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Brewing coffee one cup at a time ... using coffee pods.

Rudd Melikian Inc. (now know as RMI) was first to launch automatic coffee veloped frozen coffee concentrate Kwik Kale known as Moccomat in Europe. To keep its competitive leadership, the company designed and was first in the industry to introduce a one cup at a time coffee brewing system using fresh roasted and ground coffee. This was done with a newly developed and propriety coffee tape and coffee pod system introduced in 1960.

The inventions of coffee pods and related systems of brewing were from the engineering department of Rudd Melikian under George Schollhamer, who developed and patented three generations of coffee pod packaging machines over a period of 10 years. The staff of 15 engineers, technicians, draftsmen, food technologists, and scientists worked on the dual disciplines of designing coffee brewers and coffee pod packaging machines.

Harry Clauss of the Rudd Melikian engineering staff, now with Automatic Brewers and Coffee Devices Inc. (ABCD Inc.) worked on all the coffee pod packaging machines, and his name appears on the latest patent of the coffee tape and pod machines.

Fourteen years ago, ABCD Inc. acquired the tools, the manufacturing rights, and the inventory of the coffee pod and tape system program from Rudd Melikian Inc.

Since the acquisition, there has been considerable engineering enhancements resulting in the packaging of coffee pods at speeds of 90 plus coffee pods per minute. Currently, there are a number of ABCD Inc. Coffee Pod packaging machines in the overseas markets, including two in the Netherlands and one in Italy.

Coffee and the Roaster

Coffee roasters worry about what happens to the quality of the coffee when the coffee is finally served. Today, with the evolution of the coffee industry, coffee roasters are even packaging espresso coffee in coffee pods.

Following are reasons why the coffee pod is effective.

Coffee Pod Individually Wrapped-- When the coffee pod is individually wrapped in quality foil or film, there is usually a very high oxygen barrier. The enemies of fresh coffee are air. oxygen and heat that individually, or together, rapidly accelerate the staling process of coffee. This protection provides coffee pod freshness, and extends the shelf life up to a year.

Grinding of Coffee--The grinding of espresso coffee is critical. Foodservice operators have very little literature available to them to assist on how to adjust the grinder to get the best extraction of the espresso coffee soluble solids.

Weather and the climate are factors in grinder setting of coffee. As coffee is hydroscopic, it absorbs moisture and, as everyone knows, the grinder should be adjusted during rainy or humid weather.

Coffee roasters take special precautions in grinding or milling of coffee, measuring particle sizes for uniformity. Some coffee roasters blend espresso coffee after the roast, and grind different roasted coffees to different grind or particles sizes, after which time the coffees are blended for espresso coffee. This later process of grinding coffee is almost impossible in the foodservice environment but feasible in a coffee roasting plant.

Correct Amount or Dosage of Coffee--The proper measure of coffee is best accomplished by weight to assure the best quality of espresso and to get the full flavor and necessary soluble solids extracted from the coffee.

The hand filling of espresso coffee into the brew handle is an art as well as an educated guess-- the tamping of coffee in the handle is a skill. Too much coffee creates technical problems with the espresso machine, too little produces weak coffee.

The ABCD Inc. coffee pod is always the same weight, thus providing quality control.

Bulk Density of Coffee-- Coffee roasters know about bulk density of coffee. Some coffees after roasting get very fluffy, or expand (like popcorn)--meaning these coffees weigh less when they are dispensed or measured in a volumetric dispenser,

To the untrained eye, fluffy coffees look like regular ground espresso coffees, but can result in Weak tasting coffee, with the end results being that the espresso quality is not consistent.

Coffee roasters packaging coffee pods have quality control standards for bulk density.

Hygienic Disposal of Spent Coffee Grounds--in the brewing of espresso, the last step is disposing of the wet coffee grounds. Invented for this drudgery is an accessory to the espresso machine called the knock box. The coffee grounds are knocked out of the brew handle with a couple of sharp knocks to dispose of it.

Conversely, when using coffee pods, the removal of the pod is simple. The used coffee is in an envelope of filter paper, biodegradable and easy to dispose of. Completely hygienic and sanitary--wonderful and helpful in foodservice--with no specks of used or spent coffee around the espresso machine. The area looks and is clean.

Coffee Pod Single Wrapper Service--The coffee single service pod wrapped for espresso offers a splendid opportunity to advertise the roaster's name, trademark, and coffee blend name.

The marketing significance of this aspect is that the foodservice outlet offers a great opportunity for the roaster to advertise and, at the same time, have his coffee sampled and tasted under ideal conditions. This encourages the consumer to purchase the coffee roaster's products for home coffee consumption.

One coffee roaster (a pod producer) said that roasted and ground coffee is comparable to ground meat (like hamburger), "you have to trust from whom you buy". With espresso coffee in pods, the roaster's name is on the pod till the espresso is brewed and served. This provides a high level of creditability for all concerned--the roaster, the foodservice operator and the consumer.

K. Cyrus Melikian was the chairman of Rudd Melikian Inc. and is presently chairman of Automatic Brewers and Coffee Devices, Inc. ABCD Inc, 10 Union Hill, West Conshohocken Pa, 19428.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Melikian, K. Cyrus
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Dec 1, 1992
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