Coffee economics

BUNN – quality in the coffee cup

Although the specialty market may only represent a fragment of the markets she works in, BUNN’s Lina Chiodo says she can thank that fraction for some of the success quality filter coffee is experiencing today. As Vice President Sales and Marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Chiodo was front and centre to witness the rise of the independent coffee shop, and the newfound interest in filter coffee. “Consumers have had a good cup of coffee, and they aren’t willing to go back,” she says. “Now they want to try filter coffee, which brings out bean complexities in a way espresso can’t.” With a historical focus on filter, Chiodo says BUNN is well-placed to be leading developments that are delivering quality filter coffee to the masses. BUNN is a family-run business founded in the 1950s. Chiodo explains that a focus on quality has helped guide the company since its early beginnings. George Bunn invented the fluted flat-bottomed paper filter and the company went on to introduce the Pour Over Brewer in 1963. The 1990s were perhaps the most exciting in terms of developments, Chiodo explains, with the introduction of electronics in filter technology, which has allowed BUNN to lead the path of filter coffee technology like never before. A shining example of BUNN’s success in working with digital technology to improve the brewing process was the release of trifecta in 2010. Chiodo says BUNN President and CEO Hy Bunn tasked the research and development team to enhance the experience in the cup and promote consumer engagement. “Hy wanted to make a machine that would let consumers taste the notes of each coffee and have a full cup experience,” she says. “It has been a tremendous success and we’ve had fun selling it.” While trifecta may cater to the pointier end of the market in specialty and single cup; BUNN’s developments across its range of equipment are designed with similar flexibility in mind. “We’re always looking at how we can make the equipment simpler to operate, and what impact our developments will have on the user,” she says. Simplicity, ease of service, and speed of service guide the development of BUNN’s equipment, with the customer in mind. The advent of digital technology and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has been a pivotal advancement in this regard. Chiodo explains how digital technology has allowed greater brew control, while RFID has made possible wireless programming and intelligent communication between parts of the equipment to ensure the best brew. These advancements, patented by BUNN, are now leading the forefront in filter coffee brewing. For instance, the Smart Hopper can communicate with the grinder through a microchip in the hopper. The grinder adjusts the grind time for each batch to deliver just the right grind volume. The grinder also communicates with the Smart Funnel during the process. The BrewWISE brewer can read the information in the Smart Funnel and adjust the precise recipe and brew a perfect cup of coffee every time. “What it does is take the guesswork out for the operator,” says Chiodo. “Once the equipment is programmed its error free, allowing consistency and quality in the cup.”
In all of these developments, Chiodo explains that BUNN’s efforts have never steered off the main focus – that is the quality of the coffee served. “What we are driven by is what the customer will taste in the cup,” she says. “The question is always: ‘How will we create a piece of equipment that will serve the best quality coffee.’” 

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