Sponsored by FETCO®
These are good days for coffee sellers in America. Daily coffee drinking is up sharply. More gourmet coffee is being consumed than ever before. And advances in coffee brewing equipment are helping restaurant operators to keep up with the trends, explore new niches and satisfy a growing thirst..
The percentage of Americans drinking coffee daily increased to 62 percent this year, up from 57 percent in 2016, according to the 2017 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report by the New York-based National Coffee Association (NCA). And for the first time in the 67-year history of NCDT, more than half (59 percent) of the cups of coffee consumed daily are now classified as gourmet coffee, up from 46 percent in 2012. NCA includes espresso-based beverages and on-trend specialties such as cold brew, frozen blended and nitrogen-infused coffees among gourmet varieties.
Against this backdrop, coffee equipment is evolving to match operators’ specific business needs and the trend-driven tastes of the public. Options range from compact pourover brewers that produce half-gallon batches perfect for small-volume venues to large batch brewers producing hundreds of cups per hour for large dining rooms and cafeterias. Technology is giving operators increasing control over coffee quality. Advanced brewers can be programmed with the proper brew volume, brew time, water temperature and other variables needed to bring out the best from any origin or blend of coffee.
With both consumers and operators being more eco-conscious than before, energy efficiency in brewing equipment is also an important trend. Better insulation and construction materials have helped reduce electricity consumption. Some units can be programmed to go into a standby mode of lower energy use during slow business periods.
Other types of brewers have advanced in terms of greater simplicity, space efficiency, reliability and operational ease. Those attributes are the selling points of the new Fetco Pourover Coffee Brewers.
This pair of compact pieces of equipment is designed especially for use in small venues where a high-volume drip brewer is impractical. They make it easy to offer quality coffee in half-gallon batches virtually anywhere that space is limited.
These new Fetco brewers will be at home in a small- to medium-sized restaurant which serves a modest number of cups. Another likely setting is an operation which does not emphasize coffee as a part of its menu concept, yet has the goal of serving a good, quick cup to guests who request it. They also are well suited for office coffee service, employee break rooms and the lobbies of inns and hotels.
“A lot of our customers are excited because now they can offer something that is Fetco branded in places where they have not been able to offer something before,” says Vince Kendzierski, director of marketing for Fetco, which is headquartered in Lake Zurich, Illinois.
There are two models in the new Fetco line — one with heated warming plates for glass servers and the other without heat for thermal-insulated servers. The CBS-2121-PW, is designed for foodservice operators who use half-gallon glass coffee servers. In this unit the glass servers sit on dual self-adjusting warmers at the base of the unit and on top of the unit. The warmers feature temperature-limiting technology which administers to the glass servers only the heat necessary to keep the coffee at optimal serving temperature, thus preserving its freshness and flavor.
In contrast, some competing coffee brewers heat glass pots continuously, which degrades the coffee's flavor. This technology helps the operator save on energy costs as well.
The other model, the CBS-2121-P, brews into half-gallon stainless steel thermal servers which keep the coffee hot and fresh. It contains dual dispenser stations — one located at the base of the unit and one on top of the unit — to keep the thermal servers within handy reach for filling cups.
Simplicity and ease of operation are highlights of both models. They are ready to plug and play right out of the box. They work on a common 120-volt connection and no dedicated water line is needed. It is a snap for staff members at any level to operate these brewers without special training. Each of these compact brewers can fit in a space with a recommended clearance of only 30 inches.
It may seem like a small thing, but it is worth noting that these brewers also feature a dedicated on-off switch located on the front panel. Competing brewers of this type typically must be unplugged to prevent them from using electricity, so this may present another welcome convenience for operators, Fetco says. And when it comes to conserving energy, every little bit helps the planet and reduces operating costs.