We have recently tried to define a specialty coffee trying to bring it to the "ground floor" of communication. Because if on the one hand it is true that specialty coffee represents a minority slice of the market, on the other it is a product that, although defined as special, should represent normality. In fact, how many consumers are there who, when purchasing any product in the agri-food chain, would choose an old, immature product or one in which there are defects? Very often when it comes to coffee, the consumer is not provided with the tools to be able to distinguish a quality product from a mediocre one. The explosion in recent years of portioned products, made even more evident in the year just ended in which most of the public places were forced to close. In addition to pods and capsules, home preparation systems or in general methods that all have the same common denominator are back in vogue: ease of use and affordable for everyone. Here is the classic challenge that turns into opportunity.
Some purists will surely frown and think inwardly: “I never!”. Bringing quality within everyone's reach is certainly possible, even in sectors such as portioned or instant coffee which until recently when associated with specialty coffee seemed almost blasphemy. It has already happened in other sectors with more history than coffee. Think of wine, beer and oil, products that are distinguished in different price ranges based on quality, easily available and of immediate use. These are the keys to success even for high-end coffees.
From these assumptions Massimo Hakim, founder and CEO of the coffee, begins his business Mikah “From day one, our promise was to maintain a high level of quality to build an Italian coffee brand that could deliver highly selected products all over the world and today I can say that we have kept our promise while always respecting our standards. If I go back to 1984 when we started in a small shop in Milan and think of today and of our presence in many important countries around the world that allow us to serve hundreds of thousands of coffees every day, you cannot imagine the joy I feel. . "
Not just capsules and pods, ready-to-use systems arrive
Among the products in the Mikah range there is also a specialty single serve line, single dose 11g ready to use, with 5 single origins and a blend. "Among our products, this is the latest addition: practical, intuitive and with a low environmental impact. It is our bet to get the specialty in a simple and immediate way everywhere. The website indicates three different preparations based on the final result you want to achieve in the cup ”explains Massimo Hakim.
“Mikah was the first roaster to offer specialty coffee in the“ ear hanging ”filter, very popular, especially in Asia for conventional coffees, but rarely used for specialty coffees. The ear hanging filter was developed in Japan by Mr. Kaichi Suzuki and consequently patented by the Japanese company Yamanaka Sangyo Co Ltd. The Japanese were therefore the first to use this type of extraction, which has now become very popular so much so that it can be found almost everywhere in the home, offices and clubs. After the success achieved in Asia and North America, we decided to propose this particular format also in Italy.
Considering that we have no competition for this type of packaging, the results in the first month of launch were excellent. There are many consumers looking for alternative quality products to the usual ones, this is where the excellence of specialty coffee meets, with an easy-to-use system and excellent results in the cup. A product that can be used everywhere, in the office, at home, outdoors and even on the go!
Preparing it is simple: just open the bag, attach the filter to the cup, and pour inside from 160 to 200g of hot, not boiling water, preferably around 92 °.
Our research and development team has identified an ideal conservation of 6 months, during which the specialty coffee keeps all its organoleptic and sensorial characteristics intact. This result is achieved thanks to the exclusive aroma-saving valve applied to each individual sachet.
The growth of the retail sector
Over the last year, the various single-serving systems have literally been stormed, demonstrating that coffee is one of those pleasures that are difficult to give up. The forced closures of public places pushed people to make do with what they had at home.
Someone more daring has ventured into manual preparations dusting off the traditional one mocha or "newer" alternative methods such as filter coffee, with the help of several tutorials circulated online from March onwards. Instead, the majority of consumers opted for simpler systems that did not involve particular commitment or specific knowledge.
"Hence the idea of adopting disposable sachets that can be prepared with the same ease of a capsule but which at the same time give the consumer the opportunity to maintain contact with the product through their senses", concludes Dr. Hakim.
Already in June a special of the Sole 24 ore highlighted a new scenario for the Italian coffee market. The numbers showed a positive balance again (+ 2%) after years of stagnation for mocha blends and a general + 12% in roasted coffee purchases in the first quarter of 2020, data confirmed or even improved in the second quarter.