I am a dedicated coffee drinker. Dedicated. I like mine iced, blended into a slushie beverage, or simply drip brewed and served hot. But like everyone else, I am also interested in not only the flavor of my bean, but also who and how it is being sourced. And if you’re a K-Cup user, you’ve also probably been a little concerned with what happens to that K-Cup after you’ve used it too. Target, as usual, is on the ball and has heard customer concerns. This month Target is rolling out an expanded line of Archer Farms coffee featuring a few farm-to-cup improvements.
I was invited to spend a morning with Target and Archer Farms highlighting these new improvements. I not only got to sip from Target’s new coffee additions, I also got to see how Target is looking out for the environment, the coffee producer, and the consumer. Oh, and I was able to see my face recreated in a cup of coffee (check in out on instagram!). Basically, my ideal kind of morning.
During the event I was able to speak to Emily Olsen, Senior Food Product Development Engineer for Target. Emily spoke to me about the entire process behind the bean, and invited me to see if I could taste the differences between four of Target’s newest coffee’s. Emily, whose job involves tasting loads of coffee (talk about dream job) and finding out what customers like us want, pointed out the fruity and acidic qualities of the coffees depending on the region that they come from, as well as the manner of their processing. It was so cool speaking to her, unfortunately I haven’t yet developed a coffee testers discerning tongue – they all tasted amazing to me, haha!
Target was the first mass retailer to offer fair trade coffee. But they haven’t stopped there, they now offer 32 fair or direct trade options. Because of this commitment to fair & direct trade, they’ve also improved on quality and now will be offering 12 coffees with all-natural flavoring – and yes they’ll be ground, bagged, and available in single-serve pods for you K-cup folks!
Speaking of single-serve pods, I was thrilled to hear about Target’s environmental efforts. Before I broke my K-cup machine (a sad tale, really), I was constantly concerned with the amount of waste that I was creating. Target is now using Real Cup Technology, which relies on BPA-free translucent packaging. A Target rep spoke about the amount of waste created by traditional single-serve pods, and highlighted the extreme differences in waste produced with their new pod design, and it is significantly reduced. Basically, the new cups not only can be recycled, the filter and grounds are made easily separated (which you couldn’t do with traditional single-serve pods), so the grounds can also be composted. It’s so great to see Target roll out this massive initiative, with so many single-serve cups used daily, the damage – or in this case the amount of prevention can comparatively have a massive positive impact.
But there’s more – all of Target’s single-serve pods benefit Waterwise, a clean water non-profit committed to cleaning the water supply in Ethiopia through creating sustainable and innovative wet mills. In addition to all this good, Target has also redesigned their bags and boxes to feature more than 50 new pieces of art that represent where that coffee was grown or the type of coffee in that package. I’ve seen many of them and they look great – you definitely won’t be hiding these bags in the back of your cabinet!
I’m so excited about this new development and can’t wait to get brewing! These new changes roll out in stores on August 7th!