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Thread: Hot coffee project

  1. #1
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    Hot coffee project

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    We are a group of students from Copenhagen Business School making a project in one of our graduate courses called "user driven innovation". For our project, we are looking for analogous markets with (expert) knowledge about technologies that might be a solution to our problem. Because in this forum there will probably be a lot of people with knowledge about coffee, we hope that you might help us out.

    Our problem:
    We are experiencing that hot "to go" coffee is coursing tongue burns. This is unpleasant for a lot of people who buy this product. Therefore, we see that temperature indication, showing when the coffee is the "right" temperature for drinking, could be a solution to our problem. Maybe there are some of you who have also experienced this problem, or who might even have come up with their own solution.
    So our question is, whether you know a solution or if you might know someone who might know more about this.

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    The problem of tongue burns are probably caused by the milk being overheated.
    This also ruins the taste of the milk.
    So even if there was a temperature indicator for when the drink had cooled to a non tongue-burning temperature, the taste of the burned milk would still be a problem.

    Therefore, the solution to the problem is education of the coffee makers.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    But when there is no milk in the coffee added, then the taste of burned milk wouldnt be a problem right?
    It is more about the prevention of burning your mouth when you drink coffee when it is too hot for you. And for us it is about finding solutions through users (with knowledge), like by some kind of temperature indication, cooling down possibilities or even other solutions. Evertyhing can be usefull to us, so we really would like just to hear some ideas of you or someone you know.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    I would like to know more about the parameters you describe

    Are you talking about?
    Espresso coffee
    This coffee is rarely burning hot with or without milk and is usually 65 to 70 deg C
    Or
    Instant Coffee
    This coffee is made with boiling water and milk is added to cool it down
    Now it is more likely that one would burn the tongue with instant coffee

    There are other methods each with different and varied brewing heat

    So unless we know the method in which the coffee is made then you will not get a definitive answer

    KK


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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Wonderful... wonderful.. Copen...

    Welcome CBS students!

    I agree that education of the coffee making person might be the answer but still the problem remains that "someone" will make it badly and burn someone else.

    Last year I came across this story and thought at the time "this would be great on take away coffee cups"...
    http://inventorspot.com/articles/chocolate_bar_stickers_tell_when_8515

    One of the problems with the modern well insulated cups is that you often dont get any "bottom lip early thermal indication" that the coffee is going to be over hot. *Its often worse when it has a lid too. *

    A sticker that was in-contact with the inner lining could work well.


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    Re: Hot coffee project

    One solution I found quite interesting is the use of a thermochromic dye embedded in the poylmer used to make the lids of take away coffee cups. They change colour when the coffee has cooled down - not sure how accurate they are though. They are made by an Aussie company, Smart Lid Systems

    http://www.smartlidsystems.com/

    Cheers

  7. #7
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Dont Pizza Hut or Dominos have something like that for their pizzas? "Hot Spot" or something?

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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Similar to the baby spoons that turn from white to red if the food is too hot!

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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Yeah they all work the same, using a dye that changes colour with heat. Remeber the Hypercolour T-shirts from the 80s (which is where they can stay - no one needs to know i have hot armpits!) :-[

    I have seen stickers that change colour for different temperature ranges (on bath toys for kids to you know the water temp). Maybe you could use these on cups, you will know when the temperature is exactly right for your own preferences.

  10. #10
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1225191706/0#1 date=1225192934
    Welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    The problem of tongue burns are probably caused by the milk being overheated.
    This also ruins the taste of the milk.
    So even if there was a temperature indicator for when the drink had cooled to a non tongue-burning temperature, the taste of the burned milk would still be a problem.

    Therefore, the solution to the problem is education of the coffee makers.
    A true Quality perspective ;) Asy enough WHYs and you get to solve the root cause, rather than just identifying a symptom.

    1: A mouth guard that protects the tong and roof of mouth, or
    2: A heat transfer straw that always ensures the fluid is cooled to the correct temp by the time it reaches your mouth.

    Either way, none of the solutions offered actual takes into account the fact, that if it is that hot; then the product will be crap any way...

    Final solution:

    As Thunder said: Train and education of the coffee makers.

  11. #11
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Thanks AM.

    CBSstudent I think your project is looking at the wrong thing.

    Why invent something to compensate for a problem?
    Just fix the problem.

    Example:
    You leave the tap running in the bath so it floods your house.
    Your project is like trying to invent something that will redirect the water out the back door.
    The proper solution is to turn off the tap.




  12. #12
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1225191706/0#10 date=1225594380
    Why invent something to compensate for a problem? Just fix the problem
    Surely it isnt that simple TG. How would you propose to ensure that everyone who serves coffee commercially is properly trained to do so? Enforce standards and adopt training requirements; who will pay for that, and then once training is in place, who then will ensure ongoing compliancy; who pays for that?

    If you take AMs "Why" analysis

    Coffee is sometimes served too hot - WHY
    It isnt prepared properly - WHY
    Because not all baristi and cafe operators are trained properly - WHY
    It may not be pragmatic or economically viable to do so - WHY

    etc...I wasnt sure where to go from here but the root cause must be economics. The consumer would ultimately bear the cost of the training regulations and complinacy checking - but for what overall advantage?

    As for temperature indicators on cups? Well it might work. *I believe it is a bit of a gimmick but like some ideas, exploring it may lead to a new idea or other application.

    Most of us on here who buys our own coffee will vote with our feet if we find the coffee at one place unsatisfactory. But I wonder how many baristi on CS will have occasionally served a coffee that wasnt at an optimum temperature.





  13. #13
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    The OP said they are experiencing tongue burning.
    That suggests that its a local problem.

    Everything you said is correct and I agree with your assumption that ecomomics is a possible cause.

    However, if we talk theory, then my KISS answer would appear to be correct.
    The practicality of implimenting the solution across all coffee makers is a different problem.

    Back to the OPs local problem.
    I suggest that "innovation" would take too long and that "existing technologies" fall under your economics argument. Cafe owners I believe try to maximise profit by minimising costs.

    The economics argument would still factor in to my suggested solution of training but it is a long term investment and if the customers are being driven away because they burn their tongues then maybe I suggest it would be worthwhile to train the staff so as to retain the existing customer base.

    Ive been to a recommended cafe and burnt my tongue and never been back.

    The owner could advertise the fact that all his staff are trained if hes satisfied that that training has been effective and the coffee is always upm to scrratch.

    All my black belts that help me teach are also certified Level 1 Coaches.
    I mention it to potential new students and/or their parents.
    What that means is that you always get the same level of qualification no matter who teaches the class.
    That of course is a minimum standard because obviously I have more experience.
    But technically we all have the same qualifications.
    That is a positive that sells.

    So no its not that simple but only if you wanht to change the world.
    If the OP wants to change the local cafe to pass his project then I think theres more chance its achievable.

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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Quote Originally Posted by CBSstudent link=1225191706/0#0 date=1225191706
    Therefore, we see that temperature indication, showing when the coffee is the "right" temperature for drinking, could be a solution to our problem. Maybe there are some of you who have also experienced this problem, or who might even have come up with their own solution.
    So our question is, whether you know a solution....

    <---- Not sure if our Sponsors deliver overseas :-) http://www.coffeeparts.com/accessories/thermometers.html

  15. #15
    A_M
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Quote Originally Posted by flynn_aus link=1225191706/0#11 date=1225595974
    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1225191706/0#10 date=1225594380
    Why invent something to compensate for a problem? Just fix the problem
    Surely it isnt that simple TG. How would you propose to ensure that everyone who serves coffee commercially is properly trained to do so? Enforce standards and adopt training requirements; who will pay for that, and then once training is in place, who then will ensure ongoing compliancy; who pays for that?

    If you take AMs "Why" analysis

    Coffee is sometimes served too hot - WHY
    It isnt prepared properly - WHY
    Because not all baristi and cafe operators are trained properly - WHY
    It may not be pragmatic or economically viable to do so - WHY

    etc...I wasnt sure where to go from here but the root cause must be economics. The consumer would ultimately bear the cost of the training regulations and complinacy checking - but for what overall advantage?

    As for temperature indicators on cups? Well it might work. *I believe it is a bit of a gimmick but like some ideas, exploring it may lead to a new idea or other application.

    Most of us on here who buys our own coffee will vote with our feet if we find the coffee at one place unsatisfactory. But I wonder how many baristi on CS will have occasionally served a coffee that wasnt at an optimum temperature.

    Interesting... *Not sure what the economic or pragmatic issue is with Milk temp being monitored etc... But sound like an excuse rather than a reason..

    1: *I guess the issue is to what priority you place on the product...

    Not unlike what Thunder said - Local or Global...

    Thunder also had it right in that their approach is like diverting the water , rather than turning it off; OR *Having an anchor *on you car cause the breaks are week:

    My guess is that you would not accept either option as both have further *economic issues; yet the solution is simple and solves the long term *economic issues and then some.

    2: Besides, I never use a lid and remove them any way. *

    In addition, *the Lid and all the extra dyes etc also contribute to waste, litter and costs let alone the Carbon credits. *

    3: Yet a few seconds to check the temp, when steaming, is negligible... *Further more a better product can be provided, thus a value added service and this translates into retention and new clients... *Now that is a better outcome for all.

    4: *At the end of the day, their approach is one of * Tick Based Management (TBM) and *Technical Ass Covering Today *(TACT). *The outcome is that, not unlike a well known big fast food chain: they can not be dragged into the courts or at least if they are. *They can argue that they have implemented a process and product to manage (reduce the risk) of injury to the clients... *

    Further more they have broken the golden rule in being short sighted and decided on a solution with out first brainstorming and mind mapping the issues... *I wonder how many of the end users / clients have been asked ???

    What they have also missed, *is that their approach *does not manage potential risk to staff.

    5: *Now a better solution might to be to make the Milk Jugs with a Temp band / display and then point 3: can be met and a supplier of the said product also gets a cut... * Opps, a cheep thermometer *see Alchemist- post.

    At the end of the day, this may just be an exercise to allow the CBS students to tick another box to say they have engaged the coffee community - TBM. * To date, it is quite clear to me that, they keep ignoring the obvious and harp on their pre determined solution...







  16. #16
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Quote Originally Posted by AngerManagement link=1225191706/0#14 date=1225601390
    To date, it is quite clear to me that, they keep ignoring the obvious and harp on their pre determined solution...
    Exactly.

    I see this all the time in IT projects.

    They focus on "deliver" rather than "quality".

    Everyone works to a date rather than a quality solution.

    This project seems to have the same faults.
    The OP has a few pre determined solutions in mind and instead of doing some root cause analysis to find what the problem, is before trying to fix it, theyve already made up their mind which route they are taking.


    Quote Originally Posted by CBSstudent link=1225191706/0#0 date=1225191706
    Because in this forum there will probably be a lot of people with knowledge about coffee, we hope that you might help us out.
    Some of us know a lot more than just coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by CBSstudent link=1225191706/0#0 date=1225191706
    we see that temperature indication, showing when the coffee is the "right" temperature for drinking, could be a solution to our problem.
    "Could be"......one possibility NOT the only possibility.


    Quote Originally Posted by CBSstudent link=1225191706/0#2 date=1225193291
    But when there is no milk in the coffee added, then the taste of burned milk wouldnt be a problem right?
    Are you saying you have also experienced a burned tongue from a coffee with no milk? If yes what kind? An esprersso? A long black?


    I dont think I really understand what your problem is. Maybe you dont either, or havent articulated it clearly.

    Weve been arguing among ourselves here for a while and need more feed back from you CBSstudent.

    Please tell us exactly what youve been asked to do by the teacher.

  17. #17
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    I like the idea of a temperature indicating steaming jug.
    That way the correct temperature could be maintained or ignored at the customers request.

    Of course youd have to train the staff in their use!

    Greg

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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1225191706/0#16 date=1225609771
    I like the idea of a temperature indicating steaming jug.
    That way the correct temperature could be maintained or ignored at the customers request.

    Of course youd have to train the staff in their use!

    Greg
    Jug thermometer.
    (KISS principle.)

  19. #19
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1225191706/0#17 date=1225611100
    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1225191706/0#16 date=1225609771
    I like the idea of a temperature indicating steaming jug.
    That way the correct temperature could be maintained or ignored at the customers request.
    Of course youd have to train the staff in their use!
    Greg
    Jug thermometer.
    (KISS principle.)
    Id be leaning towards the jug idea as well. I know that it isnt within the list of solutions that the OP has suggested, but I think it has merit.

    I have never worked in a cafe and I have no idea about workflows in such situations, but I would think that one less thing to store, locate & sanitise would be a good thing.

    I know from home use that the thermometer is often mis-placed, due to its small size it sometimes gets pushed under the machine. I cant imagine trying to locate one in a busy cafe for each use. (I dont want to start or continue any arguments in relation to the hand v thermometer temperature guaging method ;)).

    After use, the thermo has to be cleaned so no crusty milk is left on the stem or under the clip, to contaminate the next batch. I imagine that doing this hundreds of times a day in a cafe would be labour intensive, ergo, hurt the cafes bottom line.

    I also think that the jug idea goes more towards preventing the problem in the first place, rather than trying to fix it after its broken.

    Just my $0.02 AUD worth, which is almost $0.01 USD now *:(

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    Re: Hot coffee project

    First of all we want to thank you very much for all your time, and effort to help us with our problem.

    The solution were most of u come up with is appearently the training of the staff to in this way get the right temperature of coffee. But as also a lot of you also mention this is a costly case, and due to the economic aspect of cofee-to-go (where the users mainly do not make the choice based on the quality aspect) it could be questionable whether this would work.
    Another aspect could be that whether a temperature would be ideal (to have the quality coffee, from a good barista) it could still be too hot or too cold for a lot of people. If you would make an extra option of adjusting the temperature on the coffe machine, which could indeed be a very good and usefull solution, it would still take extra action which has to be performed. The same goes for the thermometer, which can take too long, when there are a lot of people standing in line, and you only know the temperature then, but not when it is right for the user.
    Due to the fact that coffee-to-go is available at so many different places, in cantines but also in seven-elevens, the quality of the machines and baristas will vary a lot, as well as the temperature which is ideal for the users.
    So altogether I think we have maybe already been narrowed down before we posted our problem, and this was of course not the right thing to do. Everyone looks at this problem from a different point of view, where most of you will focus on the coffee quality aspects some others focus more on the economic aspect. It is very hard to come up with the best solution. Coffee-to-go is being bought by a very broad range of people with very different needs, but which is mostly not directed at the best quality coffee, because than they would go to a good barista.

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    Re: Hot coffee project

    Hmm... This really all depends on whether it is targeting black coffee or milk based coffee. If it is milk based then I agree training is the best course of action however if it is black coffee this is a different kettle of fish.

    If a black coffee is brewed and placed immediately into a preheated takeaway cup/thermos it can be nearly 90*C and can stay quite hot for some time. If someone tries to gulp this they will definitely burn themselves.

    So I think the problem is really hot black coffee with consumers drinking too eagerly.

    Anyways just my 2p

  22. #22
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    If the consumers in question dont care about quality (as stated by the OP) then I suggest that after theyve burned themselves the first time, theyll learn and wait longer next time before sipping.

    Or are we saying they forget to be careful every time?

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Hot coffee project

    If there were a problem, the term "user driven innovation" suggests the consumer will find their own solution. Numerous examples are evident on this very website. Perhaps the most glaring example is the corretto, whereby the creativity of CS members has demonstrated that appliances that were never intended for the purpose, can effectively be used to roast coffee.

    Coffee that is made to order is hot. This is not a problem, its an expectation. Ergo, if there is no problem, there is no solution.

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    Re: Hot coffee project

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBSstudent link=1225191706/0#0 date=1225191706

    Our problem:
    We are experiencing that hot "to go" coffee is coursing tongue burns. This is unpleasant for a lot of people who buy this product. Therefore, we see that temperature indication, showing when the coffee is the "right" temperature for drinking, could be a solution to our problem. Maybe there are some of you who have also experienced this problem, or who might even have come up with their own solution.
    So our question is, whether you know a solution or if you might know someone who might know more about this. *
    How are you going to measure the performance of your proposed solution?



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