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Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

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  • Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

    So Ive got a problem.

    Ive just started work at a new place. Great little cafe, loads of potential, new owners.

    The owners havent had much experience in coffee, but they are looking to change suppliers and become boutique. The only problem is, they dont know sh!t all about coffee.

    Ive worked in coffee for the last 5 or so years, mainly with Five Senses coffee, Synessos and Roburs, but also a bit with a couple of other companies that are right into the boutique coffee....SOs, filters, etc.

    I sent the boss to check out Alchemy in Marrickville....said it was too bitter. Got him to taste Single Origin, said it was too expensive. Sent him to Le Monde to try the coffee there...the best coffee in Sydney for 2010....said he didnt enjoy it. Keeping in mind, my boss drinks Soy Lattes, sometimes with Caramel.

    Im currently super disappointed, because the place I work at has super amounts of potential, and a boutique roaster with a single origin program would compliment the cafe like you wouldnt believe. Its in an up and coming area of Sydney, and if we hit the nail on the head now, big things could come of it. Theres already a huge wrap on our food.

    So basically, Im stuck between whether I keep trying to find a roaster in Sydney that he enjoys, given his zero knowledge on coffee...except that he wants a smooth blend, or move on to another cafe. I really want the former to work, can anyone give me any insight on which companies I should talk to?

  • #2
    Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

    Originally posted by 6C7A7F72686F7A75787E1B0 link=1291261154/0#0 date=1291261154
    The only problem is, they dont know sh!t all about coffee.
    You said it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

      Originally posted by 7563666B7176636C6167020 link=1291261154/0#0 date=1291261154
      The only problem is, they dont know sh!t all about coffee.
      Originally posted by 7563666B7176636C6167020 link=1291261154/0#0 date=1291261154
      said it was too expensive
      wadistance.....I suspect that your respective requirements are polarised...

      Maybe youre working for the wrong mob  :-?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

        Whenever I get an enquiry starting with "were thinking of switchin suppliers I ask if the supplier is aware of that intention. Usually the answer is, no. My first suggestion is to speak to the supplier and be clear about what it is that you are looking for that is currently lacking.

        A number of yesteryears boutique roasters can hardly now be called boutique, including most mentioned above. I dont think customers want boutique - they just want a good coffee. Certainly, the owner may want to differentiate the business from the run of the mill cafes (which I think is a good thing) though first, the business needs to be understood before making suggestions.

        Dont be super disappointed - it takes time and dedication for change to occur.

        Id be delighted to help - though the discussion should occur off the forum.

        Cheers
        Den

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        • #5
          Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

          Originally posted by 564045485255404F4244210 link=1291261154/0#0 date=1291261154
          The only problem is, they dont know sh!t all about coffee.
          The what makes them think they need to change?
          If its because they think they can jump on the boutique wagon and make more money without any more effort than that?
          If so then they really do know shit all.

          Originally posted by 564045485255404F4244210 link=1291261154/0#0 date=1291261154
          I sent the boss to check out Alchemy in Marrickville....said it was too bitter.
          First complaint Ive ever heard about their coffee.

          Originally posted by 564045485255404F4244210 link=1291261154/0#0 date=1291261154
          Ive just started work at a new place. Great little cafe, loads of potential
          Originally posted by 564045485255404F4244210 link=1291261154/0#0 date=1291261154
          the place I work at has super amounts of potential, and a boutique roaster with a single origin program would compliment the cafe like you wouldnt believe. Its in an up and coming area of Sydney, and if we hit the nail on the head now, big things could come of it. Theres already a huge wrap on our food.
          This sounds like youre all excited.
          However, its not your business.

          I worry that if you keep sending him to places and he keeps not liking the coffee, that hell start to think you dont know anything about coffee.

          Taste is individual so Im not going to recommend any other places to try (other than cuppacoffee already mentioned) because I have no idea what your boss thinks smooth is.

          Any good roaster should be able to work with him to give him what he wants (including the current supplier if they know what theyre doing).

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

            If youre trying to distinguish yourself, then you might not be in luck if your boss likes some hellishly sweetened beverage.

            If you just want a good coffee, just go through the Golden Bean winners and see if any suit. Get a small amount off each, run it through your machine, and see what he says. That way you can tweak the shot to make him believe its sweeter etc.

            Id be getting onto someone like Di Bella firstly as the supply is good an the consistency will always be there. I had a local coffee place that was great, and did boutique coffee from a smaller roaster. Something must have changed at the roaster, as their coffee went bad for a few months. After that, theyve been chopping and changing trying to find one thats good.

            The other alternative that you could do is convince the boss to get two grinders, and do a "coffee of the week", and have him let you pick the ones you like for that machine. Best of both worlds that way.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

              Dennis,

              great reply.

              For the rest of it......my honest opinion is no no no no no no no no no.

              First there is coffee, and then there is business. Not necessarily in that order. Its their investment. If the business owner is comfortable with what he is doing....thats it sayonara goodnght charlie. Forget it, find another job if you are not happy.

              The rest of it is just name dropping peoples pet suppliers or suppliers some people perceive to be of a certain  image or that might give "street cred" in trying to answer the question directly, but not actually dealing with the real issue.

              If you are unhappy for what ever reason with the actual coffee or service supplied, first talk to the business owner about that....then if its ok with him talk to the encumbent supplier.....dont go confusing the issue trying to change suppliers until you have exhausetd all possible avenues with that supplier. Go back to the first paragraph of Denniss reply above.

              Its like when you hear a sound in your car and go looking around and try and fix anything that could be associated with making sounds. If you deaden the original sound, you wont know which one of the miriads of fixes that you did fixed the original probelm. So you only fix one problem at a time. If there is a "problem" with the encumbent supplier......you talk to him first.

              No matter whose beans you use, you have to do the coffee right. Who makes the coffee in the cup....you or the supplier?  In the end, do the end clients really care if you use freds brand beans with a synesso, or joes brand beans with a rancilio? They might if your brew is no good, but they certainly dont if you deliver a good cup...its up to you.

              And if you deliver a good cup and you become known for it, you the cafe are on the way to becoming "boutique". It is misguided to try assuming some kind of "street cred" by jumping on some new suppliers branding wagon. If you (the cafe) do your business well the clients will like what they see and they will come. Take some reponsibility for your own business and put up a sign that says words to the effect of "This is my cafe, I think we are doing it right and we are proud of it" instead of putting up others branding in the hope that it will rub off.

              So it comes back to you, your boss, and your current supplier first.

              Regardz,
              Attilio
              very first CS sponsor.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

                Originally posted by 241007110A3D210D04040707620 link=1291261154/6#6 date=1291327876
                No matter whose beans you use, you have to do the coffee right. Who makes the coffee in the cup....you or the supplier?  In the end, do the end clients really care if you use freds brand beans with a synesso, or joes brand beans with a rancilio? They might if your brew is no good, but they certainly dont if you deliver a good cup...its up to you.
                So very true A.

                How many times have I been caught by stopping where I recognise teh bean supplier; Only to be served crapola

                Yes, beans can have an impact on the process but if the process is crap: then regardless of teh beans, the coffee will be crap.

                It is a closed loop with interactions at all stages of teh process and if people do not understand that, then that is what they need to change. Not just their bean supplier.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

                  Not to discourage you but seriously, if the owner doesnt drink coffee for a living (read: addiction) then he/she will never get it.

                  I can say this from my recent experiences looking for a job in the industry and honestly, I dont know what Sydney has come to but there some real dodgy "coffee businesses" out there.
                  Ive even met owners who gave their customers half a shot of espresso for a large coffee (this is not only one place, there was a couple of businesses within the cbd that does this) and refused to acknowledge that the customers can taste it.
                  In one of the owners words, "they cant tell the difference, I cant taste the difference! Besides, too much coffee gives me a headache!" - after tasting a latte which she refuses to have more than 1/4 shot of coffee in. :-?
                  This is a place with 3 customers in 4 hrs.. for the record, I got the job for double the original wage offerred but I still refused to work there.

                  So I guess my two cents is, make sure you understand your boss and whether what they care about is you doing your job properly (i.e. what you were paid to do and only that) or if their passion is really in the business and the excellence of their products.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

                    Ill just add that if looking for a new supplier then limiting it to "Sydney only" makes very little sense to me.

                    If your looking for good coffee then start anywhere and see what ticks the boxes. All roasters can ship their beans and typically as fast as overnight to Sydney CBD from anywhere in Oz.

                    Many site sponsors listed to the left (and some who have replied in this thread) would only be too happy to work with your boss to find something that suits too.

                    8-)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Need a boutique roaster in Sydney...please read on...

                      I say go for it mate, keep working on convincing the boss for good quality FRESH coffee. Its up to you to deliver, but if the product is not FRESH quality focused, then find someone who is. You need to have faith in your product to assist in delivering it well.

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