The Coffee

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Re: The Coffee

Postby Tadman » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:08 pm

A few special blends might be an interesting ridership driver for little to no money. Right now, the cafe car is dogfood on most runs. Imagine if it had exclusive coffee that was revered the way Dunkin Donuts coffee is.
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Re: The Coffee

Postby Suburban Station » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:17 am

Tadman wrote:A few special blends might be an interesting ridership driver for little to no money. Right now, the cafe car is dogfood on most runs. Imagine if it had exclusive coffee that was revered the way Dunkin Donuts coffee is.

I noticed no difference in quality between the old coffee and new
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Re: The Coffee

Postby BandA » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:46 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:
kitn1mcc wrote:The green mountain they were serving was very good.

Green Mountain is a premium brand, but seems to be disappearing. Friendly's Restaurants in the Northeast switched away from Green Mountain as well (perhaps Green Mountain's largest customer).
Green Mountain bought Keurig in 2006, and was sold to a Luxembourg JAB Holding Co. in 2016 for lots of beans, specifically $13.9B cash, according to wikipedia. So, they are probably concentrating on selling Keurig cups with artificial flavoring to retailers and away from bulk foodservice clients like Amtrak and McDonalds.
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Re: The Coffee

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:42 am

BandA wrote:
R36 Combine Coach wrote:
kitn1mcc wrote:The green mountain they were serving was very good.

Green Mountain is a premium brand, but seems to be disappearing. Friendly's Restaurants in the Northeast switched away from Green Mountain as well (perhaps Green Mountain's largest customer).
Green Mountain bought Keurig in 2006, and was sold to a Luxembourg JAB Holding Co. in 2016 for lots of beans, specifically $13.9B cash, according to wikipedia. So, they are probably concentrating on selling Keurig cups with artificial flavoring to retailers and away from bulk foodservice clients like Amtrak and McDonalds.


It makes me wonder how tightly they can pack those Keurig cups for storage on trains. Keurig machines seem to be perfect for trains over regular brewers.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: The Coffee

Postby BandA » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:32 pm

Keurig cups probably take up 3x the space of ground coffee, and 3x the space in the trash, and basically can't be composted or recycled. (Does Amtrak compost or recycle?) K-cups are at least double the cost. Probably helpful/labor saving in a self-service cafe or Automat or where there is low-volume of coffee sales. Also, you could have 10 different flavors of Keurig instead of just regular & decaf.
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Re: The Coffee

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:43 pm

BandA wrote:Keurig cups probably take up 3x the space of ground coffee, and 3x the space in the trash, and basically can't be composted or recycled. (Does Amtrak compost or recycle?) K-cups are at least double the cost. Probably helpful/labor saving in a self-service cafe or Automat or where there is low-volume of coffee sales. Also, you could have 10 different flavors of Keurig instead of just regular & decaf.


Well, kinda. Granted, I kinda would like to recreate the automats (RFID cards, Keurig machines, microwaves and such) but then I would think for Amtrak’s sake, they would brew a pot of medium roast and a pot of decaf every hour or so depending on demand. French vanilla, mint, etc... that’s all flavorings that can be added. Plus, I doubt there’s going to be an espresso machine for the kitchen crew...

I’m thinking more of maximizing space on the train, TBH. To be fair, though, I don’t see why Melitta can’t invent an auto-dispensing/disposing single-serving brewer that actually would be smaller all around (short of the filters).

I think an overnight trip on Amtrak is in order for me...
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Re: The Coffee

Postby adamj023 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:36 am

dumpster.penguin wrote:Took a Northeast Regional and a long-haul Empire Service last week. Two surprises! The Regional's business class seats were new (non-cloth, non-porous, wipe-clean; a gray theme), and the coffee was no longer Green Mountain served in a medium-size paper cup with a post-consumer insulating jacket, but rather Dunkin Donuts served in a nearly liter-size vessel that felt like insulated plastic.

These changes are obviously linked. People will spill more coffee from the taller, more capacious cups, and it's gratifying to know it won't soak in as much.

On the bright side, the Dunkin Donuts coffee seems to be a dark roast, delicately caffeinated, sturdy, with notes of tamarind and an unhurried finish.

A change for the better? The Green Mountain was not bad, but I am convinced that some of it went missing somewhere along the supply chain and what was served did not always match what was written on the menu... One hopes the Dunkin Donuts branding will make the new coffee less susceptible to substitution.


Have the been counters at Amtrak found out if the Dunkin Donuts deal has been financially productive? I would assume it has been because of the size and scale of the company which would also lead to more revenue at Dunkin’ Donuts stores which should have meant for lower costs coming from passenger tickets to be spent on Coffee if Amtrak and Dunkin Douhnuts regotiated a good deal. You would have thought a deal like this could have been made much earlier. Apparently Dunkin Donuts in the past years has been aggressively adding new locations. Where I live, multiple locations were added for Dunkin Donuts which never existed before in prime locations that were underutilized by previous tenants.
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Re: The Coffee

Postby east point » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:09 pm

Maybe Dunkin Doughnuts can resupply at various locations keeping products very fresh. Also on long delayed trains contract may call for restocking at unplanned locations ?
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Re: The Coffee

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:01 pm

It isn’t unlikely that Green Mountain licenses, roasts, and packs DD coffee for Amtrak’s supplier (Aramark? Sysco?) Amtrak definitely doesn’t get its coffee directly from Dunkin’ stores or the Dunkin‘ Donuts store supply chain.

We’ve talked on occasion about who supplies Amtrak’s food and beverages, but it isn’t coming to mind right now. Were there an emergency such that Amtrak would need coffee (and only coffee) while away from a supply base, OBS crew would probably buy retail-packaged ground Dunkin coffee from a grocery store.
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