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  • Ordering weak coffee

    Just wondering when a customer orders a half strengh or 1/4 strengh coffee what methods are used to arrive at this by fellow coffeesnobs? Do you just cut the shot short?
    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Ordering weak coffee

    Weak- Id make it on a ristretto base.

    1/4 strength? What the heck?!
    Hehe, pour a shot, tip it out, then pour milk into the dirty cup? ;D

    Seriously, why do people bother?

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    • #3
      Re: Ordering weak coffee

      Just pull the shot into a bowl and fill it with water and milk. At least theyre getting the full shot. hahahaha.

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      • #4
        Re: Ordering weak coffee

        Originally posted by Michelle link=1210563767/0#1 date=1210567042
        Weak- Id make it on a ristretto base.

        1/4 strength? What the heck?!
        Hehe, pour a shot, tip it out, then pour milk into the dirty cup? ;D

        Seriously, why do people bother?

        Ive had quite a few customers ask for this on a regular basis. Some just dont like strong coffee, but I have a couple of regulars who cant drink it at all. They both say it makes them ill :S Not sure whether its an allergy thing (that would be most odd) or if it affects their stomach (IBS or some such).

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        • #5
          Re: Ordering weak coffee

          I reckon its often that people dont really know what it is they do or do not like in a coffee.

          Im not being facetious. I heard a comment on a food show a while back that I think has merit.

          Many people think they dislike strong coffee when in fact, they dislike bitter coffee.
          When they make coffee at home (probably a plunger), they think "I dont like it strong, so Ill use less coffee". The result is that there is not enough coffee for the water, and they end up with a brew that is more bitter than it should be. In the end, they give up making coffee at home and go out to cafes, "as long as they dont make it too strong".

          Still, it doesnt really explain a 1/4 strength request. Wave some coffee in the general vicinity and be done with it.

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          • #6
            Re: Ordering weak coffee

            I know someone who is allergic to caffeine - any coffee, chocolate, tea etc apparently has, erm, explosive consequences... :-/

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            • #7
              Re: Ordering weak coffee

              Originally posted by Rukudo link=1210563767/0#3 date=1210572185
              Some just dont like strong coffee, but I have a couple of regulars who cant drink it at all. They both say it makes them ill :S Not sure whether its an allergy thing (that would be most odd) or if it affects their stomach (IBS or some such).

              Strong coffee is known to bring on a migraine in people who suffer from that debilitating disease..... Some sufferers cant take coffee at all!!!

              Guess they will never become CoffeeSnobs - even if they do like the taste!

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              • #8
                Re: Ordering weak coffee

                Originally posted by Michelle link=1210563767/0#1 date=1210567042
                 
                I get that some people cant drink coffee, but I still dont understand ordering a 1/4 shot. Thats what ... 7.5ml of coffee, in how much milk?
                Hehe, Michelle needs to take Michelles advice  :

                Edit: oops, I dont know what I just did. Suffice to say i was trying to point out my own foolish hypocrisy (such a harsh word :-?) given my comments further along this thread about taste being subjective ... ;D ;D

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                • #9
                  Re: Ordering weak coffee

                  Ive heard that the stomach is most sensitive (not in a good way) to alcohol, chocolate, and coffee. So what do we commonly have to cap off a good meal....

                  The terms strong and weak often mean different things to people. When people ask for strong coffee I always as them for more info eg. what they like and dislike in regards to coffee. It usually turns out that they are looking for a coffee with a good, lingering flavour and full body - not necessarily strong at all. Well, not my definition of strong anyway!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ordering weak coffee

                    I get comments that my Kimel tastes mild.
                    That could equate to "weak" for some people and the opposite would then be "strong".

                    A coffee with a "strong" taste or a "mild" taste could both be made with the same amount of coffee, the difference would be the bean or the roast profile etc.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ordering weak coffee

                      Funny that this should be brought up today.

                      I had a customer ask for a quarter strength coffee today. I just pulled the mug out when I judged what was about the strength the customer wanted. I actually went a bit weaker as I knew that if it was weaker than what they thought they wanted, then they wouldnt complain.

                      The rest of the shot went into my little jug for iced coffees.

                      I also recently had a customer just ask to have the coffee to be put in a jug on the side so as they could make it to their taste. I didnt find that offensive, as I think that it was the best idea yet. At least theyd only have themselves to blame if their coffee had been made too strong!

                      You learn after a while what makes a coffee weak in different milks too.

                      And I agree that most people think that "strong" actually equates to "bitter". We really experienced that at "Celebrate the Bean" the other month. So many people couldnt believe it when you explained that coffee should not have any bitterness.

                      Im not offended when people want weak coffee. After all, my job is to serve them and do it to the best of my ability. Not just to please myself. Well, thats how I see it at least. Im more offended when the coffee mug or cup comes back with coffee in it because then I wonder what was wrong that they didnt want to finish their coffee.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ordering weak coffee

                        Thanks for the replies folks. One of the reasons i posed the question was that if a customer asked for a 1/4 strength coffee and you poured a ristretto shot. wouldnt a ristretto shot taste just as strong to them? isnt it a more full bodied (im struggliing for a description on a ristretto) tasting shot? Believe me it is not uncommon to be asked by customers for a 1/4 strength shot.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ordering weak coffee

                          Originally posted by Greg41 link=1210563767/0#11 date=1210591373
                          Thanks for the replies folks. One of the reasons i posed the question was that if a customer asked for a 1/4 strength coffee and you poured a ristretto shot. wouldnt a ristretto shot taste just as strong to them? isnt it a more full bodied (im struggliing for a description on a ristretto) tasting shot? Believe me it is not uncommon to be asked by customers for a 1/4 strength shot.
                          A properly extracted ristretto, cut short at 20ml, will avoid the acidity of blonding that tends to happen with a 30ml traditional espresso ... As espresso is the commonly accepted base of milk based coffees, the higher acidity level of beans in the blend will pre-dispose the bev as bitter to the customer.

                          Weak? Cut the shot short ... thatd be the way Id prepare a weak coffee as the base for milk if any customer asked for such.

                          Strength of taste, as others have said, boils down to personal perceptions ...

                          Bitterness is not strong - just either mediocre beans, OR barista inaptitude in not purging/cleaning the groups from excess build-up of ground old gunk.

                          & as Dennis alluded to earlier, question/probe the customer for an answer as to exactly what they want with their coffee experience ...

                          you may change their idea of what strong/weak coffee actually means!

                          Tony

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ordering weak coffee

                            Yeah thanks Tony. Getting to know the customers experience is important. A lot of customers are confused because of inconsistent coffee from cafe to cafe.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Ordering weak coffee

                              Id just go a really short shot - if they dont like "strong" coffee its probably to do with some of the bitterness and so a ristretto would probably suit them best anyway due to it being a lot sweeter (as someone said before)

                              Either that or you recommend a large

                              a

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