Restaurant Services and Equipment

Author: maxsonr

5 Organic Coffee Brands Your Customers Will Love

organic coffee cupFrom monocultures to deforestation and unfair wages for laborers, it is hardly surprising that so many commercial coffee brands now leave an unpleasant taste among an increasingly knowledgeable consumer market.

You might even be surprised by knowledgeable diners who now seem to be requesting, more than ever, to know the origins of the coffee your restaurant is serving. Some are merely interested in knowing that their coffee is grown organically, and is free from the amount of pesticides and herbicides that commercially grown coffee is so infamous for.

However, an increasing trend among coffee connoisseurs is the interest in coffee grown sustainably and fairly traded, as well. This is something you should be a bit studied up on, in order to satisfy these customers. There are a few things that you should minimally know.

While the number of traditional green coffee plantations continues to grow all the time, there are still many suppliers who rely on farming techniques like ‘sun growing’ for their regular coffee bean harvests. The problem is that these techniques create monoculture plantations which are extremely bad for the environment.

organic coffee plantationThey destabilize the character of arable landscapes, depend on huge amounts of pesticide and fertilizer for productive crops, and they contribute to the felling of millions of hectares of virgin rain forest every year. Thus, the question that many coffee drinkers are now asking themselves is, can my morning latte or lunchtime cappuccino possibly be worth such destruction?

Well, the good news is that we do not have to make a choice between luxury and environmental health – these two things are not exclusive. If you want coffee that your customers can enjoy, while making certain that you support the maintenance of green farms and suppliers, all you have to do is to try out some organic or Fair Trade coffee brands. To get you started, we’ve included some recommendations below.

CafeDirect Machu Picchu Organic

CafeDirect Machu Picchu Organic coffee is rich in silky flavors, with a distinct tang of dark chocolate. The coffee beans used to make it are produced right at the center of the Andes, so it is difficult to beat them for sheer exoticism. They are grown and nurtured by a Peruvian cooperative organization which now numbers more than 8,000 small scale bean coffee bean growers. You can order a sample online here:

Percol Fairtrade Organic African Ethiopia

This popular Fairtrade blend is a great choice because, unlike a lot of the other prized organic brands, you do not have to scrabble around in tiny health food stores or alternative supermarkets to find it. It is sold in most major supermarkets, alongside the other Fairtrade coffee blends, and offers a hearty flavor and a pleasing range of fairly juicy and fruity under notes. For every pack of Percol Fairtrade coffee sold, the Percol charity donates six pence to a development or education project in Africa. It can also be purchased online:

Java Planet Black Magic Organic Blend

This wonderfully aromatic medium dark roast blend, from US based organic coffee supplier Java Planet, is made with pesticide free coffee beans grown in Indonesia and South and Central America. It has a full bodied taste and a magnificently rich aroma, so if you like your coffee to have the power to perk up your nose in the morning, choose the Black Magic blend. The Java Planet brand is one of the fastest growing organic coffee lines in the US, so snap up your cup before everybody else does, right here:

Grumpy Mule Organic Sumatra Gayo Highlands

The Grumpy Mule line has become very popular over the last few years and this Organic Sumatra Gayo Highlands blend is one of its most loved. The coffee beans that it contains are grown in the highlands of northern Sumatra by an organic farming cooperative. The organization now has more than 6,000 affiliated growers, whom it offers sustained support with local construction projects. The blend should please coffee lovers who like their drink to have a strong personality, but be mellow enough to complement a chilled out weekend crossword or two. You can find it on Amazon.

Equal Exchange Mount Elgon Gumutindo Blend

The Equal Exchange brand was actually first created all the way back in 1979, by three volunteers who started a company in tandem with a London based NGO. The volunteers decided to start their own coffee line after being exposed to the devastating effect of budget bean prices on local farmers in Africa and beyond. This Mount Elgon blend has an ever so slightly smoky taste behind its bold and rich primary flavors, so it is ideal for sipping with buns, cakes, scones, or other sweet treats. Purchase a bag of beans right here:

Don’t Neglect Regular Maintenance for Your Restaurant Heating and Cooling System

Do you constantly shrug off cleaning or maintenance checks on your restaurant HVAC system? It might seem like a menial task that doesn’t add anything to your bottom line, but it could be more important than you might think. It only takes one instance of the AC breaking down on a hot summer day to cost your restaurant more than a year’s worth of maintenance fees, in terms of lost business. But there are other reasons to maintain your HVAC system, in addition to prevention of emergencies.

HVAC maintenance is a preventative measure which helps keep the system running without any breakdowns, meanwhile operating at 100% efficiency. Most restaurant AC systems are hidden away on the rooftop or behind the building and it’s very easy to forget or neglect it completely until when it breaks down. Remember, regardless of how expensive or how many warranties are in place, the system is definitely vulnerable to breakdowns. According to AC repair specialist, Tim Engelsma of Engelsma Heating and Cooling in Grand Rapids, MI, scheduling regular cleaning and maintenance is the best way to guarantee fewer repairs.

Benefits of HVAC Maintenance

The cost of maintenance might be a concern, especially for a large AC unit, which is the reason why many restaurant owners ignore this task altogether. However, below are some prominent benefits of cleaning or performing maintenance tasks on your furnace or air conditioning system.

• Reduced Energy Bills
If the system is not working as properly as it should, your energy bill might be through the roof. There are many reasons why it may not be working efficiently, including the fact that there is dust or debris trapped inside the vents. If the maintenance is not performed regularly, it’s easy to assume that it’s working properly when it’s actually not.

• Less Repairs
If you notice a strange sound in the system or a strange odor coming from the furnace, it’s crucial to schedule cleaning or maintenance before the consequences are devastating. If you notice any trouble early enough, you’re likely to save yourself a lot of money which could be wasted on expensive repairs later on. If you schedule maintenance every year, the chances of getting expensive repairs diminish greatly.

• Extended Life Span
HVAC systems are quite expensive to install. Therefore, if you made a significant investment in the system in the first place, you should schedule maintenance tasks regularly to guarantee an extended lifespan. Cleaning your furnace or the air conditioning system will reduce any chance of breakdowns which might demand partial or total replacement of the whole system. Regularly inspecting the system to make sure everything is working properly will increase the life span of your system.

• Safety
If the furnace is not working properly, you could be putting staff and customers at risk due to exposure of carbon monoxide. HVAC systems powered by electricity can short circuit at any time which is a serious fire hazard. Also, if the air conditioning is not working properly, especially during the cold winter nights, chances of freezing are slightly increased.

• Hiring A Professional vs Doing It Yourself
There are a few cleaning and maintenance tasks you can do on your own to save on the expenses but the rest should be left to the heating and cooling service professionals. Start by changing the air filters every month to prevent clogging which slows down the system. Also, you should remove any debris present on the outdoor unit by hosing it down. Finally, you should make sure the return and supply registers are not blocked by furniture, equipment, rugs or drapes.

The professional HVAC contractors will check the thermostat, tighten the electrical connections, lubricate all the gears, inspect the condensate drain, check the system controls, adjusting and cleaning the blowers, cleaning the condenser coils or evaporators, checking the refrigerant charge, checking the fuel line connections, inspecting the gas pressure, heat exchanger or burner combustion etc.

There are a few things to consider when looking for a professional HVAC contractor. If you prefer hiring a company for the job make sure all the contractors are properly licensed, have enough experience and have a high level of reputation which can be assessed through reading reviews and testimonials from former clients. On that note, with these tips, you should have enough reasons to clean your furnace and schedule maintenance tasks for your air conditioner.

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