NYC Foam Container Ban Overturned

Technically, New York City instituted a ban on the sale of foam cups, plates, bowls, and containers in July – although we have been in the midst of a six-month grace period with no enforcement. Now, a judge has thrown out the ban entirely. 

New York Times: Judge Strikes Down New York City’s Ban on Foam Food Containers

New York City’s ban on plastic-foam food containers, the once-ubiquitous vessels for Chinese takeout and curbside halal food, has been overturned, rejecting a signature environmental initiative of two mayors and clearing the way for an industry-backed plan to buy and recycle the items.
 
 

CDC offers a variety of cups, plates, and bowls – in all sorts of sizes and materials. Whether you are interested in paper, plastic, foam, post-consumer fiber, biodegradable, or something else – consult with our office refreshment experts on the solution that best meets your needs and budget.

Eco-Friendly Paper Cup Transition

Our previously-blogged switch-over from Solo cups to International Paper cups includes a transition of our eco-friendly paper cups, from Solo's "Bare" brand to International Paper's "Tree" brand. Like Bare cups, Tree cups are considered "green" because they are made with post-consumer fiber. You will see this referenced with the acronym "PCF."

 

PCF Tree Cups Are Replacing Solo Bare

 

The new Tree cups are available in the same sizes as Bare cups: 8 oz, 10 oz tall, 10 oz squat, 12 oz, and 16 oz. The product codes are identical (SB8, SB10, SB10S, SB12, SB16) so customers who used to get Bare cups will automatically start receiving the new Tree cups as our inventory runs out and switches over.

Attention customers who use lids with their Bare cups: the new 8 oz, 10 oz squat, 12 oz, and 16 oz cups use the same exact lids as they did previously. The SB10 10 oz tall cup is the only cup in the Tree lineup that requires a new lid. The lid code (LP10W) is same as before, but if you have leftover lids when you get your new cups, you will find that they don't fit. Call our customer service department at 1-800-356-8881 and we will exchange your old lids for new lids, at no charge.

Tree cups are being phased in as Bare supplies are exhausted. As of October 13th, the 12 oz and 16 oz cups have switched over to the new brand. You can follow our cup transition with this PDF. For each SKU row, we will highlight the appropriate column in green to indicate which cup is currently shipping. If the lid columns are in yellow, a new lid is required; otherwise the lids are interchangeable.

We also invite you to view our cups and lids web page, where you can hover over the names of our most popular cups to see what they look like.

Coffee Distributing Corp. carries a wide range of eco-friendly office products. Do you need help with your account, or are you looking to set up a new account? Contact us today!

Solar Panels Offset 30% Of CDC's Electric Use

Time flies! We've now had our roof solar panels up for nearly a year and a half. We have enough data to quantify their effectiveness, and we're very pleased with the results!

 
 

Our solar panels were installed during December, 2010 and became operational in January, 2011 (just in time for some epic snow storms). Analyzing our electric bills for the full 2010 calendar year (pre-solar) and comparing it with 2011 (post-solar), we were able to quantify the impact that generating our own clean, renewable energy has had on our traditional electric use.

We actually installed solar panels on the roofs of two adjacent buildings. From 2010 to 2011, our electric bills dropped by about 39% at our 190 Broadway building, and by roughly 24% at our larger 200 Broadway location. Overall, the solar panels offset 30.9% of our electricity usage!

Estate Select Coffee From NYC's Greenest Roaster

We would like to congratulate our roaster, Eldorado Coffee Roasters, on the news of their 240.24 kilowatt solar array. Over the course of the year, Eldorado will generate enough clean solar energy to offset 100% of their electricity needs. We proudly join them in proclaiming Eldorado to be "the only green coffee roaster in New York City."

 

Eldorado Coffee Roasters Solar Panels

 

Eldorado Coffee Roasters, locally based in Queens, NY, sources the beans, roasts, and packs Coffee Distributing Corp.'s private label Estate Select brand of coffee. Eldorado has been our primary roaster for many years. We have always been proud to use a local roaster with a strong commitment to quality. Add in a renewed commitment to sustainability, and we are even prouder of our ongoing partnership.

 

CDC's Estate Select Coffee Logo

 

Our Estate Select brand of coffee is available in both whole bean bags and ground fractional packs. Estate Select is a particularly popular option for our "wholesale" customers, such as delis, for whom we can offer not just great-tasting coffee options, but also an entire program of branded promotional materials.

 

Estate Select Coffee

 

Estate Select is an increasingly-popular office coffee solution as well, particularly with our single-cup pods and pod machines. As the more well-known single-cup office coffee solutions become more expensive, low-cost pods (which brew a superior cup of coffee) are becoming an increasingly attractive option.

 

Estate Select Single Cup Pod Coffee

 

Curious to learn more about Estate Select coffee or any of our other coffee solutions? Contact us today!

New CDC Vans Are Born!

As we speak, the newest generation of CDC vans are being prepared for their debut. We are phasing in brand new, sleek, fuel-efficient Ford Transit Vans to replace the larger vans that have traditionally been used by our army of repair technicians. Once we finish equipping them with the famous Coffee Distributing Corp. decals, these vans will hit the road!

 

New Ford Transit Vans Officially Becoming CDC Vans

 

With double the fuel-efficiency and easier maneuverability into tight parking spaces, these new vans are a welcome addition to our fleet!

Our friends over at www.iseecdctrucks.com will no doubt have fun tracking these new vans all over the New York City metropolitan area.

See also: The Next Generation Of Fuel Efficient Service Vans

Mighty Leaf Tea Now Available

By popular demand, Coffee Distributing Corp. is now stocking Mighty Leaf Tea as a premium tea option.

 

Mighty Leaf Teas

 

Mighty Leaf Tea is a specialty tea company based in California. Mighty Leaf pioneered the concept of a large tea pouch, filled with whole tea leaves and herbs for superior quality. Their signature, eco-friendly tea pouches are biodegradable, stitched with uncleached cotton, and don't use any glue or staples.

 

About The Mighty Leaf Tea Pouch

 

We are currently stocking the following Mighty Leaf Teas:

  • Bombay Chai (MLCHAI)
  • Chamomile Citrus (MLCC)
  • Organic Earl Grey (MLEG)
  • Organic Green Dragon (MLGD)
  • Organic Breakfast (MLOBB)
  • Organic Green Tropical (MLOGT)
  • Organic Spring Jasmine (MLOS)
  • White Orchard (MLWO)

Get the highest quality teas delivered to your office! Order Now or Set Up An Account today!

How Are Our New Solar Panels Working?

Opening up the electricity bill each month isn't supposed to be this much fun! Our new solar panels were installed just before the calendar turned to 2011, and with the snowy winter behind us and the summer sun shining bright, we are finally able to start quantifying the benefits. We are proud to report that our combined electricity usage from the local grid between our two main buildings in Garden City Park, NY, declined an astounding 42.8% in June 2011 versus June 2010! The difference was made up by clean, solar energy that we were able to generate ourselves.

Early conclusion -- the solar panels were a terrific investment!

200 Broadway

From the start of the year through July 6th, 2011, compared with the similar timeframe last year, we have reduced our usage and generated enough of our own clean, renewable solar energy at our 200 Broadway facility (main warehouse and offices) to reduce our aggregate electric bills for that location by 25%. Over the past three months of long, sunny days, the impact is even more dramatic -- as outlined above -- and with summer just barely underway, we are eagerly looking forward to tracking our solar output for July, and August and beyond!

 
 

190 Broadway

Adjacent to our 200 Broadway building, our service department makes its home at 190 Broadway. We also installed solar panels on that roof, and with less electric usage in that building, the impact is even more dramatic -- a nearly 50% reduction in our billed electricity use!

 
 

Check back as we quantify the impact of our solar panels through the peak summer months!

Mars Drinks' Impressive, Sustainable Production Facility

I took a day trip down to West Chester, PA to tour Mars Drinks' North American headquarters and packing plant, home of Flavia. What an impressive operation!

 

First Flavia Coffee Filterpack

 

Unfortunately, photography of the production line is prohibited. It is a sight to behold, with high tech equipment and talented staff working in tandem across multiple levels to produce the sealed-fresh coffee, tea, and indulgence filter packs that we all love.

The coffee is ground on site, with each lot time-stamped and put through a tightly-controlled de-gassing phase. The coffee is then fed into one of many high-tech packing machines, which assemble and seal each pack and filter, nitrogen-flushing immediately before and after each pack is loaded to prevent exposure to oxygen, the enemy of coffee freshness. The packets are automatically assembled onto rails. Every step of the way, technicians are monitoring the process, and rails are routinely pulled off of the line and subjected to a battery of tests to ensure product and seal integrity specifications are being met.

A similar process takes place for teas, cocoa, and cappuccino packs, minus the roasting but with the same commitment to quality control.

The plant operates 24 hours per day, in three shifts. When CDC places an order, an entire shift worth of equipment time and manpower is devoted to packing our product!

As per Mars tradition, the facility is spotlessly clean, even when operating at peak capacity. Remarkably little waste is generated. Most of the waste is recycled (cardboard, plastic) or up-cycled by local farmers (coffee chaff). Any remaining waste, such as packets collected during testing, are converted to green energy at a local waste-to-energy plant. I was pleased to learn that Mars Drinks is operating a zero-landfill facility!

 

Mars Drinks Landfill-Free Sustainable Facility

 

Also on the agenda during my visit -- stay tuned over the coming months for our launch of a cutting-edge mobile media platform, which we are developing in conjunction with our friends at Mars Drinks, that both our new and long-time customers should benefit from. Get your smart phones ready -- more details soon!

Don't yet have Flavia in your office? Ask us about a free trial today!

Single-Cup Coffee? 9 Reasons To Choose Flavia

We are the office refreshments experts: we sell Flavia, Keurig, Tassimo, and all of the single-cup office coffee solutions. We turn a huge volume of Mars Drinks filterpacks and K-Cups through our warehouse -- tens of millions of each per year -- so we are equipped to handle any customer need.

However, our experience with single-cup coffee brewers has led us to conclude that the Flavia system is the better solution for most situations. Here are some reasons why:

1 ) Cross Contamination The Flavia system brews your drink inside of the filterpack, and dispenses directly into your cup without any contact with the brewer. In contrast, other single-cup systems allow cross-contamination in the brew chamber. If you brew a flavored coffee K-Cup and then a regular coffee K-cup, the 2nd cup of coffee may contain some residual flavor taste. If you brew a hot chocolate K-Cup and then a tea K-Cup, the cross-contamination will be significant.

It is recommended that after a hot chocolate brew, you run water through the Keurig brewer to help cleanse the system. Tassimo recommends a daily cleaning cycle, especially if you are brewing milk-based drinks. For your Flavia brewer, these actions are not necessary.

2 ) Taste Even ignoring the cross-contamination issue and comparing perfect brew to perfect brew, we are confident that the Flavia system will equal or beat both Keurig and Tassimo in a blind taste-test. Green Mountain K-Cups may have had the advantage in the past, but the new Alterra Coffee Roasters coffees and Bright Tea Company teas (reformulated and available since Fall 2010) in Flavia filterpacks represent a tremendous step forward in quality. If you tried Flavia in the past but have not yet tasted the new Alterra Coffees and Bright Teas, we strongly urge a taste test. For hot chocolate drinkers, Mars Drinks' Dove Hot Chocolate is a delicious treat.

 
 

3 ) Two-Pack Drinks A wide variety of K-Cups are available, but each is a standalone drink. The Flavia system introduced the "two-pack drink" concept. The special Cappuccino Swirl and Milky Way Swirl filterpacks are only meant to be brewed in combination with a coffee or tea packet, using one of the two-pack drink options: Cappuccino or Latte. Select one of these brew options and the machine will adjust its brew volume accordingly, and prompt you when to load your coffee or tea filterpack and when to load the "indulgence" filterpack. Two-Pack drinks add dozens of additional drink options to Flavia's repertoire. Among them: Cappuccino (which can be made with any coffee packet plus Cappuccino Swirl), Chai Latte, Raspberry Truffle, and countless more. Experimentation is encouraged!

 

Flavia Indulgent Drinks

 

The Tassimo system also has double-brew options with milk-based T-Discs, but it requires daily sanitizing. No sanitizing is necessary with Flavia brewers due to the unique design of their filterpacks.

4 ) Offer Greater Variety In Your Pantry In terms of variety, K-Cups appear to hold the edge over both Flavia and Tassimo, with over 100 offerings. However, three considerations narrow the gap between Keurig and Flavia, and even tilt the comparison in Flavia's favor: brand overlap, two-pack drinks, and space requirements.

Firstly, there is significant overlap among the various K-Cup brands -- as an example: Diedrich, Green Mountain, Timothy's, Tully's, and Wolfgang Puck all offer a French Roast K-Cup, and you are unlikely to want more than one version of French Roast. So in effect, the Keurig's "variety" is less impressive than it initially seems.

Secondly, two-pack drinks multiply the variety of drinks that your Flavia machine can brew. Each of the 17 Alterra Coffees and 10 Bright Teas can be combined with Cappuccino Swirl to create a unique Cappuccino or Latte.

 

Flavia Merchandiser vs. Keurig K-Cup Rack

 

Thirdly, no matter how many different K-Cups we have available for sale, there is a limit to how many you can actually offer on your limited counter space. A typical K-Cup rack accommodates eight different boxes of K-Cups (8 different blends), while a Tassimo rack houses 12 different sleeves. In contrast, a standard Flavia merchandiser, with approximately the same footprint as a K-Cup rack, has 18 drawers. Using split drawers, one merchandiser can offer all 30 Mars Drinks and accommodate all two-pack drink options. It would take four K-Cup racks (and four times as much space) to offer as much variety.

5 ) Less Space Required A case of K-Cups contains fewer drinks (96) than a case of Mars Drinks filterpacks (100), and takes up more space. In an office environment -- especially in Manhattan -- space is at a premium. An 8-box Keurig rack holds 192 drinks (8 boxes of 24), while an 18-drawer Flavia merchandiser holds more than 800 drinks (40 coffees per drawer or 80 teas per drawer).

 

Keurig Cases vs Flavia Cases

 

A case of Flavia measures 4.9 inches high by 6.3 inches wide, while a case of K-Cups is 8.5 inches tall and 9.2 inches wide. They have similar depths.

Bottom line: whether you consider displaying drinks to the end user or storing extra cases of product in your cupboards, Mars Drinks are packed much more efficiently than K-Cups. T-Discs, packed 16 per wrapped sleeve and 80 per case, are also packed less efficiently vs. Flavia.

6 ) Smaller Carbon Footprint Related to #5: since Mars Drinks filterpacks are packed much more efficiently than K-Cups, they not only take up less space in your pantry, but they also take up less space on the tractor trailers that deliver to our warehouse, as well as on our trucks that deliver to you. A smaller space requirement translates to more product packed per truck, and therefore fewer trucks on the road and fewer gallons of gasoline burned.

To translate this into numbers, it is important to understand that at our high volume of sales, we always purchase Mars Drinks filterpacks and K-Cups by the full trailer load. Contrast:

  • Full trailer of K-Cups: 22 pallets * 105 cases per pallet * 96 drinks per case = 221,760 drinks per trailer
  • Full trailer of Mars Drinks: 24 pallets * 300 cases per pallet * 100 drinks per case = 720,000 drinks per trailer
  • Tassimo: We do not sell enough volume to warrant full trailer loads
 

Carbon Footprint Keurig K-Cups Vs. Flavia

 

Not only does it take more than 3 trailers of K-Cups to deliver as many drinks as 1 trailer of Mars Drinks filterpacks, but those trailers are driving a much longer distance. From Green Mountain in Waterbury, Vermont to our warehouse in Garden City Park, New York is a distance of over 330 miles. From Mars Drinks in West Chester, Pennsylvania to CDC is just over 140 miles. The net result of less efficient packing and greater travel distance is over six times more fuel consumption (and carbon dioxide emissions) in the delivery process.

7 ) Greener Equipment The newest Flavia brewers -- the C400 large-office and C200 small-office models -- come with two key energy-saving features that give Flavia a tremendous energy-efficiency advantage. The net result is that these Flavia brewers use almost 40% less energy than their Keurig counterparts.

 

Flavia Energy Saving Graph

 

Its energy-saving mode reduces Flavia's energy usage significantly during dormant periods (such as night time) with only a minimal "wake-up" time requirement when the machine is brought back online at the touch of a button. The new Flavia brewers also have a two-tank heating system -- it takes much less energy to heat only the water that is immediately needed to optimal brew temperature, than it would take to heat all of the water in the tank. Best of all, the end-user is not affected, as Flavia machines can still brew multiple drinks in succession. Convenience and energy efficiency -- the best of both worlds!

8 ) Commercial Brewer Only; No "Shrinkage" Flavia machines are no longer sold in retail stores as Mars Drinks has decided to concentrate on the commercial market, while Keurig is widely available through conventional retail outlets. Around the holidays, you have probably seen Keurig brewers appear on the cover of countless catalogs.

Why does this matter? Every clerk, janitor, and visitor to your office is a potential K-Cup home user, who may feel a strong urge to pocket a K-Cup or two for the road. This "shrinkage" can add up to a significant added cost of the K-Cup system, versus Flavia packets which are useless outside of your office.

9 ) Less Expensive Not only does the Flavia system deliver a higher quality product, more consistently, in a more eco-friendly manner, but it is also less costly. When comparing costs, always remember that K-Cups are packed 96 per case and T-Discs are packed 80 per case, while Alterra Coffee and Bright Tea is packed 100 per case. When you compute the per-drink cost, the Flavia system will win.

Contact us today to learn more! If you have an office in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, we would love to set you up with a free trial!

What Is Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee? [VIDEO]

This short video, produced to coincide with Earth Day 2011, explains the Rainforest Alliance, and Rainforest Alliance certified coffee farms:

 

Many of the Alterra coffees for your Flavia brewer are Rainforest Alliance certified. Learn more on our Flavia sustainability page.

Video source: The Rainforest Alliance's Vimeo page

We Love Sunny Days!

Check out the difference in energy generated by our roof's solar panels March 20th versus March 21st. As if we needed another reason to be excited for those sunny summer days that are right around the corner! We can't wait to see how much clean solar energy our new solar panels can produce during peak sun season -- check back for updates!

 
 

The more energy our solar panels produce, the less electricity we need to draw from the local power plant, directly reducing our carbon footprint.

What Is Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee?

The Rainforest Alliance is a non-profit organization (much like the well-known Fair Trade organization), that works with coffee farmers and other agricultural producers to conserve biodiversity and promote sustainability.

 

Rainforest Alliance Logo

 

The Rainforest Alliance works directly with farmers to teach and encourage good land-use practices. Specifically, the Alliance requires the maintenance or restoration of a certain percentage of natural forest cover, and no impact on natural bodies and flows of water. Certain destructive activities are prohibited. Rainforest Alliance also promotes training, safe working conditions, sanitation and health for farm workers.

Farms and businesses that meet the Alliance's environmental and social standards (and pass inspection) are then eligible to label themselves "Rainforest Alliance Certified." Seeing that seal assures consumers that the product they are purchasing has been harvested using sustainable and responsible practices.

 

Rainforest Alliance E-Blast

 

Mars Drinks has made a strong commitment to sustainability in general and the Rainforest Alliance in particular. Currently, 3 Bright Teas and 9 Alterra Coffees carry the seal, including Barista's Blend (code ALTBB), a dark and intense blend of coffees exclusively from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

 

Rainforest Alliance Certified Products

 

Many Timothy's K-Cups also carry Rainforest Alliance certification, as do Caribou Blend K-Cups (code KCARIB) and Liption Green Tea bags (code T3G).

Biodegradable Eco-Friendly Water Bottles!

Did you know that in addition to carrying the well-known water brands -- such as Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Fiji, Perrier, Poland Spring and more -- Coffee Distributing Corp. also offers a 100% biodegradable option? We already sell approximately 50 cases per week of this new, eco-friendly product line, and it's growing fast! Not sure what we're talking about? Don't quite believe it? Let us introduce you to TYR Water!

 

Tyr Biodegradable Water Bottles

 

The bottle is made out of an all-natural, FDA-approved organic compound. It biodegrades naturally after being discarded (5 year life expectancy after use), without requiring composting. The bottle can even be recycled with regular plastic, so there are no headaches or requirements for special handling. This is a truly green product!

Yes, even the label is eco-friendly. It is made out of 100% post-consumer recycled-paper, and carries a 1 year life expectancy after use. The soy-based ink does not contain any hazardous chemicals.

TYR Water (Order Now: code TYR) is sold in 16.9 oz bottles, 24 per case. The water is natural spring water, originating from an aquifer deep under the Adirondack Mountains.

TYR is a great option for environmentally-conscious offices, as well as for convenience stores that want to offer a unique product to customers who are increasingly looking to "go green" and reduce their carbon footprint. Click to contact us for more information on TYR water!

A TYR Water PDF download is also available.

Coffee Distributing Corp. Now Using Green Solar Energy!

Back on December 13th, we announced that we were in the midst of installing solar panels on our two New York warehouse roofs.

 

Solar Panels On Our Roof Coffee Distributing Corp.

 

Well, we're very pleased to announce that the installation has been completed -- just in time to beat the biggest snow storm in recent memory! If the sun ever comes out again, we expect the clean energy generated from our newly-upgraded roof to offset a significant portion of our traditional electricity usage. Stay tuned for details as we quantify the savings!

Check our more photos on our Flickr page!

The Next Generation Of Fuel Efficient Service Vans

In the past two weeks, our devoted fans over at www.iseecdctrucks.com have been buzzing with sightings around Manhattan of the newest CDC van, #48.

 

CDC's New Ford Transit Van

 

The Ford Transit Van is the newest model in our fleet, being introduced for select repair routes, starting with our vending department. This model is significantly smaller than our traditional vans, so it will never replace our entire fleet. But for certain repair techs who don't require tremendous storage space, the smaller vans will bring a significant advantage when hunting for scarce parking spots around New York City.

 

CDC's New Fuel Efficient Ford Transit Van

 

And most importantly, the Ford Transit Van provides double the fuel efficiency, when compared with a traditional CDC van!

Check out more photos of our trucks and vans on our Flickr page.