Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    70

    Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey all,

    Just had to share this as it kept me amused for the majority of the evening.....

    Family friends of mine have a convenience store/cafe in St.Kilda Rd Melbourne.

    I regularly drop in to say hi and make myself an ordinary coffee whilst there. In return, I give their machine a quick clean and make sure all is running as best as it can considering their attitude toward coffee and lack of group cleaning brush, backflush solution, grinder cleaning brush........

    Last night I dropped in, business was farily quiet so I decided to do a PROPER clean and adjust.

    Firstly the grinder....a Mazzer Super Jolly. I asked "Do you regularly clean the hopper?" The reply was - "But it is clear plastic and it doesnt look dirty.....we havent taken it off since opening.") [2 years ago!!!!!]

    Second question - "When did you last adjust the grinder?" Reply "The service guy comes in every few months and does it." I go to adjust the collar and find it is jammed. Closer inspection reveals that the service tech has placed a screw into the collar to prevent it from being adjusted.....something to do with last time I fiddled with it.....

    So I set the machine up to pour as best as it can - no tamper other than the one on the grinder that is too small - and achieve a reasonable espresso...considering the above highlighted issues.

    I then get the response "That is pouring way too slow, we dont have time to wait for a trickle...we want it to flow straight out so we can get the coffee out quickly." I began to explain why that is a bad thing but then decided not to bother.

    I adjusted the grinder back to how it was with a 10 sec pour using 12 grams of coffee in a double basket, calmy sat down and ate my toasted Turkish pide that I had made earlier.

    There should be some sort of regulation on the word cafe. ::)

    Regards,

    James



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    229

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    You know, thats not such a bad idea. Give cafes with coffee that meets certain standards a stamp of approval... and something that can be displayed in/on a window/sign so that even if you have never been to, seen, or heard of a place you still know that you will get a decent coffee.

    Of course, when businesses change hands quality does tend to shift so it probably isnt a workable idea.

    Ah well... maybe one day.

    Grant

  3. #3
    JM
    JM is offline
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    77

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    I think that seal-of-approval has merit, but maybe for the barista not the premises!

    >I then get the response "That is pouring way too slow, we dont have time to wait for a trickle...we want it to flow straight out so we can get the coffee out quickly."

    Sad but true. Someone who contributes here lost his gig for similar reasons, the shop wants fast pours not quality extractions by the sound of things

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    234

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Is the cafe a successful business, coffee wise?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    485

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    I cant recall ever seeing someone making coffee that had to wait for the espresso to finish pouring. Usual order of things goes:
    Grind
    Tamp (if youre lucky)
    Insert and start pour
    Grab jug and milk
    Steam for 20 seconds or so...
    Pour milk.

    There is plenty of time for at least a 20 second pour in there somewhere.

    NB: Example given for milk coffees, ie the majority of coffees made in every commercial place I know.

    Just thinking out loud as usual.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,951

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Quote Originally Posted by JM link=1134598251/0#2 date=1134623248
    I think that seal-of-approval has merit, but maybe for the barista not the premises!
    Why not get the barista comp judges to certify baristi in regular cafes for a modest fee. It will be overlooked completely for the first few years, but will eventually pick up momentum ...

    Also, I would like to see the baristi drink their own espresso.

    Cheers,

    Luca

    PS. I left a cafe that refused to let me adjust the grind or backflush the machine to work at Maltitude. It was a decision that I had little difficulty regretting!

  7. #7
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,803

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    The "baristas" or coffee-pullers I have contact with seem to know WHICH buttons to press, but they dont know WHY.

    You ask them a fundamental, such as how many mills in a shot, and they dont know.

    "I just press the buttons and the machine does the rest".

    It seems the cafe owner shows them how to work the machine, but they remain ignorant of the underlying processes.

    Robusto

  8. #8
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1134598251/0#6 date=1134863875
    The "baristas" or coffee-pullers I have contact with seem to know WHICH buttons to press, but they dont know WHY.

    You ask them a fundamental, such as how many mills in a shot, and they dont know.

    "I just press the buttons and the machine does the rest".

    It seems the cafe owner shows them how to work the machine, but they remain ignorant of the *underlying processes.

    Robusto
    At best they can only be called coffee making robots......dont tarnish the term "barista" on these droids....btw- I do know a trainer who might be able to help them *;) 8-)

    Chris

  9. #9
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,803

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Before an alcoholic can redeem him/herself, and be helped, they have to reach a stage called rock bottom.

    Thats when they ADMIT their problem. *Until then, in their minds they are not alcoholics and therefore dont need help.

    Ditto for cafe owners. Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise. Ignorance keeps them in bliss and to show them wisdom is mere folly, for they dont know any better about coffee and the shortcomings of their own brews. *

    Weve probably gone down this road before, but I feel like a whinge....

    Cafes and coffee arent the only culprits. How many "restaurants" serve up food below par. *How many "waiters" are untrained kids earning a buck. *

    Take toast. What could be more generic, simpler, more universal than toast. *

    Ordering it is fraught with nervous anticipation: Will it be toasted on one side only? *Will it be *a couple of slices of bread thrown under a griller so its dehydrated without any sign of browing? * Will the butter be dabbed on so it creates a little puddle in the middle only -- not spread.

    Im sick of sending it back -- its not brain surgery, its toast. *If it aint browned it aint toast: its just unpalatable bread. *

    Does one now have to state with the order: "Two pieces of bread, evenly grilled on both sides until the colour approximates a tan-brown hue, lightly buttered all over, and if I see any white of the bread showing through its not toast"? * Because Im telling you folks, a lot of "chefs" and their waiters simply do not know.


    You ask for a cold drink and they bring a hot glass straight out of the dishwashers steaming cycle.

    Not that I have sugar any more, but how many coffee pullers bother to ask if you want sugar. * They used to whince when I asked it be put in the takeaway cup and stirred. *What was I supposed to stir it in with, my pen?


    Ro "got that off my chest and I feel better for it" busto

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,530

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Its an interesting paradox with chefs sometimes. You could have the most innovative culinary genius on the planet, yet he cant make a decent omelette to save his life. Its often a case of being too specialised. I often question the meaning of mod oz cuisine. What dishes are inherently Australian? You could ask the same questions about American dishes. Everything has been done before in some way, shape or form. You just take known ideas, and add some sort of creative twist, combining ingredients that you wouldnt even think of puting in the same pot, and voila! instant culinary masterpiece.

    Coffee is very similar. Theres no real "new" way to extract flavour out of coffee. Hot water and ground coffee. The only creative bit is what you add to the extraction. Milk steamed to differing degrees, flavoured syrups, egg nog, etc. Next youll see something silly, like a poached egg cooked in a double espresso.

    I take an example of one of my cousins-in-law. They own a cafe near Central, in Hong Kong. In a recent visit, I was discussing coffee with them at length. They rely heavily on a superauto machine to do the coffee for them. They also have access to very good quality coffee, (Blue Mountain, but I think they might be getting ripped off, not getting the genuine article) yet they only give out an average result at best. Not to mention they really arent even barista trained. The superauto takes away all the guesswork at the push of a button. Thats how they do business, theyre not too passionate about coffee, as theyre really looking at the business overall. Frankly, I dont blame them. You do what you have to do to finish in the black at the end of the day.

    The cafe owners who have button-pushing zombies are probably doing the same.

  11. #11
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    16,953
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Hmmm... interesting thread.

    How about something like the "national heart foundation tick" for coffee creators?

    The "CoffeeSnobs Tick" could awarded to any coffeemaker in the country that has won the approval of 5 CS members.

    They would wear it with pride and unlike forever-certifications if 5 members later gave the thumbs-down they would loose CS-tick badge.

    How great would it be to wander into a cafe for the first time and see a CS-tick on the person behind the espresso machine and know the coffee you were about to get met a minimum CS standard of prep?

    We have a big enough membership around the country to make this happen and to maintain the "certification". We have enough diversity that on average we would be fair and just.

    I like the concept... a lot!

    Thoughts?

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,530

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Would the cafes in question tell you to get stuffed if you come bringing a badge or come to take it away from them?

    We may know and appreciate what CS is, but does the general public have any idea of our existence? We could simply become some sort of national coffee foundation, and put our stamp of approval on cafes, but just how much work/capital would all this entail?

    Nice idea, somewhat difficult to implement without extensive marketing.

  13. #13
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,126

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    I think the "seal" should be out there. We could do an equivalent to the Age good food guide. The good coffee guide. 3 cups being the highest ranking. Not getting a mention unless they rated above a certain score.

    And I think our seal needs a motto.
    Something like:
    "CoffeeSnobs reckon I make good coffee - what about you?"
    Or
    "This obsessive coffee guy gave me this badge. I wonder what it means!"

  14. #14
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Hmm- it worries me. Such a system needs to be fair and equitable and based on a set of of measurable criteria and/or standards. There is naturally a wide variation in skill level and understanding of the whole espresso process and chemistry in the group. We are all somewhere along the learning curve. What somebody thinks is a great coffee may not meet the mark and vice versa. :-/

    I would suggest that we be very careful about the implementation of this idea. How many for instance know the Australian standards for the espresso menu? How many can judge an espresso by taste alone? Can you identify reheated milk? Are you happy to drink espresso as well as milky drinks? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then its probably best that you just give the barista a pat on the back and let word of mouth do the communication.

    Many self- appointed experts have tried to do this around town and been held to ridicule....beware CS members....

    Chris

  15. #15
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    16,953
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    "This obsessive coffee guy gave me this badge. I wonder what it means!"
    I like that!

    Many self- appointed experts have tried to do this around town and been held to ridicule....beware CS members....
    I agree with your warning Chris. I think this would be about a coffee maker (note my careful attempts at not using the B word) who at least attempts to do the right thing. Wipe the wand, adjust the grind, tamp and keep a clean(ish) work area against the inverse 10 second gush, screwed-grinder and milk left on the bench for hours.

    Im not suggesting we rate coffee or provide cupping scores, more a holistic process awareness where those that care and are attempting to produce the best they can from the beans they have are rewarded and those that dont are ridiculed (in here and by their peers) until they improve (or go and get some training or at least buy a book!).

    The problem with the "self appointed expert" is that it is only one persons (often paid) opinion.

    A group of CSrs would need to agree before "hats" were awarded (if that was the process).


  16. #16
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Agreed Andy- although the likelihood of seeing a grinder adjustment occur is minimal. In an air-con environment a beginning of the shift tweak may be all thats required. Open air is more challenging and I have done as many as 10 in a day. Id suggest that wed be looking for a great pour- and wed want to be in agreement as to what constitutes that. How many can pick channelling or pitting in the cup? Can we all distinguish sour from bitter? :-?

    I think that a thread in this forum may be appropriate but Id be way wary of publishing anything in print. Also regardless of the number of stars allocated- be it 3 or 5, the bottom line is that we only want to know about the absolute pinnacle: Some Melbourne examples- Im sure most would agree:

    St Ali
    Batch
    Headquarters (Optus Building- Simon James gig)


    Chris

  17. #17
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    My business partner and I were talking about this very topic (a "seal of approval" etc) on the weegend.....and I must reiterate the sentiments of Chris & Andy that....it is a VERY delicate matter. We are not dealing with some kind of naive notion of coffee quality per se, but with egos and straight out plain and simple business relationships and income.

    If as a coffee supplier/roaster you heavy a cafe about the quality of the coffee (eg your coffee) that they are destroying, you lose the business if you dont handle it very very carefully and that is, instead of being able to negotiate with them to actually make better coffee thereby maybe gain clients & income and improve their name and the suppliers, you can very easily insult and lose them...after which they just go to the next supplier where they think the beans are "better".

    The other side of the coin could have an quicker negative effect for the supplier/roaster and that is, where an independent individual or body rates "seals of approval" and they approach a cafe about raising their standard, its more than likely the cafe will almost immediately change to their perception of a "better" supplier/roaster, rather than approach their incumbent supplier, because of their misunderstanding of the realites about coffee & quality.

    The improvement of standards generally in the market is an extremely very delicate matter with the easist & quickest result being that some supplier/roaster loses parts of his income base because someone said "the coffee" was not up to scratch.

    Tread carefully, think about it, these are very valid thoughts from the business end of the coffee town.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  18. #18
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1134598251/15#16 date=1137623515
    My business partner and I were talking about this very topic on the weegend.....and I must reiterate the sentiments of Chris & Andy that....it is a VERY delicate matter. You are not dealing with some kind of naive notion of coffee quality per se, but with egos and straight our plain and simple business and income. If you heavy a cafe about the quality of the coffee ( eg your coffee) that they are destroying, you lose the business if you dont handle it very very carefully and that is, instead of being able to negotiate with them to actually make better coffee thereby maybe gain clients & income and improve their name and the suppliers, you insult and lose them...they just go to the next supplier where they think the coffee (beans) is "better".

    The improivement of standards generally in the market is a very delicate matter.

    Just some thoughts from the business end of town.

    Regardz,
    FC.
    ABSOLUTELY Attilio.....today I have a training gig in a prominent Melb Waterfront Cafe/Restaraunt. They are running a 40ml pour...in 6 seconds- including pre-extraction- topped with reheated milk crud. Bottom line is that I think their coffee is in the worst 2% in Melbourne, but clearly the coffee company would like to retain their business (at what cost to the brand *:-/. One only hopes that with a little palate work and some science, that they might begin to come around.... ::) Meanwhile they crucify the brand......

  19. #19
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Oops sorry Chris,

    While I reread my post and refined it a little... you quoted me on the first attempt! No worries, the sentiments are all the same!

    Cheers,
    FC.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    164

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    I think something along these lines would be a great thing to atleast set up on the CS webpage, given its own forum folder.. with a thread for each state. Cafes could be added to a poll and then voted on with a simple 5 star rating system, which doesnt need to get too finniky.. but has room to evolve.

    definately worth looking into IMO.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    229

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    I hadnt read this post in a while - looks like it exploded yesterday :)

    I was actually thinking that an "out of towners" thread may be useful, and would combine with this thread very well. Basically post a cafe/restaurant, its location and a rating - possibly with some comments.

    Im sure it would be useful for locals and out of towners.

    Grant

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Augustine Heights QLD
    Posts
    302

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    I like the idea of rating, but it could be misconstrued and we would be done for. I have to say I am generally disappointed with the coffee makers in general in the ACT. Even to the point where a coffee name related cafe couldnt correctly produce a double ristretto. I watched it being made; it was a straight double shot. No crema. Sat there for three minutes (I timed it) while the bean monkey chatted with the wait staff.

    I do however take my hat off to the coffee cart people who work the machines in many of the government building lobbies. They cart in and out their own water, keep the workstations spotlessly clean and are really polite. Yes they do use the same jug but their turn over is a lot higher than the stingy ones who put a 600ml jug in the fridge until the next sorry sap comes along.

    At one stage I thought about leaving a CS card on the table with a rating, but I thought that might bring us into disrepute.

    There must be a way we can say this mob is better than that mob. Do we need to experts, hell no I say. Were better, were Coffee Snobs and we know what we like.

    If you make trash coffee, you get a trash score, get it twice and its buyer beware. How about some of these folders.
    1. Auto shot bots - That’s what the last owner said I should do / showed me / was on the video I saw / Im just earning a few bucks / Time what, I just press here…
    2. Bean monkey - Before they got so far up themselves they probably used to make decent coffee, now it’s all about ego and hair product…
    3. We have no idea. PFs on the drip tray, more flavours than customers, plants growing out of the knock tube…
    4. Organ grinder. Coffee cart pros who are able to turn a humble take away into a life giving entity given they have no permanent plumbing or refrigeration.
    5. Giddy up. Oh yeah, Ill have another, nuf said.

    Food for thought

    Boris ;)

  23. #23
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    16,953
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    tis an interesting thread.

    St Ali
    Batch
    Headquarters (Optus Building- Simon James gig)
    ...and if you read the barrage of CG & CS posts you would include Maltitude at the top of that post too.

    Ahh... but the "coffee at the Malt is sh!thouse now" (quote - fromthebeanbag)

    Places change hands, different people, different places, different times. It needs to be a more personal level than "this place does good coffee" with the exception of Boriss "Organ grinder" and one man shows who do a great job as a rule.


    ...because someone said "the coffee" was not up to scratch.
    Its not about "just" the coffee. I really was talking more about the process. Good pour, clean workstation and generaly showing an interest in creating the best result they can.

    Im a CoffeeSnob but Ill drink most anything (even that instant stuff at "friends" houses) and I have left double espressos in the counters of shops before (after telling the owner how bad it was).

    At the last cafe day we were drinking Coffex. It was fairly well prepared but was very disinteresting coffee as a double-shot. I would still give this place a thumbs-up.


  24. #24
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeman link=1134598251/15#22 date=1137676825
    tis an interesting thread.

    St Ali
    Batch
    Headquarters (Optus Building- Simon James gig)
    ...and if you read the barrage of CG & CS posts you would include Maltitude at the top of that post too.

    Ahh... but the "coffee at the Malt is sh!thouse now" (quote - fromthebeanbag)

    Places change hands, different people, different places, different times. *It needs to be a more personal level than "this place does good coffee" *with the exception of Boriss "Organ grinder" and one man shows who do a great job as a rule.


    ...because someone said "the coffee" was not up to scratch.
    Its not about "just" the coffee. *I really was talking more about the process. *Good pour, clean workstation and generaly showing an interest in creating the best result they can.

    Im a CoffeeSnob but Ill drink most anything (even that instant stuff at "friends" houses) and I have left double espressos in the counters of shops before (after telling the owner how bad it was).

    At the last cafe day we were drinking Coffex. *It was fairly well prepared but was very disinteresting coffee as a double-shot. *I would still give this place a thumbs-up.
    Thats what makes it all the more challenging Andy *;). You see, I probably wouldnt give them the thumbs up. The coffee was average at best (although "surgically enhanced") and the attitude and service there were pretty much as good as the coffee....not to mention the fact that they were unable to get the bill right and would have ripped us for $70 if wed paid the bill without checking. They did however do a great breaky! *;)...so for me, they might have got 3/5...

    Chris

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Augustine Heights QLD
    Posts
    302

    Re: Classic Quotes from a real-life Cafe.....

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I didnt go, but having had a coffe with both these blokes Id say the place was a Bean Monkey venue. (see above). ;)

    Boris.



Similar Threads

  1. Life after Gaggia Classic
    By sluggo33x in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 22nd December 2010, 05:42 PM
  2. aroma at cafe - real or not?
    By damian1 in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 10th December 2008, 05:31 PM
  3. GENE CAFE  Advice please Life Expectancy/Prob
    By robertmc in forum Roasters
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 28th January 2008, 12:07 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •