Cupper has been hard at work developing and finding innovative ways to bring the specialty-coffee industry closer to everyday consumers with its newest ‘Marketplace’ and ‘Experiences’ features.
BY EMMELINE WANG
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
Cupper is out to disrupt the coffee game, and the company is now expanding beyond locating the best specialty-coffee cafes in the nation. With the announcement of its late June rollout of the ‘Cupper Marketplace’ and ‘Cupper Experiences,’ the company has doubled down and joined the mobile commerce arena.
Cupper, a young company established in 2016, has managed to stay true to its quality mantra by entrusting only licensed Q-Graders and experienced coffee professionals to objectively evaluate cafes featured on the app. Its quality evaluation system is engineered to deliver consistent coffee quality to customers and evaluate market standards through an objective set of protocols inspired by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) sensory guidelines. This means that for every user who is on the app navigating and searching for which cafes to try, he or she is ensured that that coffee shop is operating and serving drinks at a certain level of excellence. CEO and co-founder of Cupper Michael Montante states, “Because of past frustrations born out of the difficulty to find great coffee, this motivated me to go beyond the current subjectivity around cafe recommendations. There’s a real quantitative way to measure coffee quality with the set of standards that exist in the industry. We as a company choose to utilize trusted professionals who are extremely experienced at evaluating coffee from a non-preferential perspective. To say the least, the qualities have been proven to be accurate and effective.”
With Cupper’s newly released ‘Marketplace’ feature, users will have access to order bags of freshly roasted coffee from Cupper’s curated list of top roasting companies that have been personally invited to partner. This new added element will engage and give the power to consumers who may visit the cafe, thoroughly enjoy the coffee, and be provided with instant access to purchase freshly roasted whole beans within the app, giving a seamless and streamlined structure that makes for an overall ease of use. “As technology becomes more widespread in specialty coffee, we see Cupper as a way for coffee professionals and companies to leverage our platform for newer opportunities and for the industry to be able to engage new consumers through their smartphone,” shares Sunny Nagra, co-founder and head developer.
The ‘Experiences’ feature will allow coffee lovers to explore local coffee tastings orchestrated by their favorite roasters, cafes, or coffee professionals. It is also a great opportunity for coffee lovers and enthusiasts to connect, interact, and discuss through full immersion,—literally and figuratively. Similar to how the wine world gathers and shares information through wine tastings, the company seeks to deliver parallel aspects of its culture to the coffee community.
By releasing these new features, Cupper is building the next evolution of the ‘gig economy,’ providing baristas and coffee experts the power to earn extra income through their passion, the freedom to express creativity in the types of experiences offered, and the opportunity to set one’s own price on value. The goal for this feature is to walk the attendee through the entire journey of a particular coffee lot and then break down the entire sensory experience, formulating a general deeper understanding about coffee. “Utilizing technology to bridge the gap between coffee lovers, coffee professionals, high-quality coffee roasters, and cafes are essential to achieving the specialty-coffee industry’s commitment to quality, transparency, and trust. This is a pivotal time in the history of coffee, and we invite coffee professionals to embark on this journey with us to change the current perception through the world of delectable experiences,” says Cupper co-founder Fadi Asfoor. With this particular emphasis on elevating the experience around coffee, Cupper is broadening the public’s exposure to all that is truly extraordinary about specialty coffee.
As for coffee professionals, you can begin hosting your own experience on the app by first applying to become a vendor. Once approved, you will have a variety of ideas and a personal suite of options to choose how you want to tailor your experiences for users to view and sign up for your event!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emmeline Wang is a coffee blogger, freelance writer, and coffee professional out of San Francisco. She advocates for the specialty-coffee industry through her personal blog, EmmMeetsCoffee, focusing on featuring up-and-coming roasting companies. Aside from her life consisting of most things coffee, you can find her in nature pondering the meaning of life or in coffee shops, curating new music playlists, ultimately cherishing the simple pleasures of life.