Monin's "Clean Label"

We have recently received some questions regarding our syrup selection in the Crazy Mocha stores, especially the meaning of “clean label” and whether or not it is vegan, gluten free, or adhering to other dietary restrictions.

We already use Monin products in almost every store, and will soon be transitioning to Monin products in all stores for our syrups and sauces. Monin has recently been moving their product lines to what they refer to as “clean label.” But what exactly does this distinction mean?

According to a representative from Monin, “clean label” simply means that a product contains no artificial ingredients. You could think of it as “natural,” but the specific definition is “no artificial ingredients,” including colors, preservatives, or flavors.

As for other dietary restrictions, are these products vegan? No animal products are used to make the Monin syrups, so yes, they are considered vegan. They are also all gluten-free, halal, and kosher. The only exception would be the syrups with names that reference an alcohol, such as “Grenadine” or “Mojito Mix,” because even though these do not contain any actual alcohol, they would not be considered halal. We do not currently stock these flavors in our stores.

Most of the Monin syrup flavors that we carry in the Crazy Mocha stores meet the clean label standards. Here are the exceptions:

·         Blackberry

·         Cherry

·         Hazelnut

·         Lemon

·         Macadamia Nut

·         Toasted Marshmallow

·         All Sugar-Free syrups

Eventually all of the syrups will be clean label, but as of now they are still transitioning some of the older flavors to this updated production process. We will be happy to provide an update when all Monin syrups are made without any artificial ingredients!

If you’d like to do your own research, you can click here to see which syrups are “clean label” using the advanced search function on the Monin website.

The Legend of Kaldi

If you’ve ever visited a Crazy Mocha store, you’ve certainly been greeted by the smiling goat on our logo. Upon seeing this, you might have asked yourself: what does a goat have to do with coffee?

When Ken Zeff purchased the first store that would become Crazy Mocha, it was called “The Dancing Goats Coffee.” While many people do not see the connection between goats and coffee, the story of the dancing goats is integral to the history of our favorite drink. The popular Ethiopian legend is that a goat herder named Kaldi was tending to his flock in the mountains when he began to notice that some of the goats were dancing with excess energy – even the old ones! He looked around to find what might be causing his goats to act so “crazy,” and discovered little red berries growing from a certain shrub. He tried one of the berries himself, and instantly felt renewed energy course through his body, just like his goats! By eating these berries, Kaldi and his goats discovered the benefits of the Coffea plant for the very first time.

When Kaldi returned to his village, he shared the berries and their power with the local monastery. The abbot made a tea-like beverage with the leaves of the shrub, and the monks found that this brew kept them awake during their long evening prayers, through which they were often caught snoozing. This discovery is heralded as the very beginning of the beverage we now call “coffee.”

Kaldi’s story is only a legend, but because no one truly knows how the coffee plant was discovered, it is a popular explanation. Most historians agree that the drink originated in Ethiopia, so the legend of the dancing goats helps us imagine how people might have learned to use the coffee plant to make beverages, even if they didn’t originally begin with roasting the beans. So, next time you see the goat on our Crazy Mocha logo, you can feel connected to the history of our favorite brew while sipping on a cup of your own!