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ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. is among the first convenience stores to install a new coffee brewing technology that offers customers more consistency in taste, temperature and aroma. The technology, called Soft Heat by BUNN, represents a $7.5-million investment in the company's coffee technology and will still brew the convenience restaurant chain's famous Sheetz Bros Coffeez.
"Many traditional brewing systems degrade coffee taste by using pots that extend exposure to inconsistent heating that results in coffee with a burnt or flat taste," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing. "To add to the problem, coffee that is stored in open containers loses much of the natural aroma and evaporates before it's even poured, making for a bland cup of coffee."
The new brewing technology now being installed keeps Sheetz Bros Coffeez at an ideal, uniform holding temperature in a closed container to preserve the exceptional aroma, the retailer said. It also utilizes custom pulse-brew technology that makes the most flavorful cup of coffee.
Along with this switch, Sheetz is also introducing new flavor dispensers that give customers more variety and flexibility in choosing flavors to compliment their coffee. The new setup has 20 possible flavor shot combinations, including French Vanilla, Irish Cream, Amaretto, Chocolate Cream, Hazelnut and Butter Pecan, in addition to traditional Half & Half and non-dairy creamer.
This allows patrons to truly customize any of the five Sheetz Bros Coffeez blends. Additionally, Sheetz will continue to offer four different sweetener options precisely delivered from its flavor stations.
"Adding sugar, cream and flavor shots generally involves opening numerous individual containers, then pouring, sometimes spilling, the contents into the coffee or on the counter, creating a lot of unnecessary mess and paper waste," Louie Sheetz said. "If you're in a hurry in the morning, it can be frustrating waiting for someone to fumble through the flavoring process."
The new Sheetz system is simple, quick and lets customers mix and match flavoring while virtually eliminating spills and paper waste, he noted.
"This setup gives customers everything they expect when they come to Sheetz. No one else gives you the ability to customize your coffee like we do," he added.
The new Soft Heat brewing technology and flavor dispensers are rolling out to Sheetz' 422 convenience restaurants throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. The rollout is expected to be completed by the end of the year.