So he set about finding another way to ferment the beans that go into his recently launch coffee brand, Break The Cup.
“I had a revolutionary idea to develop a new process of fermentation” that doesn’t harm animals or disgust consumers, he told FoodNavigator-USA. The idea: “Send them to the spa.”
Salgado patented a process by which he ferments green coffee beans by submerging them in the hot thermal springs of Costa Rica, which was inspired by tourists who visit the “magical waters” for their healing and rejuvenating properties.
“When I first contacted one of the largest green bean traders in the world and explained my idea, the president started laughing and said I was crazy. But, I said, no, I want to run a trail and see the results,” Salgado said.
Those results included a completely clean bean, fewer toxins in the finished cup of coffee and a lower level of acidity in beverage – a trifecta that Salgado said earned him multiple awards at early competitions.
“At first the professional coffee cuppers couldn’t describe what they felt when they tried our coffee, but they were impressed with the quality,” and when, after drinking Break The Cup coffee for a month, they returned to their former brands they were struck by how much more difficult their previous favorites were on their stomachs compared to Break The Cup, Salgado said.
“That was when we realized we were really on to something and that not only were we cleaning the coffee, but we also were enriching the coffee with minerals of the water, so it is also a benefit for your stomach,” he said.
Salgado further ensures his finished coffee is as smooth as possible by using only 100% Arabica beans, which have a mellower, less acidic profile than other options, he said.
“When you go to the supermarket in the US you realize the antacid department is really large, but then you realize the coffee they are drinking and you start saying, ‘Wow, there is a reason,” and Break The Cup is hoping to be an antidote, he added.
Strong social commitments
Salgado is further ensuring the finished product is smooth by obtaining only the highest quality coffee he can – even if that means paying producers a premium price to buy only single origin coffee from farms that are members of the Rainforest Alliance.
In addition to doing right by farmers and the environment, the young company wants to help save the wild animals that also call Costa Rica home by donating 5% of the utility of each purchase to the Jaguar Rescue Center – a non-profit with a mission that is as unique as Break The Cup’s fermentation process.
Unique packaging for a unique coffee
To further set apart Break The Cup from the competitors, the brand is enveloped in a whimsically designed bag that emphasizes the pleasure – and not just the function – of drinking a cup of coffee in the morning.
“Coffee is not like a bottle of water – it is a pleasure to be enjoyed. Something unique,” and that is what the line drawings the package represent, Salgado explained.
After perfecting the fermentation process and lining up supply of high quality beans, Break The Cup is ready to break into retail chains and expand its distribution.
Salgado said he is working with high-end coffee shops and hotels to place his coffee in the cups and rooms of comfort seekers, but he also will soon sell the brand on Amazon so that consumers can enjoy it in their homes.
Looking forward, he hopes to gain distribution in specialty stores, the natural channel and even the conventional channel, he said.