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Weekly Coffee News: McDonald’s Coffee Pilot + More Indies in Union Negotiations

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McDonald’s Launches Coffee-Focused Pilot Concept CosMc’s

McDonald’s this week unveiled its new quick-service and beverage-focused drive-through concept called CosMc’s. Named after an obscure McDonald’s robot/surfer/alien/snail character from the 1980s, CosMc’s is planning to open more than 10 pilot locations, offering an expanded coffee and beverage menu designed to appeal to existing patrons of large drive-through coffee chains such as Dunkin’, Starbucks or Dutch Bros., according to a report from Fast Company. A sample menu shows items such as a “S’mores Cold Brew” and a “Turmeric Spiced Latte.”

Go Get Em Tiger (GGET) Employees File for Union Election

The more than 100 retail and warehouse employees of Los Angeles-born sibling companies Go Get Em Tiger (GGET) and G&B Coffee have filed a petition to unionize with IBEW Local 45, according to a report from Eater this week. The report says that workers are seeking various protections related to pay and scheduling, while also addressing “issues of racism, homophobia, and transphobia” that are “swept under the rug.” GGET and G&B Owner Kyle Glanville told Eater in a statement, “This is all very new to us, so we’re learning as much as we can.” Glanville founded GGET with former business partner Charles Babinski in 2013. Babinski left the company in 2020.

Sunergos Workers End Strike Amidst Union Negotiations

Unionized workers at Sunergos Coffee in Louisville, Kentucky, ended a weeklong strike after worker representatives and the company agreed to terms for a new contract, according to multiple local reports. The workers first elected to unionize in January.

Strike at Elixr Coffee Averted Amidst Union Negotiations

A strike among unionized workers of Elixr Coffee in Philadelphia was averted when the company and union representatives came to a tentative agreement, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report.

ICE Rejects More than 40% of Arabica Lots for Warehouse Certification

Graders at the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) rejected 41% of lots sent for warehouse certification for futures contracts last week, according to a report from  for Reuters. The report suggests that coffee sellers were seeking recertification for aging coffee stocks.

Lawyer Who’s Filed Hundreds of Food Labeling Lawsuits Found in Contempt

A New York federal judge found an attorney in civil contempt of court last week, saying the attorney filed a lawsuit against Starbucks in bad faith. According to a Reuters report, the attorney Spencer Sheehan has filed hundreds of class action lawsuits accusing companies of misleading labeling on food products.

Nestlé UK Survey Shows Many Consumers Uncertain How Coffee is Produced

A survey commissioned by Nestlé UK found that one in four coffee drinkers have “no idea” where their coffee originates, while one in 20 drinkers (4%) believed the coffee was farmed in the UK. Nearly one in five consumers surveyed said they are “unsure” of how coffee is produced at all.

“Yellowstone” Creator Sues Star Actor Over Coffee Brand

“Yellowstone” television show creator Taylor Sheridan is suing Free Rein Coffee Company, a coffee brand created by one of the show’s stars, Cole Hauser. Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch is claiming that the actor’s coffee brand infringes on its trademarks and results in unfair competition. According reports of a 2022 interview with Hauser, the two men have previously gotten into some sort of physical tussle.

Burger Chain Whataburger Pilots Iced Coffee

Texas-born fast food chain Whataburger has for the first time rolled out an iced coffee menu. According to My San Antonio, the core elixir for the iced coffee options is a 100% arabica blend. Incidentally, in 1983, Whataburger introduced a “Nickel Mug” for 5-cent hot coffee refills.

National Coffee Association Names 2024 Convention Speakers

The National Coffee Association of the United States has unveiled some of the speakers for its 2024 annual convention, which takes place March 7-9 in Nashville, Tennessee. One of the speakers will be mountaineer and New York Times best-selling author Alison Levine.

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In Case You Missed It

Here are some of DCN’s top stories from the past week…

Coffee Character Wheel

A cross section of the Coffee Character wheel. The full version can be found through the AgriFutures website.

Australian Researchers Develop a ‘Coffee Character Wheel’

New research funded by an Australian government agricultural agency has produced the “Coffee Character Wheel,” a cupping tool designed to more thoroughly describe or identify coffee with the concept of terroir… read more

Study: A Pre-Grind Spritz Can Improve Espresso by Reducing Static and Clumping

New research suggests that adding a touch of moisture to roasted whole bean coffee just before grinding can result in less static electricity and clumping, resulting in more consistent and intense espresso… read more

Carhartt WIP and Rocket Espresso Collaborate for Limited-Release Machine

Italian espresso machine maker Rocket Espresso and Carhartt WIP have collaborated for a limited-edition collection that includes an espresso machine, grinder and apparel… read more

Cup of Excellence Launching ‘Origin Immersion’ Program in El Salvador

The nonprofit Cup of Excellence (COE) is launching a multi-day education program designed for international coffee professionals to be immersed in the coffees and cultures of specific coffee-producing countries… read more

Nuova Simonelli Unveils the Next-Generation Nuova Aurelia Line

Italian espresso equipment company Nuova Simonelli recently unveiled several new commercial espresso machines representing the next generation of its Aurelia line, called simply Nuova Aurelia… read more

Mexico-Focused Café Cuate Offers Coffee with Gusto in Long Beach

Long Beach, California-based Mexican sourdough bakery Gusto Bread has expanded its cafe to include an extensive new roasted coffee program under the name Café Cuate… read more

With New Roastery, Proyecto Diaz is Readying First Cafe in Oakland

An established roasting company with roots in Oaxaca, Mexico, Proyecto Diaz Coffee is opening its first brick-and-mortar cafe next week in Oakland, California… read more