COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING JANUARY 11TH

A macchiato with latte art rests atop a newspaper on a table

A quick roundup for you this week, as there’s not a lot going on in the coffee world.

Meet the new year, same as the old year.

Wilbur Curtis Company Acquired By French Groupe SEB - via Sprudge

It didn’t take long for the coffee company acquisitions to start again this year. Wilbur Curtis, the second largest US manufacturer of “professional coffee goods”, has been purchased by a French conglomerate, Groupe SEB. Which, if we’re honest, sounds like a parody of JAB Holdings, which owns every other coffee company (and a bunch of other related companies).

WIlbur Curtis Company makes those coffee pots you often see in diners, with the glass carafe beneath a hulking metal brewer. This alone makes them cool in my book, but they also sell high-end batch brewers for specialty cafes as well as the extremely fancy Seraphim and Gold Cup automated single cup pour-over devices.

They’re legit, in other words, and honestly it’s a little surprising that one of JAB, Coca-Cola, or (sigh) Nestlé hadn’t already scooped them up. This allows Groupe SEB—the totally not made up owner of a bunch of small appliance brands like Krups and Tefal—get in on the coffee acquisition action, before they’re also inevitably bought out by JAB or (sigh) Nestlé.

Read the full story here.

Starbucks Curtailing Growth Plans for its ‘Third Wave’ Reserve Brand - via Daily Coffee News

Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO, was keen on the Reserve brand (the third wave-aping monstrosity full of siphons and trying-too-hard upcycled wood trim). He claimed over the years that his company planned to open 1,000 cafes across the world, in addition to 100 Reserve roasteries.

A Starbucks mug sits on a windowsill

But how many have they opened thus far? Four roasteries (in Seattle, New York, Shanghai, and Milan) with two more to come in Chicago and Tokyo.

And just one Reserve cafe, within the company’s Seattle headquarters.

Now that Schultz is out and a new president, central casting’s Kevin Johnson, is in, that’s probably the extent of it.

Johnson is considered a more conservative leader than his predecessor, focusing primarily on increasing sales at current Starbucks locations in addition to introducing delivery service across the US and China.

Good luck with that, Kev.

Read the full story here.

Harry Potter-inspired cafe, Steamy Hallows, to open in East Village - via AM New York

This was always going to happen, wasn’t it?

There’s that Friends cafe, and there’s a Mos Eisley Cantina in LA, so it was only a matter of time before someone did a Harry Potter-themed establishment.

Well, sort-of Harry Potter-themed.

It’s not licensed, so don’t expect moving wanted pictures of Gary Oldman or a menu with stuff like chocolate frogs or flagons of Butterbeer and whatnot (those are things, right?)

There is, however, a stuffed owl and a cauldron.

So yeah, witches and wizards. Cool.

Read the full story here.

Not to Harsh Your Mellow, But CBD Coffee Isn’t Always Legal - via Daily Coffee News

Coffee infused with the magical substance known as CBD (a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound found in marijuana) is all the rage right now.

A mug of black coffee and a glass of cold brew, seen from above

Seriously, it’s everywhere. It’s a veritable wellness trend (whatever that is).

But is it legal?

Ehhh [makes “sort of” hand gesture]

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently clarified its position on regulating CBD-infused foodstuffs, basically saying that it treats it like any other substance which needs regulating. CBD-containing products are “subject to the same authorities and requirements as FDA-regulated products containing any other substance,” according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

So unless you have explicit permission from the FDA, you can’t sell your CBD wellness latte in many states, and especially not across state lines (which is what a lot of online merchants are trying to do).

Will that stop people selling it?

Judging by the number of products for sale online currently, no.

Read the full story here.

How To Cut Calories From Your Coffee Order, According To Starbucks' Baristas - via Delish

Order a black coffee. From elsewhere.

That was easy.

Read the full story here. But don’t.

Is coffee good for you?

It’s January, and with January comes diet remorse after the excesses of the holiday season. But how to deal with it? Apparently, by adding random substances to your coffee. We’ve discussed mushroom coffee and butter coffee before. Or you could try collagen, if you’re Kelly Ripa (I don’t know who that is either).

Or gelatin, if you’re a monster.

Look, just stop it. Coffee is healthy enough already.

What is wrong with people.

A man reads a newspaper with a cup of coffee on the table next to him
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