Twenty Years Later:
What’s Next for the Coffee Industry?

To celebrate our momentous 20-year anniversary, we discuss everything from filter coffee to eating raw meat with BOCCA founder, Menno Simons. We cover the past, present, and future of the coffee industry… taking a deep gaze into the crystal ball to find out what’s coming next!
When you reflect on 20 Years of Bocca what comes to mind first? What do you feel most proud of?

What a ride!
How a passion for a product can turn into a vibrant business with a talented team of people. The development of a successful company, transitioning through different phases.
The BOCCA brand has continued to produce specialty coffee with a social mission at its core. We maintain happy clients who also run fantastic businesses with our products.

What has been the main motivation in your work?

My passion for quality was the initial spark which drove me to start working in the coffee business. I still remember the first-time roasting coffee in a pan, the intense smells and flavours! It’s truly amazing how complex a natural product can become – simply by roasting it.

After visiting coffee regions, I quickly understood that a lot of improvements could be made across the entire coffee-chain. The drive to build and create something different, something better, was the start of BOCCA.

What do you think we’d be most surprised to find out about you (related to your work in the past 20 years)?

I actually start my day with a cup of tea! Each morning, I have a cup of English breakfast tea to get my day off to a good start. I move on next to a cup of coffee, but hey, nothing like a cup of tea to start your day. Also, I love to eat raw meat. Especially along the road in Ethiopia, some say that it’s Russian roulette!

What is the one thing you hate most about your industry? What is driving you nuts?

Empty words and fake claims. Everybody is paying a “good” or “fair” price and buying “directly” from the farmer.

So, why make these claims?

Roasters want to say the money consumers pay for their coffee is shared fairly. 99% of roasters do not buy directly from farmers. I don’t think they should, as this is really another profession. But these claims should require proof.

What is the one thing at BOCCA that cannot be copied?

20 years of being hands-on and active in the field. This provides us with so much experience and knowledge. I want our knowledge to be used in a smart way, to understand inevitable changes in the market and embrace exciting new opportunities.

How do you see the future? What is in store for Bocca in the next 20 years?

Over the past 20 years, there has been a rise of awareness, specialism, and knowledge. I hope to see this trend continue, with a higher emphasis placed on quality, transparency, and sustainability!

Talking of quality, I expect to see a full resurgence of slow coffee/filter brewing methods. Filter brew is the best way to truly taste and enjoy the full flavor profile of coffee. Personally, I love filter coffee.

We really want our consumers to rediscover this amazing brewing method. You don’t even need expensive equipment, although, I advise everyone to invest money on a good grinder.

It allows you to experience subtle differences between varieties, subregions, processing methods and roasting style. This is why we decided to launch our very special 20th-year anniversary coffee, developed specifically for filter brewing methods.

And what do you think is in store for the wider coffee industry?

The coffee industry is still predominantly driven by convenience and price. I think consumers will be willing to pay more if they know margins are divided in a fair and equal way. At Bocca, we continue to see more partnerships, people and companies with a similar mindset joining forces to support each other (such as the B Corp community). Also, brand new packaging, more fantastic coffees, and a fresh new look to our website!

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