean’s Amahoro Peace Decaf”
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coffee, review

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Onyx Coffee Lab’s Decaf La Serrania

It’s always good news when a favorite roaster brings in another decaf.

Being a strict decaf coffee drinker can leave you disappointed when browsing roasters. We often get the short end of the stick when it comes to portfolio variety. A token decaf bag is the standard (and still not always guaranteed). Two bags is a nice surprise! Three bags is very rare. Anything more than three might as well be a blue moon, and you should savor it just as much.

I check back with my favorite roasters every few months to see if they have anything new. While most roasters keep a consistent rotation of their default decaf bag, some shake things up by cycling in new ones a few times per year. Onyx Coffee Lab gives me plenty to love as a decaf drinker, keeping their portfolio dynamic with new decaf and half-caf options. While I still can’t drink the latter (yes, I’m that sensitive), I’m glad it exists.

If you’re as eager to try different kinds of decaf coffee as I am, check out my Decaf, Decaf Everywhere series (which has a variety of specialty and non-specialty options). I recently took a look at a Washington coffee roaster that slipped my notice, as well as revisited another favorite roaster of mine.

Why is Colombian coffee so good and a regular favorite on my review lists? Let’s see why Onyx Coffee Lab and this origin have earned such a positive reputation:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Onyx Coffee Lab’s Decaf La Serrania”
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coffee

Roasters And Cafes Should Raise Their Coffee Prices…And Keep Them That Way

Cold snaps, endless shipping delays, and a global pandemic. Caring about anything these days feels like juggling plates. 

Why are coffee prices up? Well, the Brazilian cold snap compromised millions of tons of coffee bags earlier this year, setting a record for the coldest harvest in over two decades and cranking up prices to almost double what they usually are. With the pandemic causing shipping delays and the food and beverage industry struggling to retain workers, it’s small wonder coffee prices have skyrocketed. 

Roasters, cafes, and roaster-cafe hybrids are understandably concerned about customer retention. Raising prices on an already expensive daily commodity is a surefire way to drive the end consumer into the arms of the competition, right?

The question isn’t whether prices should stay raised: it’s whether or not the end consumer will be willing to pay them. 

As someone who has been on both sides of the fence as a coffee buyer and a coffee worker, now’s the best time to get used to what will be a new standard. Roasters and cafes should not just raise their coffee prices, but keep them that way.

Here’s why. 

Continue reading “Roasters And Cafes Should Raise Their Coffee Prices…And Keep Them That Way”
banner of arctos coffee's northwest decaf
coffee, review

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Arctos Coffee’s Northwest Decaf

I am…very behind on my Washington coffee roasters. I’ll admit it!

While in the past I’ve looked at Washington’s Olympia Coffee and Boon Boona Coffee, I’ve been primarily ordering from roasters all over the country. While there’s nothing wrong with that, per se, it’s caused me to fall behind on what’s going on in my own state. Well! There’s no time like the present to brush up on the local coffee scene.

I was given a bag of Arctos Coffee & Roasting Co. for my birthday, as well as one of their cute mugs. I was charmed by both their name and logo, which is a great way to start off the drink.

What are the best coffee roasters in Washington state? Let’s find out. If you’re eager to try more delicious decaf coffee, check out my ongoing Decaf, Decaf Everywhere series. I’ve reviewed coffee from multiple origins, including Colombia, Ethiopia, and Mexico.

Let’s see what I’ve been missing lately:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Arctos Coffee’s Northwest Decaf”
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coffee, review

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Ruby Coffee Roasters’ Flume Seasonal Blend

Ruby Coffee Roasters is a roaster I’m thrilled to return to. Their coffee portfolio strikes the perfect balance between a quality cup and a romantic approach.

I fell in love with their Decaf Cauca earlier this year, a fruity and honeyed delight that hit high notes in every brewing method. Now they boast two new decaf coffees that promise more delicious mugs on the horizon. While the Decaf Aguacate sounds delectable, I honed in on the Flume Seasonal Blend partially for its flavor notes and partially for the brilliant site description.

This is the kind of coffee I would instantly recommend to those thinking of expanding their knowledge. It’s one thing to understand coffee can hit a whole ‘nother level. It’s another thing to know.

If you’re a regular (or occasional!) decaf drinker that wants to broaden your tastes, check out my Decaf, Decaf Everywhere review series. I recently reviewed the fantastic Slow Jamz from Deadstock Coffee, as well as a highly anticipated Sugarcane Decaf from Merit Coffee Co.

How are coffee beans blended? Which decaf coffee is the best for you? Let’s see how Ruby Coffee Roasters continues to bring the quality:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Ruby Coffee Roasters’ Flume Seasonal Blend”
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coffee, review

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Deadstock Coffee’s Slow Jamz

Sometimes you taste a coffee so good it makes you grin.

That’s the power of carefully grown, freshly roasted beans. Not that I don’t have a fondness for stale grocery coffee tins (those got me through stressful periods), but single-origin bags are an intensive experience. Each one is pure joy. I feel nothing but glee when I get my box in my mail (sometimes outfitted with a unique design) and opening it up. I love admiring the design of the bag from the comfort of my kitchen, studying it from every angle and analyzing what stands out.

Inhaling that first scent, trying out my first cup (I always start with a pourover), experimenting with recipes…it’s a journey. Every time.

Coffee is for everyone. Not only that, everyone stands to benefit from a coffee model that’s actually fair trade and sustainable. If you want to know more about what qualifies as single-origin or specialty coffee (and those that come close), check out this post by Third Wave Coffee Roasters. If you could use some recommendations for specialty grade decaf coffee and single-origin decaf coffee, check out my directory.

Now that that’s out of the way…

…let’s take a look at Deadstock Coffee’s Slow Jamz and why it brought a smile to my face:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Deadstock Coffee’s Slow Jamz”
coffee, industry news

The Classic Coffee Cup Gets A Clever Makeover

The coffee cup is an iconic staple of day-to-day life. It’s also loaded with unsustainable bells and whistles that create a lot of waste every year.

Just how much waste? According to a study by The Guardian, the UK alone tosses over 2.5 billion paper coffee cups every year. Even worse, a mere one out of every four hundred cups is actually recycled. That means towering landfills, worsening air quality, and, of course, the omnipresent threat of irreversible climate change. Being presented with yearly figures like these makes sustainability conversations feel like a useless loop. It’s all a lot of positive fluff with little to actually show for it.

This redesign to the classic coffee cup has a few thoughts on the matter. Fast Company shared an interview with the creators of this Kickstarter-backed coffee cup, hearkening to Chinese takeout and origami in its lid-free and sleeve-free design. It’s easy to fold and unfold, without fear of spilling, and cuts into the dismal statistics left by wasteful coffee culture.

One of my favorite details are the lovely animal-focused prints by Alexis Kandra, chosen specifically to keep buyers mindful of the very environment they’re supporting. Now that’s mindful packaging design.