Coffee has a long history of importance from the great coffee houses of the 17thcentury to today where it is reported that the UK’s coffee consumption has soared to 95 million cups a day in 2018, up from 70 million in 2008.
“Coffee is an exciting industry as it has been consistently progressive over the last two decades and it will no doubt continue to move forward,” notes Gavin Pooley, founder and Managing Director of Liquidline.
“This is exciting for the consumer who is building a greater knowledge about coffee and it sets us a constant challenge to innovate and evolve both our machines and our service levels. This is good as it means that we must always be focused on how we can bring added value to our customers”
“Coffee is no new trend. It has had a proud and long history. For historians, many will recall that the great coffee houses of the 17th and 18th Centuries played an important role in both business and social interaction in those days.
It was with the advent of the coffee filter in 1908, grain sizes and the overall concentration could be accurately controlled. This further removed the bitterness and thus, the truly “modern” cup of coffee was born. Of course, certain cultures will have their own unique preferences in terms of taste and how the coffee is served. For instance, coffee in the United Kingdom tends to be much stronger than its counterpart in the United States. While many Americans espouse the convenience of an instant blend, the British will frequently use fresh-roasted coffee that has been percolating for longer. Still, these disparities are not only limited to the United Kingdom in reference to the United States. The Spanish enjoy a “cafe con leche” (coffee with milk and a good deal of sugar) while Italy is famous for its espressos. Likewise, the French enjoy a variant simply known as un petite cafe (a tiny cup of black coffee without milk or sugar). These tastes have developed over time and reflect interesting cultural differences.”
Liquidline may be best known for its coffee machines, there is little doubt that they have built a successful, vibrant business but there is far more to the story – for they are a business that is driven by both profitability but also by playing a key role in a wider social context.
Liquidline was founded by Gavin in 2003. Originally, the company had been a water cooler business. However, Gavin could see how the market was changing and coffee was playing a more central role in the workplaces of customers. He could see a clear opportunity and one that he grasped. Gavin has always had an eye on the customer’s tastes and needs and it will be no surprise that just as he has developed a strong base for the business with coffee machines so he has also recently developed a strong number of machines in hydration. For many today, coffee, water and juices are maybe the most important features of their day.
The move for Liquidline towards coffee coincided with the growth in popularity of coffee in the UK in general. Coffee shops grew at quite a pace during the early 2000s and today we arguably are experiencing 3rd generation coffee. Most of us today have a greater knowledge of coffee styles and types that our counterparts would have back in the early 1990s. However, with knowledge comes higher expectation and this of course naturally knocks onto the machines needed with workplaces. Liquidline’s machines are manufactured just outside of Venice, one of the country’s leading gastronomic cities.
Gavin talks with a clear and genuine passion for coffee:
“Coffee has been a staple drink for many for thousands of years and its presence in our daily life continues to grow. In fact, studies have found that the global consumption of coffee reached an incredible 155.71 million 60kg bags between 2015 and 2016. This is our challenge – how to meet all the demands as the customer today will have their own specific favourite. It is no different to how diets are evolving. There has been a lot of talk about how a whole number of new diets are developing and that 1:3 in the USA today follow a specific diet. It is no different with coffee and the change in diets also explains why we are developing a number of concepts in hydration – which is also growing in both understanding and choice. The whole landscape is changing and this is a progressive era.”
“It is our belief that coffee and hydration play a really important role today within all workplaces, also in schools and other organisations. We want to play an important and meaningful role that does add genuine value. Business today is not just about being a profitable silo in itself but how we contribute to society – and this is one of our passions, to work with industry, find new solutions that support productivity and employee happiness within the workplace. Business is a tough environment today so let’s work together to bring better support and solutions to our customers.”