Bringing Blockchain to Your Cup of Coffee

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Denver’s Coda Coffee Co. is offering what it calls “the world’s first blockchain-traced coffee,” allowing customers a means to monitor every stop along their coffee’s supply chain. This is done by scanning a QR code linked to the batch of coffee they buy, where they will be able to see the date and location of every transaction –from collection at the farm, to washing, drying milling export, roasting and selling.

According to Tommy Thwaites, co-founder of Coda Coffee, many people put information on their bags that they personally have not verified. But with Coda Coffee, “The customer, right there, on demand,” will be able to “trace their coffee back to the farmer,” he added.

This process comes as more and more tech-savvy consumers are now seeking information on the products they consume. As a result, businesses are looking into more efficient means to track their relationships with suppliers.

Companies from various industries are currently testing the potential applications of Blockchain technology. Blockchain is an online ledger that is credited for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It is often used to improve data sharing and assist in making transactions more efficient and faster.

Cargill Inc., an agriculture conglomerate, is testing a blockchain application that would enable their shoppers tace the turkeys sold from their store to the farms that raised them. Real-estate tech firm Knotel is using blockchain to list office spaces for short-term lease within New York, San Francisco and London.

Coffee production is the perfect commodity for a system that is meant to make encourage more transparency.

Starbucks Corp. announced last month that it was launching a two-year trial program on developing “traceable technology” for farms in Colombia, Costa-Rica and Rwanda.

Starbucks Director of Traceability Arthur Karuletwa said “This could be a seismic change in an industry that hasn’t had much innovation in the way coffee moves across borders and oceans”.

Coda Coffee’s traceable beans, sourced from Eastern Uganda, were filtered through a new machine that analyzes and assigns a lot number to the beans that customers can easily trace.

The machine, bextmachine, is designed by Denver-based startup bext360. It can process around 50kg of coffee per minute.

The bextmachine also has additional functions such as providing information on quality and characteristics of the coffee beans at the farm level. This helps wholesalers and roasters determine which qualities produce specific flavors, making future sourcing decisions easier.



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