It’s with much excitement that we announce our acquisition of Perfect Coffee, a subscription service dedicated to getting guests the most delicious ground coffee available. Founded in 2013 by Neil Day (a former technology vet of companies like Apple, Sears, and Shutterfly), Perfect Coffee has made two important breakthroughs in how we interact with ground coffee:
- First, they developed technology that allows the perfect replication of grind settings for things like pour-over and French press. This, along with easy-to-understand directions, has made their guests’ experience of brewing exquisite coffee at home (in a variety of methods) even easier.
- They also developed a process that guarantees that the ground coffee stays fresh in its airtight packet for months. How do we know? Well, we tested it about two bazillion times, and we ran it through all of our typical quality control rigors, including blind cuppings. The results were the same each time: Perfect Coffee performed, well, perfectly.
We’ve been collaborating with these folks since 2013, when they approached us with what we then perceived as a haughty claim: We’ve found a way to stop coffee’s aging process—to essentially stop time.
We know. We were skeptical, too. The problem of how to make ground coffee as delicious as it is accessible has plagued many a coffee company before us. Many have been persuaded by technologies that promise to preserve freshness, only to fall flat in the cup. We were pretty sure we’d heard this tune before.
But then we tried it. And tried it again. And again, and again, each time with more refinement and rigor. We staged blind tastings and “triangulations” (in which coffee samples are grouped in threes, with one outlier) against freshly ground samples of our blends and single origins. Each time, our own findings surprised us: Perfect Coffee was routinely performing as well as the freshly ground samples—and, much to our surprise, often surpassing them. It was, well, perfect.
So after a great deal of discussion and tasting (so much tasting!), we decided to bring all five members of the Perfect Coffee team on as Blue Bottlers and start exploring new ways to get ground coffee (a service our guests have been asking for for years) into the hands of anyone who asks for it. We closed the deal today, Feb. 26, 2015.
So how will we collaborate with our new team members? To be honest, we’re still working that out. For the next month or so, not a lot will change for customers of Perfect Coffee. We’ll work on tweaking their selections, better understanding their needs, and helping them feel at home. After that, members of our Digital team will reach out individually to all Perfect Coffee customers to explain how, if at all, their experience will change. We’re also working to improve the sustainability of the packaging, and aim to have a sustainable product by early 2016.
We can talk a little bit about our main goal, though: We will continue to find ways to deliver the most delicious coffee to anyone who asks for it, and to remove any barriers that may stand in the way of that experience. Creating opportunities for delicious and exceptionally fresh ground coffee (online, in retail stores, to our wholesale partners) was something we didn’t think we’d be considering 12 years ago—or even two years ago, for that matter.
Being proven wrong never tasted so good.