New York-based coffee company Nobletree has recently discussed plans to incorporate a new business model, based on the “estate concept” used in the wine making industry, into the existing New York coffee scene. Similar to the way that wine makers tend to their product in every step of production — from tending to their vineyards, all the way to bottling the finished wine — Nobletree plans to incorporate the same “soil to sip” structure of production. By being able to maintain control over every step in the process, Nobletree hopes to develop a distinct brand which can compete with already-established brands.
Although Nobletree’s business model isn’t seen in the U.S. coffee industry very often, it certainly isn’t the first time a coffee company began using the “soil to sip” strategy. The casual coffee drinker may not have a preference about where the coffee beans themselves come from, but serious coffee drinkers tend to be very particular about the country of origin, and want to know all the details about how the coffee is grown and harvested — the kinds of details that Nobletreewants its customers to know. In addition to planting about 250,000 trees in Brazil, the company also plans to harvest beans from other regions, including popular coffee-based countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, and Panama. Unlike most coffee production in Brazil, Nobletree is using alternative methods or farming, such as hand-picking and wet milling the beans.
These alternative methods aren’t widely used because of the subsequent price increase that accompanies the “perfect cup of coffee;” but it seems that Americans consumers are becoming more concerned with how their foods are farmed, and are willing to pay the extra cost for getting high-quality items. Moreover, the “perfect cup” is no longer just for the occasional coffee snob; as more studies show the health benefits of drinking coffee, more Americans are starting to drink coffee regularly as a preventative measure against high blood pressure and heart disease — and these consumers want their daily cup to taste great. And modern coffee shops, like Nobletree, are already aware of this fact.