Solutions to Match Today's Coffee Trends

New nitrogen-infused and cold-brew coffees can perk up a coffee bar, but the equipment itself can also jumpstart beverage programs. Retailers and manufacturers can partner on everything from e­fficient ways to brew to equipment setup, meeting volume requirements, ensuring product quality and minimizing waste.

“We are being asked for solutions to help improve freshness [and] reduce waste, and [equipment pieces] that have great styling,” says Scott Mazzini, senior vice president of product strategy for Bunn.

Click through to see what's new from a number of manufacturers.

Springfield, Ill.-based Bunn has positioned its new bean-to-cup brewing machine, the Sure Immersion, to meet all of these goals. The system grinds fresh coffee and serves each cup as soon as it’s ordered on a customer-facing 10-inch touchscreen. “Each coffee is prepared and served by the cup as it will be consumed, so waste is minimized,” says Mazzini.

Other companies highlight the benefits of bean-to-cup brewers. Schaerer USA Corp. of Signal Hill, Calif., has introduced its new Coffee Art C Bean to Cup Coffee equipment, which aims to eliminate some operational challenges by producing hot and iced coffee on demand. The machine can help reduce the labor costs associated with maintaining a coffee program, as well as increase daily cup counts and traffic.

Technology also has a direct role to play in brewing innovation. Bunn’s new Infusion Series Soft Heat coffee brewer and server line has a wireless coffee server management tool. With it, store employees can monitor the freshness and volume of coffee in the servers via a Wi-Fi tablet.

Another core piece in the c-store industry’s superautomatic, bean-to-cup arsenal is the A600 from Franke, Smyrna, Tenn. The touchscreen-driven machine makes as many as 150 cups of espresso-based drinks per day using its FoamMaster technology.

And then there’s the ever-present quandary of space constraints, but a smaller footprint isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. According to Schaerer, operators are eager to strategize within their existing space to accommodate beverage equipment that can deliver what consumers want.

Wilbur Curtis Co., Montebello, Calif., offers a simple cold-brew system using either 6- or 7-gallon stainless-steel drums with large coffee filters inserted. The compact kegs are capable of preparing 5 pounds of coffee at once, all in a small space.

Combo brewers are also giving retailers more flexibility. Bunn’s Infusion Series Tea and Coffee combo system brews both coffee and tea in a narrow 11.5-inch-wide footprint.

With the right equipment in place to ensure freshness and consistency, c-stores are on track to capitalize on fast-moving coffee trends.