For the most part, the makers of single-serve pod coffees have been corporate heavyweights like Nespresso or Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Now Just Love Coffee, a smaller roastery in Murfreesboro, Tenn., is hoping to get into the single-serve game, while maintaining an ‘artisan’ approach.
The four-year-old company — which started as a fundraising solution for adopting families and also contributes to a clean water program — announced this week that it will begin selling single-serve pods of USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified coffees called “Love Ones” beginning Aug. 1.
“Although the single-cup coffee market saw $11.8 billion in sales in 2012 up from $103 million in 2007, single cup production has been out of reach for most artisan roasters due to the cost involved,” the company said in an announcement of the new product. The Just Love Coffee Team also acknowledged common criticisms of coffee pods among specialty coffee professionals, including quality and sustainability issues.
Incidentally, sources in a recent report in Waste & Recycling News suggested that even recyclable coffee pods can create headaches for recycling companies. And an influential New York Times piece last year broke down the actual coffee costs to consumers, with pod coffees from companies like Folger’s breaking down to $50 per pound. As for coffee quality quality, it is difficult to imagine that pre-ground coffee stored in plastic — recyclable as it may be — is an ideal solution for home consumers. But Just Love Coffee founder Rob Webb says he hopes the product strikes the right balance of convenience, quality and sustainability.
“As a member of the SCAA, we never thought we would be able to offer a single-cup option,” Webb said in the company announcement. “We took our time to find the right vendor and by bringing all production in-house we can offer the highest quality coffee in single-cup packaging, that is USDA Organic, Fair Trade and the packaging is recyclable.”