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Yassir Max Corpataux, Global Coffee Ambassador for Nespresso, about innovations, independent roasters and much more.We talk to
How much time goes into deciding on a new flavour and how does this process work?
Every single product follows the same path to ensure the highest standards from coffee tree to cup. Nespresso has a singular focus on quality. In fact, only about one to two per cent of the coffee grown globally meets our specific quality, taste and aroma standards. To ensure these high standards remain consistent we don’t buy our coffee on the open market. Instead we work incredibly close with farmers from more than 13 different countries right along the equatorial line otherwise known as the “Coffee Belt”. More than 80 per cent of these farmers are part of Nespresso’s AAA Sustainable Quality Program. Depending on the coffee’s origin, the final qualitative result we want to reach in the cup and the amazing work from the sensory and coffee marketing teams, the decision making and actual production can vary from a few months to a couple of years. Eight years ago, we had the chance to purchase an amazing coffee from Colombia which we launched as a limited edition. The coffee expert visiting our partner in Colombia has been told that a certain amount of crop was lost due to the lack of workforce and that they had to give up harvesting it. Interested by the quality of this coffee, our expert still wanted to taste it and discovered that this particular situation created such an amazing coffee with a distinct bouquet of pronounced red fruits and jasmine. This was pure luck and we kept prospecting this innovative way of processing coffee to release our Master Origin Colombia Late Harvest in our permanent range in 2018. It took Nespresso a total of two years to release a coffee from Zimbabwe. This country faced turbulent economical and political momentum since the 1980s and was known as one of the best coffee producer in the world. Nespresso decided to revive the local coffee industry and partnered with Technoserve to see if the local coffee farmers would be interested to get back to producing coffee which involves a longer crop cycle and better revenues. It took us two long years of partnership to launch the Tamuka Mu Zimbabwe, part of our Reviving Origins program.
How does Nespresso view the growing army of independent coffee houses? What challenges and opportunities does this pose?
It is an interesting and thrilling time for the coffee industry. Many actors start to appear all around the world. From professional baristas to roasters, or the increased numbers of coffee amateurs, we’ve noticed a great interest for quality coffee and perfect brewing methods. We aim to answer the consumer needs as much as possible with our simple extraction methods. The energy used to prepare coffee and consistency of the quality in the cup is what matters. We answer those needs with a system that uses the perfect amount of fresh ground coffee, hot water and energy needed to prepare a cup of coffee.
Apart from new flavours, how does Nespresso stay ahead of the game?
In the past few years, we have accelerated our innovation efforts by introducing a host of new coffees like our Exclusive Edition Yemen, which come from unique and surprising origins. Ispirazione Italiana, a complete revamp of our historical intense coffees in our original line. And the launch of the Vertuo machine for brewing a variety of sizes of coffees from a large cup to an espresso.
Our business is driven by constant innovation. When we make changes to our machines and capsules it is done with the sole objective of improving the experience for our consumers. Consumers repeatedly show their appreciation for our innovations by the choice they make every day to drink Nespresso coffee. Obviously, I can’t reveal future innovations to come, but I can tell you that we are conducting amazing and surprising tests to uplift the coffee experience of our club members. Through our direct relationships with consumers (more than 70% of employees in the markets are in direct contact with consumers), we’re able to respond to their needs and gather insights that help us create better products for a more premium customer experience. We are building standards for the industry. We believe our success is the result of our responsible sourcing strategy and our direct relationships with customers. We can respond quickly to customer expectations, providing a personalised approach that supports a healthy coffee farming industry around the world.
How has the coffee industry changed over the last decade? What trends have you noticed?
Coffee lovers are becoming more conscious of the origins of coffee. They want to know exactly where their coffee came from and how it was made. It’s good to see that the trend is moving towards more sustainable and authentic approach. Nespresso revamped its entire Pure Origins segment to transform it into the Master Origin, where the focus is on the specific and local processes of production. The coffee industry is growing around the world, and the portioned coffee segment is also growing. There’s tremendous opportunity.
END OF INTERVIEW