Updated on June 12, 2023 | September 8, 2021
Take a peek behind the scenes to see our team's process from ideation to implementation for our all new breakfast!
Get to know Casey's Director of Research & Development and Quality Assurance who worked hard to implement fresh, bean-to-cup coffee for our guests!
1 Year with Casey's
Hannah has previously traveled to Costa Rica, Vietnam, and Hawaii to visit coffee farms and to research and enhance the coffee process.
I touched a lot of the different parts of the new launch, but my biggest project was implementing our new coffee, our bean-to-cup coffee. From when I first started, my goal and aspiration was to have Casey's coffee be a destination item for our guests, right after our pizza.
To do that, you have to understand guest preference and really figure out what the guests' coffee profile is like; with both our breakfast food products and also this new coffee, it was crucial to take our guests' feedback into high consideration.
"I appreciate more and more how, in order for us to get a good cup of coffee, the farmer had to work really, really hard"
To have good coffee, it not only has to come from a good source, but it also has to go through the correct roasting process. It has to be at the right roasting temperature to create a profile that is not too bitter, too ashy, or too smokey for our guests' coffee preference.
Even with having the perfect beans and roasting process, the delivery vehicle is also critical. The bean-to-cup machines deliver freshness, and I can guarantee that freshness. The guest presses the button, they can close their eyes and hear the grinder and the water making their cup hot and fresh. It brews right there for you, and that truly elevates that cup of coffee, the quality of it and the experience for our guests, too.
Yes! But working in the food industry, I appreciate more and more how, in order for us to get a good cup of coffee, the farmer had to work really, really hard. There's this whole process: you have to harvest, you have to pick the cherries, and you have to go through the fermentation process. And then still after that, the roasting process, the grinding, even the packaging process to make sure it stays fresh and protects the beans.
But, I mean, the coffee beans, their journey is unbelievable! They travel from the tree all the way into your cup of coffee, that's so cool!
I'd say the Casey's Classic. The base is sweet, smooth, and balanced, and the aftertaste is smooth. It's high quality, with a great aroma and great mouthfeel, and all of that combines well with our new breakfast. The warm, fresh, made-from-scratch dough on our new Toastwiches, especially, that will go nicely with Casey's Classic.
I put half coffee, half cappuccino, with some hot chocolate. I don't put creamers or sugars in my cups of coffee, I just put a little bit of hot chocolate for sweetness and have the rest be plain coffee. That's always been my way since I worked with Casey's. I like to add in a little something extra for fun.
What I love about Casey's is that we're really focused on communities. You go into a small town, the surrounding is all corn fields, and the Casey's in the town is where they can go anytime they want to, they can hang out there. We bring joy to our communities and to invite them into our family.
I also love going in the stores and watching how guests and their families go around the store and interact with our products. At one of our stores, we have a frozen beverage machine with about 8 different flavors, and I saw a kid put all 8 in his cup at once, so I asked him, “what do you think?” He goes, “Oh my gosh, it's so awesome!”
That's my reward right there. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how long or how hard a project is, because seeing the guests enjoy the finished product that I had the opportunity to contribute to, for me, that means the world. [pause] That means a lot to me.
"You know, the guests are a part of my morning as much as I'm a part of theirs"
I can't give too much away, but I am really very excited for some of our upcoming products! Some are brand new, and a few favorites may be coming back.
We're always working on new innovative projects, and we love hearing guest feedback, so I am always asking for guests to send in their thoughts!
Oh gosh, I drink coffee just like water [laughs]. I'm a black coffee kind of person, and the reason is because it gives me a full aroma and full profile of the coffee. I tend to like dark coffee mostly.
Our limited time Salted Caramel Toffee Coffee, now that's delicious too, and it was really a hit with our guests last year. It's really good iced, with just a splash of cream, definitely recommend that.