The Medium Mug, in partnership with Roj Syrups, won the award for best product at NYC Coffee.
Published 12:01 am Sunday, April 2, 2023
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SALISBURY — When the CEO of Mean Mug Coffee Company, Evelyn Medina, walked the New York Coffee Festival in Manhattan earlier this month with her team, she found herself talking to thousands of people about her new product at the event.
Major coffee syrup companies from around the world were at the festival, including Routin 1883 and Monin, two coffee syrup and alcohol companies based in France, and Syrup Torani, a company based in Italy. But none of them would speak.
People wanted to know about Mean Mug’s new product: Geisha Cascara Syrup. Mean Mug partnered and became a distributor for Roj Syrups, which is based in Guatemala, and took on the difficult task of creating cascara syrup.
“Thus we speak to the people and speaking to the people. And the first day goes, and the second day goes, And then on the third they lift everything bent, Here they all come with decisions in their hands. They stop at our booth and say to us ‘congratulations, you are just the best fruits of the convention won,’” Medina shared, apparently still in disbelief at the achievement.
“We were like, ‘What?’ And they said, “Yes, your hand-made product is the best product in the whole convention.”
The next thing he knew, these “fit people” started coming through the middle of the Mug booth. While talking to them about the syrup, Medina noticed that these men were from Routin 1883, Monin and Torani “to see what we were all about.” But he has no plans with any of those companies.
“We want to be as big as those teams,” Medina said.
Medina explained the difficult process of creating the winning syrup.
Coffee comes from a fruit called the coffee cherry. When the cherry has been extracted, you take two coffee beans that you process into coffee. The skin of that cherry is known as cascara, from the Spanish cascara, which means rind. The skins, or coffee pods, are usually just thrown away and added to the fertilizer or compost. It is like the peel of an orange. You eat the oranges and discard the peel. The potion is equivalent to the peel of oranges.
The idea was for the removal of the follicle, could it be useful?
“My friends at Roj have been trying for the last 5 years to come up with the use of that pod to make a kind of coffee syrup that doesn’t taste like coffee but has all the properties of coffee,” Medina said.
Medina’s friend and business partner Alexander Kachler, who is also the CEO of Roj Syrups, has stepped up to the business role. Kachler used geisha, a type of coffee variety known for its floral and sweet notes. The captured beans were taken from the geisha and dried by collecting the remains of the husk or pod Kachler. He spent three years, remaining the best way to dry the coffee pods, to make it suitable for turning into syrup, preserving its sweet taste.
“You have to dry it very precisely. When you cut the coffee beans and separate them into beans and then the coffee pods, that’s where the process starts. You have to dry it as soon as possible, or else it rots,” explained Kachler. “The drying process has to be perfect, because if you taste too much you will lose After this, we take the coffee pods to our factory, crush it until it’s like powder, then we extract all the flavor, mix it with hot water and make a syrup.”
Kachler, who was also at the Manhattan coffee festival, said that winning the best product evaluation was for years of hard work.
“This was really amazing. For many years this work has been done. We were very happy to build recognition for this work that shows the sustainability that we were looking for in our products,” Kachler said. “Here in Guatemala people are asking a lot of questions. It’s getting interesting now”.
“Because of the variety to be found, there really isn’t anything in the world that’s made quite like it,” Medina added.
Mean Mug is also opening a new store at 1621 W. Innes St, Salisbury, NC 28144, where the Winston-Salem County BYGood Coffee used to be located before closing. Mug hopes to have the store up and running by mid-May.