“While you cannot make a mediocre coffee good during the roasting process, you can ruin a great coffee during roasting,” said Mike Ferguson of SCAA.

-FORBES.com, July 20, 2006


The $11 billion U.S. market for specialty coffee keeps growing, with about 23,000 coffeehouses, reports the Specialty Coffee Association of America trade group. Spokesman Mike Ferguson says sales won’t peak “until there’s an espresso bar in every neighborhood.”

-USA Today, December 20, 2006


Starbucks declined to comment for this article, referring questions to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, a trade group. Its spokesman, Mike Ferguson, said that coffee shops provide an excellent opportunity for students to do their homework.

“You can occupy a table for two hours for about $3, which is unique in a retail setting,” he said. “At a traditional restaurant, they will kick you out.”

-Washington Post, June 18, 2005


“There is no end for some to the fetish for industry intrigue, but I can think of few issues less deserving of their attention,” says the SCAA’s Mike Ferguson. “The NCA recognizes, even if not all their members do, that the drive for quality sustains the entire industry. COE and other auction programs not only identify some of the highest quality coffees in the world, but demonstrate the range of their true value. I think it is a good partnership and an opportunity for ACE members and COE events to conduct some ‘missionary work’ among our friends in the commodity world.”

-Fresh Cup Magazine, October 2006


“The emergence of Rwandan specialty coffee on the global market is stunning,” said Michael D. Ferguson, a spokesman for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, a trade group in Long Beach, Calif. “Everyone inside the specialty coffee industry is excited about it.”

-New York Times, August 6, 2006


SCAA’s chief communications officer, Mike Ferguson, states, “The retail sector remains strong, while independents (single-unit owners) continue to hold over 50 percent of the market share in terms of coffeehouse operation—no matter how fast the national and regional chains grow. The challenge going forward remains meaningful penetration for the home consumption market for specialty coffee.”

Ferguson adds, “Truly unique and quality-driven coffee retailers must create a new tier of what it means to be in the specialty coffee business. This no longer means having an espresso machine, it means having staff that create miracles on the espresso machine, beginning with properly prepared espresso, which is still a rarity. Simply serving a selection of single-origin coffee is no longer enough. You have to serve ‘double-take great’ single-origins and blends that can keep up with them. Finally, the new tier of specialty coffee retailers will be just as devoted to running a quality business as they are to quality coffee.”

Ferguson sees burgeoning roasting/retailing on the horizon. “Ten years ago, communities were seeing their first coffeehouses opening up. While there are still plenty of towns without a coffeehouse, most people know what a coffeehouse is. Now, we see communities getting their first roaster/retailer. Existing retailers are looking for ways to differentiate their business and feed their evolving passion for getting inside the coffee. Roasting in a retail setting provides both. The untapped niche is, again, home consumption. Specialty coffee has not even scratched the surface when you consider how much coffee is consumed at home every day.”

-Specialty Coffee Retailer, June 2005


Mike Ferguson, spokesman for the Specialty Coffee Association of America in Long Beach, said Diedrich is going back to doing what it knows best: roasting coffee. Martin Diedrich’s father, Carl, in 1972 stuffed several sacks with beans from the family’s 45-acre Guatemalan coffee plantation and moved to California with dreams of opening a roasting business. A year later, he opened a store in Costa Mesa that sold fresh roasted beans for customers to brew at home – a novel idea at the time. “Diedrich is returning to its roots,” Ferguson said.

-Orange County Register, September 6, 2006


Mike Ferguson, a spokesman for the Specialty Coffee Association of America — of which both Starbucks and McDonald’s are members — has noted that coffee’s taste is relatively subjective, plus “there are so many variables, from the beans to the way they were roasted.”

But he says that McDonald’s entry into the upscale coffee arena is a trend that has been building for at least a decade.

“Great coffee is no longer a destination for consumers,” he said. “Ten years ago, coffee drinkers maybe knew three or four places where they could go to get a good cup, but now they want to find it as they go about their business throughout the day. That’s why fast food chains and convenience stores are all upgrading their coffee to keep up with the demand.”

-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 3, 2007


NPR | May 4, 2006 

Oregon Business  | July 31, 2006 

Chicago Tribune | November 12, 2004 

The Arizona Republic | November 12, 2008 

Daily Grind | June 7, 2005 

Fast Casual | June 18, 2006 

Plenty Magazine | December 1, 2006

Maine Business | March 21, 2005 

CSP Magazine | February 19, 2007