The Importance of Quality Control
As consumers sit sipping on their morning coffee over breakfast or working on their laptops at a coffee shop, or a convenience store, little do they know of the process and care that goes into ensuring a high quality cup of coffee.
Those in the coffee industry are responsible for making sure all products leaving our manufacturing centers undergo the strictest quality control processes which, as we know, is absolutely essential since the goal is to provide a consistent, high level product each day to coffee lovers all over the world.
One way to deliver a safe and consistent product is to have a strong Quality Control Culture and Program in place and working reliably. Quality Control involves having multiple procedures to confirm the products we make are food safe and that the taste, feel and smell of our products are always outstanding.
At Aspen Coffee, for example, our coffees stay in storage for several days after production so that we can evaluate anything that could potentially harm our dedicated and loyal customer base. Critical control points must be established to make certain customers are satisfied with the final product and that the coffee they have purchased tastes exactly as expected. The process is applied from the time the green beans arrive at our facility through roasting and processing.
In the case of producing cold brew coffee, ready-to-drink beverages should never leave facilities without measuring microbial counts no less than 48 hours after production. In addition, production and quality assurance teams should ‘cup’ (taste) all ready-to-drink products before leaving the facility to ensure high product standards.
Another key aspect of quality control is addressing customer service issues since there are always issues that arise. In order to provide excellent customer service, all problems must be addressed quickly and efficiently.
Quality control also plays an important role in new product development so that all new products are produced with the highest quality. Companies need to spend significant resources in developing customised coffees that meet their customers’ needs. This is accomplished by listening to your customers:
- What are your customers trying to accomplish?
- What flavours are they trying to create between sometimes proprietary coffee blends, roast levels and types of coffee?
- How can you help your customers create an emotional connection with consumers?
None of this happens by accident. At Aspen, our product development teams spend weeks, months and sometimes years working with all levels of coffee expertise to create special products. We do this because we have passion for what we do and a desire to create something unique.
In conclusion, Quality Control is all about certifying that coffee manufacturers produce a consistently high quality product every time, whether we spend time creating a customised and special product or simply using our current offerings. Creating trust with an expectation of greatness is what we as coffee manufacturers do.
This week’s guest blog is contributed by Dan Weingart. Dan is the chief commercial officer of San Antonio, Texas-based Aspen Beverage Group which has been providing customer coffee solutions since 1993, specialising in coffee extracts and concentrates.
Image courtesy of Andy Upton