STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 4

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46 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 4, 2015 (August/September) Carly Rodgers with customer Rob Sawicki a much higher morning traffic count than when we used other brewing methods," he said. "Our morning traffic was averaging approximately 10-15% of our daily business. Since installing the BKON, revenue from our morning business has increased to 30-35% of daily sales," said Austin. Bolstering his morning menu yielded an unexpected benefit. "The morning customer is my best source of advertising," according to Austin. "The morning segment creates a demand for a quality drink for lunch, after work, and for evening meals (gallon tea purchases). They have my product sitting on their desk during the morning and sometimes all day. That in itself creates interest and demand from co-workers," said Austin. The need for speed TIME magazine reported last year that the amount of time driv- ers spend waiting in line for food is dramatically increasing, ac- cording to the 2014 Drive-Thru Performance Study by the trade publication QSR Magazine. QSR chains generate 60% of their sales from drive-thru customers which makes wait times espe- cially problematic during the morning rush. "In 2013, drivers spent 180.83 seconds (3 minutes) on aver- age in line, USA Today reports, but now that average has jumped to 219.97 seconds — a roughly 40-second jump. Though the study increased its sample size in the past year, studying 2,188 trips at 17 fast-food companies instead of last year's 7 chains, those extra 40 seconds make for the longest wait time in the 17 years of its study," according to TIME. Brewing tea traditionally takes anywhere from 5 to 12 min- utes, yet pouring a regular coffee takes 30 seconds. Pulling a shot of espresso can be done in half the time it takes to make a cup of tea. "With BKON, we produce a hot or iced tea from order to fulfillment in approximately 3 minutes. Wait time at other shops ranges from 7 minutes to as much as 20 minutes for a crafted drink," said Austin. "Customers trying to get to work do not have the luxury of time to wait. They want a great tasting high quality product produced in the shortest period of time. They are willing to pay a premium price for that type of service," said Austin, whose average register ring ranges from $2 to $4.75 depending on preparation (iced / hot) and the type of tea or coffee product." "The reason for having a high end brewer is taste and speed. We can brew any loose leaf tea hot or cold in 90 seconds. The competition cannot. That is the competitive edge, an important reason for investing in a BKON," according to Austin. The physics of RAIN is simple and the chemistry sublime. RAIN (reverse atmospheric infusion) is a process that coaxes air from deep within tea leaves under vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum and once displaced, hot water evenly penetrates to the very core of the tea cells releasing volatile oils, plant sugars, and polyphenols. The pro- cess works just as well extracting tisanes and the spices and botanicals used for flavoring teas. Chinese tea masters expend a lot of effort calibrating time and temperature during successive steeps to open the tea leaf to extract the maximum flavor. The process can take 15 minutes. The single chamber BKON Craft Brewer does the same in 60-90 seconds. Re- peated cycles insure maximum extraction. There is no need for agita- tion and minimal exposure to high temperature water. Up to 750 complex recipes involving temperature, duration, and cycle are stored in memory with additional recipes archived in the Craft Cloud platform, a cloud-based system with an interface that makes brewing tea as simple as playing a song on a smartphone. The only critical calculation is the weight in grams, portioned in advance of the daily rush. BKON co-founder Dean Vastardis spent several years creating prototypes with his brother Lou before receiving the first patents for RAIN in 2013. The physics is well documented but what makes the process unique is the chemistry of extracting solubles with minimized turbulence and contact time to control flavor extraction. Tannins with their bitter taste, for example, require high temperatures to dissolve. Tannins also add character. Operators working with specific teas can dial-in exactly what they want and leave the rest behind. The BKON process produces a clean cup characterized by pure flavors with increased umami. Researchers at Tufts University found that RAIN extracts up to 48% more compounds than standard tea steeping methods. The popularity of iced and natural flavored tea blends poses a challenge generally resolved by limiting the teas on offer. In many in- stance retailers pre-brew and dispense to meet lunch demand. The BKON process unlocks the retailer's entire wall of tea to craft made- to-order beverages instead of increased dose, in a fraction of the time. The BKON Craft Brewer, manufactured with service support and distribution by FRANKE, is built to the standards major QSR retailers expect from their super-auto espresso machines. See it in action: How It Works

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