COFFEE & A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
With a spirited mix of coffee, curiosity, idealism and doggedness, Single O tries to innovate by finding a better way. In the Mother Earth realm, there’s so much to improve, we only wish our innovation science could match the passion and imagination for all things green.
Here are a few ‘firsts’ we’ve pushed for, along with a couple of beneficial innovations we’ve conceived.
THE JUGGLER CAFÉ MILK TAP SYSTEM
The Juggler is a chilled milk dispensing system designed for cafes, that uses 10 litre bladders in place milk bottles. It speeds up service, helps us baristas focus on the coffee and the customer, and saves milk waste as well as plastic waste – 18 million milk bottles worth since inception in 2011.
The idea came about while building our tiny Surry Hills takeaway bar, debating how we were going to make room for a sizeable rubbish bin, largely to house empty milk bottles.
Turns out we got away with a small bin, albeit a huge project. Our takeaway bar was the site of the first proof-of-concept milk system, which was later brought to life by a newly formed business, Six Simple Machines.
FREEPOUR COFFEE TAPS
Single O conceived self-serve hot and cold black coffee on tap in 2018 for its upcoming café refurbishment. The idea was to give black single origin filter coffees as much precedence as espresso-based coffees. And to do away with waiting to be served filter coffee, which sits ready-made. Along with necessity, bug bears can be the mother of invention.
Freepour™ Coffee Taps were made and installed at our Surry Hills café. After the success of self-served hot and cold coffee there, Freepour can now also be found at Carriageworks and other cafes.
LAUNCHING COFFEE’S GAME-CHANGER VARIETY, ‘STARMAYA’
Compared to most other major crops, coffee is under-researched and under-developed. Current varieties of coffee are also highly susceptible to climate change, with the Climate Institute predicting that by 2020, up to 60% of Arabica could disappear.
Collaborating with World Coffee Research in 2018, we launched ‘Starmaya’ variety coffee, a climate-resilient F1 hybrid. Described by agricultural research and development organization CIRAD in Daily Coffee News as “a minor revolution for the industry”, Starmaya has recently been developed as coffee seeds for widespread commercial cultivation. It’s exciting to see the promise of coffee that can better adapt to rising temperatures and increasing pests and diseases. We continue tasting new F1 varieties from WCR for specialty cup profiles.
OUR WAR AGAINST CUP WASTE
Sometimes it’s what you don’t do that’s the innovative part. Single O always recognised that single use cups were wasteful. Although lucrative, we’ve shunned the sale of branded Single O single use cups to cafes we supply. Alternatively, we’ve encouraged reusables.
Examples include our ‘Stand Against Waste’ campaign which saw us slash our single use cup waste by just shy of 50% over 12 months, applying techniques and initiatives such as Standing Bars and Loan-A-Mug programs.
Additionally, ‘Surrender Single Use’ on Earth Day 2021 saw us ban single use cups for a day, turning out almost 500 coffees to customers who brought reusable cups, or got their Earth-vibes on and happily drank in with us.
PROBABLY THE WORLD’S FIRST COMPOSTABLE COFFEE DRIP BAG
We weren’t setting foot into the single serve category without a waste solution. After two years in the making, we launched ‘Parachutes’, the first fully compostable drip coffee bag, for disposal in your home compost or FOGO collection. The thing we love most about this compostable coup is that it gets the coffee grounds along with the filter bag into compost, the place where they should be.