Chicago’s Sputnik Coffee Boldly Grows in Ways No Roaster Has Grown Before

Sputnik Coffee Roaster Chicago

Since lifting off its launchpad roastery in the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago in 2017, startup Sputnik Coffee Roasters has rapidly carved out a niche for itself with a concise product line and personable service.

In response to rocketing demand, Sputnik has now tripled its capacity with a new 15-kilo, IMF roaster and upgraded its packaging from hand-stamped craft bags to printed bags.

Starting with smaller and lower-priced retail bags of its one core blend, Sputnik’s growth also depends on the sales work of co-founder Vova Kagan. And with the recent shift from hand-stamped craft bags to printed bags, the company also adjusted its labeling to provide info in multiple different languages, reaching directly out to more people in the communities it serves.

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Starbucks begins mobile ordering rollout in Beijing and Shanghai

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“Starbucks said it has begun rolling out its Starbucks Now mobile ordering platform to 300 select stores in Beijing and Shanghai and will expand the service throughout China over the next year.

Starbucks Now, available for Starbucks Rewards members through the company’s mobile app in China, allows customers to order their food and beverages ahead of time and pick them up in store.

“Starbucks Now represents a significant opportunity for Starbucks China to drive new, innovative customer experiences,” Belinda Wong, chief executive officer of Starbucks China said in a company release. “This builds on the latest of several digital initiatives in China, including Starbucks Delivers and locally relevant gifting and e-commerce experiences.”

Customers can use Starbucks Now to find a local store based on the mobile app’s GPS location, order food and customized beverages and make payment, with the order ready to pick up when they arrive at the location.”

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Truebird Swoops Into New York with Robotic Specialty Coffee Kiosks

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“(…) Could the surly and spirited humans of old New York embrace a joe by droid? A new company called Truebird has fluttered in to find out.

Like its predecessors, Truebird pitches its system squarely at the specialty coffee crowd, claiming that its automated coffee kiosks offer drinks that are “consistently as good as those made by the best baristas using the finest ingredients and equipment.”

At a Truebird coffee station, customers are able to choose a fresh and locally roasted coffee from a touchscreen menu, then designate a type of milk and an espresso beverage style for the machine to execute.

The flat ceramic “standard” burrs of one of the machine’s two integrated grinders break the beans. An extraction occurs, and milk is stretched by unseen internals as the customer waits, while a trio of cute, black magnet-driven pucks charmingly coordinate to nudge cups around on the visible surface behind glass.

“We chose our magnetic transport solution versus other options, including an articulated robotic arm, for a variety of reasons, but chief among them was the surprisingly warm, approachable, and magical experience it creates,” Truebird CEO and Co-Founder Josh Feuerstein told Daily Coffee News. “We believe a coffee break is not just about the quality of the drink, but about the feel of the experience. We’ve tried to make every element of our product warm, approachable, and beautiful, from the design of the micro-cafe itself, to the mesmerizing experience of watching your cup glide from the espresso machine towards your hand. We keep that emotional component top-of-mind in our design process. It’s a fascinating challenge, especially for an automated product.”

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Toby’s Estate Brooklyn Changes Name to Partners Coffee

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Fresh off the heels of a second Brooklyn roastery opening and new cafe, Toby’s Estate New York today announced a name and brand change, becoming Partners Coffee.

Toby’s Estate in Brooklyn has been building a passionate following and impressive wholesale roster since opening with a Williamsburg roastery in 2012. Co-Owners Amber Jacobsen and Adam Boyd had licensed the name from the popular Australian roastery, founded by Toby Smith, of the same name.

While 2012 and the subsequent years turned out to be fortuitous times for Australophile specialty cafe businesses riding the Third Wave in New York, the change to Partners Coffee serves to better reflect the local ownership.

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“We are only as great as the sum of our partners, and we are excited to continue evolving and growing with a new look, feel and name that fully embodies who we are and what we stand for,” Jacobsen and Boyd said in an announcement of the rebranding.

The Partners Coffee effort was assisted by the New York design firm Love & War, which sought to “develop a bold, dynamic design aesthetic that evokes heritage coffee brands and the classic energy, optimism and simplicity of old-school New York coffee counters,” according to the Partners Coffee announcement today. (…)”

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Simple Roast Makes It Look Easy in Auburn, New York

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“Snagging a quick cup of coffee from a drive-through on the daily commute is a simple pleasure upon which many Americans depend. In Auburn, New York, Simple Roast is adding quality to the basic equation.

A second Simple Roast drive-through kiosk held its grand opening earlier this month, and owner Matt Peirson now believes he has enough skilled baristas at each location that he can devote the majority of his attention to the fire-engine-red Ambex YM-10 roasting machine inside the company’s 700-square-foot roastery, office and storage facility.

Three years ago, prior to opening any drive-throughs, Simple Roast sold its beans at area farmers markets, running through about 50 to 60 pounds per week. Now with two kiosks and a wholesale operation, the company runs through more than ten times as much from its headquarters in the picturesque city in New York’s Northern Finger Lakes region.”

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Path Coffee Roasters Leads the Way for Specialty with Westchester County Training Facility

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“Five-year-old specialty coffee wholesale roasting company Path Coffee Roasters has unveiled a new specialty coffee destination at its home base in Port Chester, New York.

Working with Dianne Eaton of Mamaroneck-based Keller/Eaton Architects, Path has created a new cupping lab and training space adjacent to its roastery that is designed to give advanced training, skills development and cupping opportunities to wholesale clients and home baristas alike.

Despite the brand being just five years old, it also constitutes the specialty division of Empire Coffee Roasters, which has been producing wholesale, mostly private-label coffees for clients throughout New York for more than three decades.”

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Starbucks Roastery opens in New York City

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“The design of each Starbucks Roastery— with locations in Seattle, Shanghai, and Milan — is inspired by its home city. Architect Rafael Vinoly’s designed the three-story New York City location in the city’s Meatpacking District. The design was inspired by the geometry of New York City’s buildings and will feature systems of “symphony pipe” tubes where beans will be transported, as a nod to the city’s subway system.

Exclusive to the New York City Roastery will be a cellar-level terrarium featuring vegetation inspired by the Starbucks coffee farm in Costa Rica.

The Roastery will also feature a 10-foot copper sculpture of the Starbucks siren, which has become a design staple at each Roastery location. This statue, designed by Brooklyn artist Max Steiner, is New York City-inspired.”

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