Education in Coffee Service Excellence Continues

Sept. 3, 2008
NAMA Insight

It’s obvious that coffee service is booming. Consider the following points made by Automatic Merchandiser’s “State of the Coffee Industry” Report from July:

  • The OCS industry is entering its fourth consecutive year of 5-percentage point revenue growth;
  • In 2007/2008, OCS sales surpassed the $4 billion mark for the first time;
  • The gain continued to be driven by higher prices, the ongoing expansion of single-cup systems that generate higher sales, and the consumer’s willingness to pay for good coffee.

NAMA has been at the forefront of helping coffee service operators learn how to brew a quality cup of coffee that consumers are willing to pay for, and now has even more resources available to help operators tap into this increasingly lucrative market.


Any coffee service operator who has not attended the NAMA Quality Coffee Certification Program (QCCP) should make plans to attend the session during the NAMA Expo in St. Louis, Mo. In fact, even if you are one of the 800+ graduates, you might consider attending again to take advantages of some of the changes we’ve made to the program.

QCCP is designed to walk attendees through each step of the process to help them understand how to brew the very same premium branded and gourmet coffees that have exploded into the office coffee and office refreshment service market. The consumer is demanding better flavor and more choices in their favorite hot drink, and QCCP helps attendees maximize their market potential for premium coffees by giving them the chance to experience them.

The program also ensures attendees understand completely every single element in the process and how it can affect flavor. At the end, graduates understand how to brew the certifiably best coffee possible.


New to QCCP in St. Louis will be a session on how to evaluate the brewing process in different singlecup brewers currently on the market. Single-cup brewers have exploded onto the market, but brew time and turbulence all play a part in preparing that single cup of coffee, and this session will help identify what works best for you.

In addition, attendees will have an opportunity to taste and evaluate coffee brewed with standard tap water, softened water, filtered tap water and with reverse osmosis. This will show first-hand how much impact water has on the taste of the coffee, and how you can help your customers with their own water issues. You can register online at or call 616-299-6483.

Another resource for operators to consider is the second Coffee Summit we are planning for 2009. The first summit was held in Cherry Hill, N.J. in 2008, and was a phenomenal success by any measure. The 2-day event featured networking, sales training, coffee business building seminars and face-to-face meetings with the industry’s best known leaders. It was greeted by all with enthusiasm. Those who attended raved about the success and importance of this gathering.


For 2009, we are planning an even larger and more powerful event for the coffee service community. We are expanding coffee and water education and will be adding educational sessions on operations like route consolidation, inventory control, energy alternatives and greening opportunities.

We’re still evaluating a variety of dates and venues for this event to be held in mid June 2009, but I can tell you that once again the Coffee Summit will begin with a welcome gathering Monday night followed by education sessions starting early Tuesday and ending Wednesday afternoon.

As Automatic Merchandiser Editor Elliot Maras noted in his address at the first Coffee Summit, “Coffee service may be entering the strongest growth period ever experienced.” The business today offers a golden opportunity, but operators must be knowledgeable about the business.