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A new direction for cafes?

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  • A new direction for cafes?

    Firstly as a newcomer to coffeesnobs I want to say how much I have enjoyed the general discussions. My home roasting has definitely improved after reading the opinions of the pros and serious amateurs on this site. Thanks guys!

    I was talking to a friend the other day and he said something that made me sit up and think "why not". He basically proposed that consumers nowadays are at the stage where a good cafe could offer more than one coffee blend at the same time. I know that I would welcome such an enterprise as I personally like to drink different beans at different times of the day. In the morning I prefer a "milder" coffee(eg Yirgacheffe) than say the Yemeni or Sulawesi I would ideally like at midday. Im sure I not alone here.

    I would love to see a cafe offer in additional to its usual blend say a single bean as a special which could be changed from time to time. I am sure that there would be enough consumers who would be interested and be prepared to pay a price premium for an extra special coffee. The proprietor would need to have an extra grinder handy.

    Maybe someone is already doing this. Please let me know if this is the case. I live in Perth and am not aware of it happening over here

  • #2
    Re: A new direction for cafes?

    A local roaster/cafe was running a house blend and a second variable blend through a Mini Mazzer for a few months. Unfortunately the Mazzer was on loan and now that it has gone back, replacing it hasnt been a priority. I really enjoyed being able to compare and contrast different blends or SOs at the same time.
    Probably a reasonably expensive hassle for all but the most dedicated cafes.
    Dropping in to see Corey Diamond at Core Espresso might be worth your while.


    • #3
      Re: A new direction for cafes?

      This has been tried by any number of cafes in the past but it is problematic. In "regular" cafes it could be said that no one is interested, clients just want a coffee and are not interested or wouldnt even be able to tell the difference. It therefore represents nothing more in the end (to the cafe owner) than another variable to complicate matters for his staff, and extra equipment to have on hand (that they usually try and screw for free, on loan out of their coffee supplier).

      On the other hand in niche market areas or where a cafe is more than just another eatery with a coffee machine, and or where the management are wanting to offer something "more" (and where this attitude purveys right throughout their entire business enterprise), it would be a worthwhile addition to the coffee menu to offer a second choice.

      The crux of the matter lies in the philosophy of the management of the cafe, and in the past the problem has been that many who tried this got bogged down with wanting to do it with another BRAND of coffee rather than with another type of coffee. So you get misguided managements wanting to have a go at this by offering 2 diff brands of coffee, and try to get grinders loaned by separate coffee suppliers with which to grind each brand.

      I personally think the idea has merit but it must go in conjunction with a total philosphy or concept of excellence from the proprietor, and this includes a proprietor that is willing to stand on his own to feet and who is prepared to purchase his own smaller capacity second grinder to do the job. It also requires a proprietor who has a better grasp on things than just the old brand VS brand mentality and do it with different varieties. I personally dont see any excellence in offering two opposing brands, thats just marketing rather than the pursuit of excellence. I also think you have to be careful with the choice of varieties to be used as there are many I dont consider to be suitable in commercial use.....a cafe offering this kind of "service" would need to consider it is catering to "the masses", not a handful of "CoffeeSnobs".

      What I also see then, is that there are different types of "cafes", and different type of areas or markets for them to exist in. What is a cafe? In most instances its just an eatery with a coffee machine in the corner. There is no advantage to "that kind of cafe" to do any of this.



      • #4
        Re: A new direction for cafes?

        What a sensational idea. Obviously its a bit more complicated than 36 types of ice cream, but where a supplier offers different roasts, say Moccopan, why not have two or three grinders going. When you look at the reality of commercialism, there are offen too many choises for a type of item, but Ive yet to hear a cafe that says Lungo Ristretto Sir certainly, and from which roast on offer would you like?".

        Places like the Coffee Company are in the perfect position. Walk in the front door, see something you like, why not grab a hand full, go up the back and get the girls to make a shot for you. Maybe in a few years..

        My two bobs worth.



        • #5
          Re: A new direction for cafes?

          Thanks for the comments guys. I guess it will happen eventually. After all 20 years ago many people wouldnt have expected a bar to offer more choice than a red or a white wine whereas nowadays there are good places serving dozens of individual offerings.
          Coffee knowledge amongst consumers is growing rapidly these days so I believe it is only a matter of time




          • #6
            Re: A new direction for cafes?

            Guys- Its been happening for years- you just need to know where to go. We do it at our box hill cafe and Maltitude do it with superb coffee in Melb also- 305 Exhibition- and their coffee is I think amongst the best you will get anywhere. Davids Espresso- Northland and Knox also- though grind can be a little inconsistent. The biggest laugh though is the power ordered (in the bean of customer choice) very weak, very hot large skim latte.....and then you wonder why you bothered ???