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How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

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  • How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

    Thought Id throw this question out there to see what those on the site think are the sure fire signs of a cafe with a clue when out and about in a new area?

    Id say I look at a combination of:
    - How focussed the barista looks on the job at hand.
    - Where they get their beans (while a bad barista can do a lot of evil with great beans, there are some beans I avoid like the plague).
    - What theyve got on the coffee menu (Im encouraged by the presence of piccolo as an option and discouraged by the word "expresso")
    - An absence of syrups (I just feel like theyre evil and unnecessary).
    - The queue.
    - Any examples of what theyre churning out I can see at the tables.

    Id be interested in any other good tips on offer to help me avoid the savage disappointment of a bad cup.


  • #2
    Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

    Originally posted by 222D273126346D342622372B2631222F2F430 link=1273240146/0#0 date=1273240146
    help me avoid the savage disappointment of a bad cup.
    (sigh) Make your coffee at home. 8-)

    While you may be able to spot some of the places likely to be making dreadful coffee, separating the great places from the pretenders requires a taste. And that only tells you about the one person making the coffee today.

    yours in discouragement,
    Greg

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    • #3
      Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

      Can you smell the coffee (from ten paces you should be able to smell that fresh coffee)
      Are there any half full cups on the table (btw thats a bad thing)
      Latte art (by no means a clincher but at least they are getting the milk right)
      Lots of small(ish) jugs for milk steaming.
      Barista throws the odd shot because it isnt good enough.

      Sigh havent been to a place like this for a very long time!!! Hmmm time to go and make myself a coffee, machine should be hot by now.  ;D

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      • #4
        Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

        1) You see the barista drinking the espresso he makes straight from the shotglass.

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        • #5
          Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

          Originally posted by 79666E7D707571711C0 link=1273240146/3#3 date=1273306718
          1) You see the barista drinking the espresso he makes straight from the shotglass.
          Ya he also drinks metho and sniffs other flammable vapours.


          Not a conclusive test... See lots of GJ people doing it ... Means nothing/little in my books.

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          • #6
            Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

            When its not a cafe...its a coffeesnobs kitchen!

            In my town, I would gladly make a bet with anyone that the next random cafe will make bad coffee. I would win the bet 99% of the time and only lose 1% of the time - where else would you get these odds when gambling?

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            • #7
              Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

              Originally posted by 112433310139243B373A32560 link=1273240146/1#1 date=1273240768
              Originally posted by 222D273126346D342622372B2631222F2F430 link=1273240146/0#0 date=1273240146
              help me avoid the savage disappointment of a bad cup.
              (sigh) Make your coffee at home. 8-)

              While you may be able to spot some of the places likely to be making dreadful coffee, separating the great places from the pretenders requires a taste. And that only tells you about the one person making the coffee today.

              yours in discouragement,
              Greg
              Im with Greg on this one. I think that your list is pretty judgemental and with it in hand it wont allow you to give some places a chance. I mean, I guess youll walk out of our cafe because weve got syrups.

              Have you ever thought that we only put syrup in the coffee of those customers who ask for it? Its not like we put them in every coffee we make... :

              I think once youve owned and run your own business, then you are in a better position to make judgement on what a business carries in order to make sales, keep staff and even perhaps turn a profit...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

                A very fair point Scoota Gal (and I wouldnt really judge any place that quickly). Im just interested in considering what little points we all pick up on that show us a place has a real passion for the coffee.

                Ultimately, I do indeed end up giving most places the benefit of the doubt of trying it out, because Ive still only found one way to get closer to being sure (and every coffee is part of a journey).

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                • #9
                  Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

                  At 10 paces for a potential new stop.

                  Empty doser and a partially full hopper used frequently = some promise, both full "Run"
                  Small milk jugs in use
                  Espresso actually been offered as a choice on the menu/board and cups to suit.
                  Portafilter handles actually on the machine to keep hot (not so strange to see them out at some places : )
                  Look at the Barista if you can and if they are busy, watch the work flow if it is still calm and methodical then its worth a go.

                  A queue is not always a good guide, ordinary coffees come from places to busy to take care and have customers who may not care either.

                  Apart from that open your own shop or have one before you go is still safer in a lot of cases.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

                    I just have a look, watch the person on the machine, for a few mins, we all know what to look for, were coffeesnobs ;D.....if it looks no good, walk away, im a customer and thats my choice.

                    That being said, up here in brissie, most of the good cafes are well known so the guessing game isnt such an issue.....

                    Where are you located?

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                    • #11
                      Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

                      Customers licking their cups or scraping them out with their fingers!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

                        Originally posted by 27352D322E2325292020232321333F460 link=1273240146/10#10 date=1273337527
                        Customers licking their cups or scraping them out with their fingers!
                        best answer in this thread 8-)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How do you spot a good cafe from 10 paces?

                          Sure thats not pumpkin soup in the cup?

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