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Thread: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

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    $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    2 places I had coffee at had $4 coffee. One.. The Black Pearl seems very concerned with affectation and appearnece of quality. The pulled the shot in to a shot glass then decant, and the milk was damn hot.

    Is this a trend we can expect to see more of???

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 3C3F2E3D2C3C4F0 link=1253865679/0#0 date=1253865679
    2 places I had coffee at had $4 coffee. *One.. The Black Pearl seems very concerned with affectation and appearnece of quality. *The pulled the shot in to a shot glass then decant, and the milk was damn hot.

    Is this a trend we can expect to see more of??? *
    Hmm...dunno *:-?

    Ill happily pay $4 or more for great coffee anytime. I think great coffee, especially in Melbourne is way underpriced. On the other hand, $2 for cheap, stale, underextracted swill with complimentary bad hygiene is an absolute ripoff *>:(

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 454657445545360 link=1253865679/0#0 date=1253865679
    2 places I had coffee at had $4 coffee. *One.. The Black Pearl seems very concerned with affectation and appearnece of quality. *The pulled the shot in to a shot glass then decant, and the milk was damn hot.

    Is this a trend we can expect to see more of??? *
    Sounds like you made a mistake. Learn from it and move on. Not every coffee establishment in Melbourne is quality.

    And yeah, $4 is fine, but it better be worth it.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    indeed that is my point. If its worth it...

    it seems there are not many of the truly good places charging any where near that. mind you at the units level $3.50 is not near $4.

    perhaps some one could do a PhD on developing a quality measure then finding out the algorithm that shows the inverse relationship of cost:quality

    and indeed even bad complimentary coffee is not worth drinking

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D4F434B4B45425F2C0 link=1253865679/2#2 date=1253868260
    Not every coffee establishment in Melbourne is quality.
    Totally agree on this one.
    This week however my wife and i had very pleasing long blacks, although the barista said the beans were too young. Its the first time my wife has actually drunk a whole long black, normally a latte drinker but she cannot stomach full cream milk so settled for the long black in this instance.
    Later we had lunch at a cafe/restaurant and the only comment from her when drinking her coffee was "not a patch on what i had this morning".

    Life doesnt get any better when you get good service and coffees thrown in. Support your sponsors!!!

    thanks Chris :)

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E33303E5C0 link=1253865679/4#4 date=1253881842
    Quote Originally Posted by 4D4F434B4B45425F2C0 link=1253865679/2#2 date=1253868260
    Not every coffee establishment in Melbourne is quality.
    Totally agree on this one.
    This week however my wife and i had very pleasing long blacks, although the barista said the beans were too young. Its the first time my wife has actually drunk a whole long black, normally a latte drinker but she cannot stomach full cream milk so settled for the long black in this instance.
    Later we had lunch at a cafe/restaurant and the only comment from her when drinking her coffee was "not a patch on what i had this morning".

    Life doesnt get any better when you get good service and coffees thrown in. Support your sponsors!!!

    thanks Chris *:)
    Where was this? Love fresh coffee. :)

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B36353B590 link=1253865679/4#4 date=1253881842
    Life doesnt get any better when you get good service and coffees thrown in. Support your sponsors!!!

    thanks Chris

    My pleasure bolb...

    Glad you enjoyed the coffee!

    Chris

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    I agree that the good coffee around Melbourne is not expensive.

    Ironically, it is the best places that keep their charges very modest.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Interesting discussion. My sister took my mother for a coffee in Melbourne last week (we are from Geelong where really good coffee is pretty scarce!) at a well known pancake chain store & got charged $7.00 for a coffee. When questioning the bill was told because Mum asked for a double shot latte that counted as two drinks - hence the bill!!!!! :o >:(

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    In Sydney an extra shot will set you back $0.50c
    As she didnt get twice as much milk Id have been making a scene and either had the bill reduced or walked out with a cup full of milk.

    Seriously though, at this stage Id be taking it up with head office.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    I know of a cafe/roastery in Sydney that dont even charge for espresso and ristrettos. Milk drinks and long blacks, sure, but not for shots as it were.

    Im used to paying $3 for most of the cafe coffees I drink, would happily pay more too given the quality and effort put in by those involved. I generally think that quality coffee is something we could/should be paying more for.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A5348515A575F320 link=1253865679/10#10 date=1254008173
    dont even charge for espresso and ristrettos.
    WOW... thats freaky... I guess its because they roast???

    It seems WE all have the right idea. better it is, the more we are happy to pay... but it seems the wankyer cafe (and I must say quite a few rural ones) seem to "think" theirs is worth more. Again I really do think there is some algorithm that could capture the relationship.

    Same with coffee snobs... there is plebs (instant and food court), then the wankers (that think they know and order "special" ninja coffee, but then dont actually know anything about it, of have machines they have no idea how to drive) then true snobs (who know of what they speak, and know whats important and what is not, like that you CAN make good coffee in a shit machine)

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 595A4B5849592A0 link=1253865679/11#11 date=1254009587
    WOW... thats freaky... I guess its because they roast???
    It can also depend on the mood and how the customer presents. Yesterday afternoon a couple of young guys ordered a piccolo and fw. The guy with the piccolo had been in before and is a recent convert to the drink thanks to a little prompting from me via giving him a free one cause he had never tried it before and was curious.

    As the shop was quiet yesterday afternoon I had time to talk with them and they both tried some chai syrup over ice cream as well as a couple of double ristrettos.

    The bill came to $6.00. If I did this all the time I would go broke, but every now and then I get a kick out of doing something unexpected and when it opens someones eyes and palate to a new experience its a real delight!


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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 464F544D464B432E0 link=1253865679/10#10 date=1254008173
    I know of a cafe/roastery in Sydney that dont even charge for espresso and ristrettos.
    Im not sure I would feel comfortable not paying for a product if it well produced. When you sit down and drink 3 or four short blacks over the paper in the morning how are you distinguished from a coffee lover or a free loader? Its a different scenario to to being a regular and the barista giving you a freeby to get your reaction to a new blend or s/o.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 737061726373000 link=1253865679/11#11 date=1254009587
    WOW... thats freaky... I guess its because they roast??? *
    Quote Originally Posted by 44656E6E6973000 link=1253865679/12#12 date=1254010434
    It can also depend on the mood and how the customer presents.
    yeah, I suspect its a similar situation at the cafe I was referring to, I have to admit to having a pretty good rapport with the owners and staff, so I dont know if they do it for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by 44656E6E6973000 link=1253865679/12#12 date=1254010434
    As the shop was quiet yesterday afternoon I had time to talk with them and they both tried some chai syrup over ice cream as well as a couple of double ristrettos.
    Dennis, I think the approach youre taking is smart business. Aside from the educational aspect and the personal satisfaction you talk about, speaking as a customer its this kind of thing that makes me loyal to any business. Now if only I wasnt so lazy about coming to see you more often! *;D


    Quote Originally Posted by 6870757560715A68646B3332050 link=1253865679/13#13 date=1254011079
    Im not sure I would feel comfortable not paying for a product if it well produced. When you sit down and drink 3 or four short blacks over the paper in the morning how are you distinguished from a coffee lover or a free loader?
    beats me mate, but no matter how hard I try they dont let me pay. That said, I dont usually just have espressos when there and are more likely to have at least one milk drink and something to eat. Ive been a loyal customer for many years so I guess they see some value. Does it make me uncomfortable? it used to, now i just tip a bit heavier than I usually would if I think they havent charged me enough.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    I get the odd freebie at work or occasional discount if Im ordering a snack with my coffee.
    Im not a "regular" but do get on well with the owner and occasionally buy lunch there as well.

    It cant hurt their business for "that coffee guy" to be seen there.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 0D15101005143F0D010E5657600 link=1253865679/13#13 date=1254011079
    Im not sure I would feel comfortable not paying for a product if it well produced.
    I think that gratitude is underrated as payment, especially if the person wanted to gift it to you. Then again at the other end we have taking things for granted.

    An inner Melbourne coffee place stayed open late and plied a mate and I with a range of shot...we were munted after but it was really nice to be taken through a range of product like that. Hey it works for other drug dealers.

    again this is what I was getting at by starting this post

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    A_M
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 505342514050230 link=1253865679/16#16 date=1254023598
    Quote Originally Posted by 0D15101005143F0D010E5657600 link=1253865679/13#13 date=1254011079
    Im not sure I would feel comfortable not paying for a product if it well produced.
    I think that gratitude is underrated as payment, especially if the person wanted to gift it to you. *Then again at the other end we have taking things for granted.

    An inner Melbourne coffee place stayed open late and plied a mate and I with a range of shot...we were munted after but it was really nice to be taken through a range of product like that. *Hey it works for other drug dealers.

    again this is what I was getting at by starting this post
    I think it is smart PR...

    Not too many like / want a straight shot and most would be with others and or return with others..

    Thus its a bit like a deal to get ya in and them be it emotional and/or good product placement... You and or ya mates end up buying stuff...

    If the coffee is good... Then good on them...

    Besides... Ya can always leave a donation in the tip jar :-)

    AM

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    our local roaster- (and now site sponsor) always have a free piccolo or mac for me when I make a delivery- In fact I think they offer a free coffee to anyone who is interested in beans.... try before you buy. those guys are passionate about their beans and roasts and they do it to share that passion and educate the market. It makes good business sense if you ask me.

    in my experience the more expensive coffee is often crap. Burnt milk, stale beans, etc.


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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    I can say the same from experience, seems the higher the price the more likely you are to get a poor quality brew, dont think ive ever paid more than 3.50 for a coffee, maybe more for clover from BBB

    most places ive been to the most ive had to pay would be a tad over 3 bucks depending on what I get

    place I used to haunt daily when I was a student, espresso was 2.50 and latte was 3 bucks, roasted in the shop, passionate shop owner and good coffee talk, I place the blame squarely at him for the popper, machine and grinder and the 10kg of greens in the cupboard

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 747D667F7479711C0 link=1253865679/14#14 date=1254011504
    I have to admit to having a pretty good rapport with the owners and staff
    first few times ive been there, ive not been charged for espresso/ristretto drinks, think my last bill came to $10 for toast/stuff, Str. Latte, long black & a double rissie + a single espresso.

    having said that, i think you have to consume "other" for them to "let you off" the shorts :)

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Rising coffee prices this year have been a major issue with me. *Now having said that, Ive heard that Australians actually have reasonably priced coffee. *4AUD seems to be cheaper than other places in the world; its certainly cheaper than the good places here in Taiwan. *How is is that the Australians can have coffee at a reasonable price, yet the rest of the world cant? *Roasters try to justify their prices with really lame excuses, but Australia seems to use a different model. *Whatever it is, I like the Australian model.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    I pay AUD2.70 around work (not subsidised).
    All this talk of $3 and $4 coffees is disturbing.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    The going price for a med flat white / capp in the mall I work at in Hornby ChCh is around $ 4.50 - $4.80 and none of the establishments here serve anywhere near great coffee, thats one of the reasons I bought a little machine for the shop, our coffee habit was just too damned expensive.......

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    The more drink prices rise the more my 50cents a day to run my commercial all day looks good and the more my home roasting looks like fantastic value. I mean I pull typically 7 doubles a day just for my wife and I and my oldest son is now drinking it - combine his consumption with regular visitors (who, I know are not here for my company ;)) and its over 10 doubles a day average....thats $40/days worth on a comparison with shop bought coffee drinks. ;D And in the main the stuff at home is better by a long shot (no pun intended).

    Cheers

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 5965786369687F6A62690D0 link=1253865679/22#22 date=1254319753
    All this talk of $3 and $4 coffees is disturbing.
    No its not! As long as its GOOD.

    I had a spro on Saturday I wouldve happily paid $10 for, it was THAT GOOD. Some of the retailers of über-awesomeness are charging $100/kg - Ill pay it if its good. Say you get 50 doubles from that kg, thats $2/doppio. Happy to pay it, if its that good. (And, no Im not made of money, were struggling along like everybody else).

    In one breath we all sit here complaining about how rubbish 99% of the coffee out there is, another were pondering the ethics of the coffee trade, and then the next were complaining how expensive coffee is?!

    I wonder, if you want to start demanding cafés lift their game, maybe its time to stop looking at coffee as a cheap caffeine hit, and start viewing it as a premium product. Maybe its something you dont need to assume youll buy 3+ cups of a day?

    Yep, someone serving you a cup of dishwater topped with boiling soap-suddy-milk is a total rip-off - no matter how cheap it is! But someone serving you a truly well crafted espresso or syphon/clover/pourover brew, who have an intimiate understanding of the bean, have roasted it skillfully, brewed it carefully, that I will happily pay much more for!

    Theres much more I could say, but I gotta run for now ;)

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F45534646320 link=1253865679/25#25 date=1254347706
    Some of the retailers of über-awesomeness are charging $100/kg - Ill pay it if its good
    Thats if it gets back to the farmer.........

    I dont mind paying for coffee, i know how much goes into its production, but when farmers are getting 8 cents a kilo.......and we pay $100 a kilo..........someones making a tonne, and its not the farmer, thank god for CS and the fair crack foundation, we ARE making a difference! if only others had the same compasion :(

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 43476178787D62757A140 link=1253865679/26#26 date=1254348315
    Quote Originally Posted by 5F45534646320 link=1253865679/25#25 date=1254347706
    Some of the retailers of über-awesomeness are charging $100/kg - Ill pay it if its good
    Thats if it gets back to the farmer.........

    I dont mind paying for coffee, i know how much goes into its production, but when farmers are getting 8 cents a kilo.......and we pay $100 a kilo..........someones making a tonne, and its not the farmer, thank god for CS and the fair crack foundation, we ARE making a difference! if only others had the same compasion :(
    Sorry, should have made it clear; these are generally either directly traded or CoE coffees, so yes, the farmer is benefitting significantly more.


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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 667C6A7F7F0B0 link=1253865679/25#25 date=1254347706
    But someone serving you a truly well crafted espresso or syphon/clover/pourover brew, who have an intimiate understanding of the bean, have roasted it skillfully, brewed it carefully, that I will happily pay much more for!
    When you put it like that, even $4 a cup sounds cheap. And yes, I completely agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F637E656F6E796C646F0B0 link=1253865679/22#22 date=1254319753
    I pay AUD2.70 around work (not subsidised).
    The last place I heard of selling coffees that cheap was the lady at my train station. Ive never tried the coffee, but trust me, from watching her make it, I wouldnt serve it to my worst enemy.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    the stuff at home is better by a long shot (no pun intended).

    Sure.


    The last place I heard of selling coffees that cheap was the lady at my train station. Ive never tried the coffee, but trust me, from watching her make it, I wouldnt serve it to my worst enemy.

    This stuffs OK else I wouldnt drink it.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B41574242360 link=1253865679/25#25 date=1254347706

    maybe its time to stop looking at coffee as a cheap caffeine hit, and start viewing it as a premium product.
    I actually dislike it when people start to look at coffee that way. *Coffee is not a premium product in any way, nor is wine for that matter. *That some people are trying to turn coffee into a premium product, much the same way some misdirected people did with wine, is an unfortunate fact of the world we live in. *The nice thing about the wine industry is that Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Chile are now producing some good wines, thus restoring a sense of balance to that industry. *More people being able to enjoy a decent quality wine at a reasonable price has been good for the industry. *Coffee can go down the premium/over-priced road if it wants in the short term, but it will eventually have to correct itself at some point. *It can avoid the bursting bubble by just staying reasonably priced all along and expanding the number of converts. *

    Coffee is not nearly as expensive as coffee shops would have us believe, its just that its trendy right now.

    I stopped going to my previous coffee shop because I disliked their prices. *I found a place on a less expensive street that has very good coffee, but at an affordable price. *The coffee is of comparable quality, the renovations arent as fancy, the neighborhood isnt as trendy, and the prices are much better. *I also drink more coffee at home, and I have a very portable AeroPress-and-Porlex combination for when Im travelling. I refuse to be overcharged for a cup of good coffee.

  32. #32
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    I think there are a few different things to be addressed here.

    Firstly, average café serving average rubbish: I dont care. I dont go there, I dont drink their stuff. Why do they charge $3/cup? Because they are running a business that needs to make money!! They need to cover more than just the cost of whatever coffee they happen to be using, and the milk they flood it with. They have to cover wages, insurance, rent, electricity and bazillion other things. Dont like paying that much, dont go there, but I dont begrudge people trying to make a living.

    As for the coffee as premium product; well, I happen to really enjoy the La Esmeraldas, Beloyas, Arichas, and many of the various Cup of Excellence coffees. I will continue to seek them out and enjoy them ;) My attitude to wine is similar; I drink less, but better quality. I dont drink wine for the alcohol any more than I drink coffee for the caffeine.

    For me, its all about whats in the cup (or glass).

    Its interesting to note, as far as going down the premium product path, that the introduction of CoE programs has seen the general price of coffee in the participating countries rise. Bad? Not for the farmers!


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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Im less thrilled with CoE than what most other people seem to be. *I think, in the long run, it will be worse for the coffee industry than better. *Its okay to pay farmers for their labor, its not okay to pay them huge amounts of money just because their coffee won an award (and I say that as someone who has family in the farming sector; I would hate for my father to be getting a ridiculous amount of money for his produce on the backs of overcharging customers. *Fortunately, my fathers product isnt trendy).

    I avoid CoE winners for two reasons. *One, Im not the biggest fan of acidity, and the CoE is trying to heap great praise on coffees with acidity. *Two, CoE coffees are overpriced relative to the work put into the product. *So, in the same way that I avoid overpriced T-shirts that have a fancy logo on them, I avoid overpriced coffee with a CoE logo. *That doesnt mean I drink bad coffee anymore than it means I wear crappy T-shirts. *I look for quality at a reasonable price. *Ill look for good coffee that, for whatever reason, is below the radar.

    Its the same for coffee shops. *I dont need any place trendy. *I dont need expensive renovations. *I dont need fancy equipment. *I just need a good cup of coffee at a reasonable.

    You also managed to stumble across another of my pet peeves: La Esmeralda Geisha. *Its a good cup of coffee, no doubt, but Ive had coffee I liked better--and at a much, much cheaper price. *Whats going to happen when more farmers start planting Geisha and the price comes down to a reasonable level? *Coffee shops and roasters are going to look pretty stupid trying to justify their exorbitant prices of a few years prior? *Its also going to make the next coffee sensation tougher to sell because consumers will remember how they overpaid with Geisha.

  34. #34
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Well, clearly I am just completely bamboozled by trendy marketing hype ::)

    As someone who drinks a lot of pourover, I am a huge fan of acidity and clarity in the cup. Though I have had awesome shots of CoE coffees aswell.

    And as for La Esmeralda; still the best cup Ive ever had, just quietly. ;)

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Coffee----Wine

    Maybe.

    Ill happily pay $15 or more for a nice bottle of wine, and as the price goes up usually the quality does too.
    Ill happily pay $3 or more for shot of nice coffee, but there is no relation between price and quality.

    I wont pay $15 for cask quality wine, and anybody who tries that trick is going broke fast cause the wine-drinking public is generally educated enough to know that a difference exists and can often tell.

    I wont pay $3 for instant quality coffee, and most places get away with it cause the coffee-drinking public is so poorly educated that they neither know a difference exists or can taste it. Hence there is a dearth of competition for my coffee money on a daily basis.

    The sponsors get my "coffee" money--in large chunks. ;)

    Greg

  36. #36
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 112433310139243B373A32560 link=1253865679/34#34 date=1254393968

    Ill happily pay $15 or more for a nice bottle of wine, and as the price goes up usually the quality does too.
    Ill happily pay $3 or more for shot of nice coffee, but there is no relation between price and quality.

    Good point Greg. Personally Id add that there is CURRENTLY little relation between price and quality for a nice coffee. I for one hope that this changes!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B21372222560 link=1253865679/33#33 date=1254386752
    Well, clearly I am just completely bamboozled by trendy marketing hype
    I guess Im another one whos palate has been fooled by some clearly awesome trendy marketing guff. I dont see how creating a Premium end of the market for coffee can be a bad thing, especially if there is a market there willing to accept it. If you dont buy into the CoE program, thats all fine. Personally, i dont see how scoring a product and then letting the market set a price for it is a bad thing. Thats what a free market does, sets a price that consumers (some, not all) are prepared to tolerate.

    For me, coffee, and wine, are not simply a price driven purchase. Nor do I care about the renovations, suburb, trendiness or lack thereof of either product. Im after an experience for my palate, that is my main purchasing driver, with price becoming a consideration once Ive made a decision about what flavours Id like to experience on that occasion.

    Quote Originally Posted by 053A392104373F38560 link=1253865679/32#32 date=1254381725
    Whats going to happen when more farmers start planting Geisha and the price comes down to a reasonable level?
    Can I ask, as someone who knows absolutely nothing about farming ... If you, me, a farmer in Vietnam and the existing Hacienda La Esmeralda farm all make new Geisha plantings at exactly the same time, are we actually going to end up producing the same product? I may be over simplifying, but surely terroir, experience in caring for and harvesting the crop, as well as processing the final raw product have as much, if not more influence on whats in the cup as the varietal that was grown in the first place? I seriously doubt that more Geisha plantings = more La Esmeralda level/style coffees.


  37. #37
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Youre not oversimplifying. Although... Beloya, Aricha, IMV and Michele are all just Yirgacheffes.

    Okay, SlowRain, you dont like highly acidic coffees.

    Quote Originally Posted by 16292A3217242C2B450 link=1253865679/32#32 date=1254381725
    the CoE is trying to heap great praise on coffees with acidity
    The CoE program is actually designed to score coffee according to a myriad of factors, not just acidity, and the scoring is done by people with awesome palettes. Acidity is part of coffee, and some of the Brazil and Guat CoE coffee Ive drunk this year is much more balanced towards high pH than low pH. How many CoE coffees have you consumed this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 16292A3217242C2B450 link=1253865679/32#32 date=1254381725
    Its the same for coffee shops.I dont need any place trendy.I dont need expensive renovations.I dont need fancy equipment.I just need a good cup of coffee at a reasonable.
    You seem to be implying that the rest of us do, specifically directed at the previous poster. While some places in the city are by nature trendy (they exist in the context of their business customers, so things like branding, fancy equipment & fancy fit out are relevant to their main audience, I see Michelle (& Hazchem) most often sitting on some benches, leaning on a brick wall or some cheap metal blinds. The cafe they like to frequent doesnt even have tables! It does have fancy equipment, but the owner has chosen that, not the CS member. It doesnt have anywhere safe for people who bring kids in...

    The difference between you and Michelle, I think, is that youre looking for good coffee, reasonable price while Michelle is looking for a sensory experience and is prepared to pay for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 16292A3217242C2B450 link=1253865679/32#32 date=1254381725
    Two, CoE coffees are overpriced relative to the work put into the product.
    Whys that? Some may by lucky, but coffee takes on the flavours of the terroir in a way that, for example, leeks dont (sorry I picked a trendy vegetable). If you head out to Tanzania, for example, most people arent really earning a living, theyre earning just enough to keep living. Compare this to the Direct Trade & CoE models, where collectives are getting together and buying stuff to benefit the community through the profits of exporting their product through the newer mechanisms

    eg. http://www.oromiacoffeeunion.org/Improving_Lives.html

    Quote Originally Posted by 16292A3217242C2B450 link=1253865679/32#32 date=1254381725
    Ill look for good coffee that, for whatever reason, is below the radar.
    Ill stop buying the Sidamo Oromia because its been at the fancy Dancing Goat Cafe, shall I?

    The reason coffees get onto our radar is relationships with the importers, the roasters and the brewers. Seeking their second grade coffee in case you get an extraction you like, seems a bit like trying to avoid the cloud and still hoping you get rained upon.

  38. #38
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Come on people...the answer is home roast and a take away cup for trips out (or a presso) - a fraction of the price of shop bought and the quality! 8-)

    Cheers

  39. #39
    mwatt
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 4964656E74697479000 link=1253865679/36#36 date=1254447777
    I see Michelle (& Hazchem) most often sitting on some benches, leaning on a brick wall or some cheap metal blinds. The cafe they like to frequent doesnt even have tables! It does have fancy equipment, but the owner has chosen that, not the CS member. It doesnt have anywhere safe for people who bring kids in...

    The difference between you and Michelle, I think, is that youre looking for good coffee, reasonable price while Michelle is looking for a sensory experience and is prepared to pay for it.
    True dat!

    And whaddya mean nowhere safe for kids? Zekes had several roasting lessons, and is well on the way to becoming a spro snob!

  40. #40
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A75766E4B787077190 link=1253865679/32#32 date=1254381725
    Coffee shops and roasters are going to look pretty stupid trying to justify their exorbitant prices of a few years prior?
    Exorbitant? BBB in Melbourne was selling Esmeralda through their clover for $4 a cup. Given the clover is labour intensive compared with espresso and the cost of the beans theyre running through it (and the lingering cravings I still get some 6 months on) Id say thats not a fair statement.

  41. #41
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    My comments above were not directed at anyone in particular, and it would be misreading to assume so. *Rather, I was talking about coffees current role in society. *Coffee is trendy right now--very trendy.

    My CoE coffees from this year were probably limited to about half a dozen or so simply because they are too expensive.

    As far as my comments on the CoE and acidity: Ive never heard of acidity in coffee until recently. *That it wasnt mentioned before, but now gets hyped a great deal, leads me to believe it is a trend as well. *On that matter, Im prepared to wait ten years to see if non-acidic coffees start to dominate competitions once people get a little tired of drinking ones higher in acidity. *It think its more indicative of the current judges on the CoE program than anything.

    As far as Im aware, the early results of other farmers planting Geisha has been positive.

    The reason why Im down on the CoE and peoples near veneration of CoE coffees is because it creates an artificially high price. *Imagine a country that doesnt have a CoE program. *A responsible roaster is buying coffee from a farmer, and the farmer is being well paid. *The roasters customers are all enjoying the coffee from that farm in that country at a reasonable price. *Enter the CoE program. *The coffee wins the CoE for that country that year. *The price of the coffee goes up. *The roaster has to pay more, and the roasters customers now have to pay more. *The farmer has not changed his farming or processing methods, nor has he incurred any extra expenses or worked any harder. *What value has the CoE brought to the customers? *The farmer gets more money, but he was being well paid before and he hasnt had to lift an extra finger. *The roaster can (try to) pass the cost on to the customers. *But how has the CoE program benefited the coffee drinkers who were buying that coffee regularly before? *Simply put, the CoE hasnt brought one bit of value to that particular coffee, theyve just added hype. *Theyve created a trend. *Why would anyone, as a regular drinker of that coffee before all the hype, want to pay more for it when none of the fundamentals have changed, only the publicity? *How can any reasonable person see additional value in the new, higher price, when absolutely nothing has changed? *Now take that same example and apply it to all of the CoE winners out there, and youll see what Im getting at.

    People can buy whatever coffee they want at whatever price they want. *Its a free market in that regard. *Just dont make me pay more for my coffee. *I also hope that when Geisha comes down in price, all the people who were willing to plop down $10-$15 dollars per cup continue to do so when others are plopping down $5 because, after all, the coffee is worth it, isnt it? *I suggest a two-tier system: those who are looking for a good cup of coffee at a reasonable price should be able to get it, and those who are willing to pay a little more for a sensory experience should then be charged double for that same cup of coffee. *It seems fair, dont you think? *Everyone wins because I get my good coffee at a reasonable price and people for whom price is not so important get their sensory experience, and the farmer and roaster still get a reasonable price.

    In case others havent noticed it, take a look at any financial planning book or website and see how they recommend saving money. *I also saw a survey recently about the top 10 (15?) things people hate overpaying for. *Take a look at the original post in this thread and most of the subsequent replies. *What will you notice? *Coffee pricing is an issue, we cant deny that. *At what point are we going to start doing something about it? *When coffee consumption drops? *When people have been driven to *alternatives? *Or, rather than trying to justify it (read: do nothing), maybe--just maybe--we should try addressing the issue--and sooner rather than later.

    I think the idea of taking an AeroPress and a ceramic-burr hand grinder to work is a great idea. *Im even looking into home roasting. *Those are just two good ways for a person to insulate themselves against rising prices. *Cutting down on consumption is another.

  42. #42
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C2E222A2A24233E4D0 link=1253865679/39#39 date=1254452664

    Exorbitant? BBB in Melbourne was selling Esmeralda through their clover for $4 a cup. Given the clover is labour intensive compared with espresso and the cost of the beans theyre running through it (and the lingering cravings I still get some 6 months on) Id say thats not a fair statement.
    See, thats exactly what I mean. *Why does Australia have better pricing when the rest of the world is overcharging? *What are the Australians doing right that everyone else is screwing up?

  43. #43
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Actually the reason I think BBB had Esmeralda for such a cheap price comes down to Australians simply not being willing to pay for brewed coffee, but thats a whole other soapbox rant, but I do think my point still stands, Esmeralda, here in Australia was being sold too cheaply.

  44. #44
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B44475F7A494146280 link=1253865679/30#30 date=1254371210
    Michelle wrote on Yesterday at 7:55am:
    maybe its time to stop looking at coffee as a cheap caffeine hit, and start viewing it as a premium product.

    I actually dislike it when people start to look at coffee that way.Coffee is not a premium product in any way, nor is wine for that matter.That some people are trying to turn coffee into a premium product, much the same way some misdirected people did with wine, is an unfortunate fact of the world we live in.The nice thing about the wine industry is that Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Chile are now producing some good wines, thus restoring a sense of balance to that industry.More people being able to enjoy a decent quality wine at a reasonable price has been good for the industry.
    You are entitled to your view, but please do not preach mediocrity. Why cant coffee be a premium product? To say that wine is not a premium product shows a complete misunderstanding of the product and industry. Good quality grapes are expensive to grow in countries like you mention. Skill, knowledge and experience is then needed to produce fine wine from them. People invest huge sums of money, time and effort to produce a product that is prized by many. These people expect and should be rewarded for their efforts. If you strive to produce a better product, you want it to stand out from the others. You want recognition for your efforts, and you also should receive monetary rewards.
    You say that Australia is now producing good wines????? Australia always has. Good wine has always been available at a good price.
    I think you mean good wine is now available at a cheap price.
    Fine wine has always been made here, people just did not have the palette or the knowledge to appreciate it. Wine that I was buying for under $20 a bottle, in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale 20 years ago has increased in price, but then so has the cost of living. However, I still continue to buy and enjoy it, and others like it. The fact that they are now well over $50 a bottle is irrelevant. The product is still excellent and made with the same care and precision as it was years ago. Today however it is recognised by many for its quality, and demand for the wine is high.
    What has changed is that there has been an increase in production of grapes around the world. This has led to an oversupply in the market and there has been a lot of good wine available at cheap prices. This has not been good for the industry, only for the consumer.
    However the great wines keep their value and increase in price as you would expect. If you want good wine at a cheap price then no doubt you turn to countries that have cheap labour, land etc to produce it. This does not promote excellence. The same concept also applies to coffee, it is a lot more expensive to produce in Australia then it is in countries where labour is cheap. The growers here try to differentiate their product and justify the price by striving for excellence. People appreciate their efforts and are willing to pay a premium for their efforts.
    You on the other hand are advocating standards that benefit yourself only. People in third world countries are entitled to receive increased monetary gains for a better product. They have families to feed!
    No one is forcing you to pay a premium for any product. If you are not willing to pay extra for a good product then do not expect to earn more money at work, for increased effort.
    Striving for excellence in any field is vital. Smart farmers put in extra effort to produce a superior product. They deserve to be rewarded. Smart retailers understand their market, if they find a niche and gain from it, then they deserve the gains. Copying those people by providing a similar product at a cheaper price simply proves that you do not. Why should you benefit simply because you sell a cheaper product?
    Thankfully today, people are willing to pay a premium for better products and fine food. Let us continue to advocate this as it benefits everyone.
    There is a cost for everything. Understand it, but do not begrudge it.
    If you think that you can make a living selling cheap cups of coffee then do it. Prove you are better than the rest!





  45. #45
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 07383B2306353D3A540 link=1253865679/40#40 date=1254452676
    The reason why Im down on the CoE and peoples near veneration of CoE coffees is because it creates an artificially high price. *Imagine a country that doesnt have a CoE program. *A responsible roaster is buying coffee from a farmer, and the farmer is being well paid. *The roasters customers are all enjoying the coffee from that farm in that country at a reasonable price. *Enter the CoE program. *The coffee wins the CoE for that country that year. *The price of the coffee goes up. *The roaster has to pay more, and the roasters customers now have to pay more. *The farmer has not changed his farming or processing methods, nor has he incurred any extra expenses or worked any harder. *What value has the CoE brought to the customers? *The farmer gets more money, but he was being well paid before and he hasnt had to lift an extra finger. *The roaster can (try to) pass the cost on to the customers. *But how has the CoE program benefited the coffee drinkers who were buying that coffee regularly before? *Simply put, the CoE hasnt brought one bit of value to that particular coffee, theyve just added hype. *Theyve created a trend. *Why would anyone, as a regular drinker of that coffee before all the hype, want to pay more for it when none of the fundamentals have changed, only the publicity? *How can any reasonable person see additional value in the new, higher price, when absolutely nothing has changed? *Now take that same example and apply it to all of the CoE winners out there, and youll see what Im getting at.
    Now picture: farm B notices that farm A got such a recommendation (COE or equiv.) and as a result demand (and naturally price as it is a finite product) increased for farm A. Farm B is struggling but they decide that winning such an award would increase sales for them so they lift their game and start really caring about the product they produce (making a product that is much better quality) and win the next year. Farm A now has competition and has to continue to keep their quality high (no resting on their laurels) to keep demand (and price up). Now multiply this by thousands of farms and co-ops

    It is worth it for the farm because they are being paid for a better quality product. True some farms my "luck out" but they wont continue to year after year.

    How is this not good for producers.

    How would you feel if you produced a product that is lightyears ahead of the competition (and worked hard at making it that way) but you couldnt charge more then the competitors for no apparent reason. [smiley=huh.gif]

    I dont know of one roaster that exclusively sells COE coffees so the answer is quite simple:
    if you dont want to pay a premium to get a (more) premium product then dont. It is possible that the roaster doesnt know what they are doing and is butchering the roast - simple dont buy it. 8-)

  46. #46
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    I think both StanC and Martial Money make good points. *However, there seems to be some confusion regarding my statements. *If someone somehow feels Im advocating shafting the farmers or drinking poor quality coffee, then I think people either have been misreading what Ive written or else are projecting an opinion which I do not lay claim to.

    Farmers should be paid fairly for their work. *Roasters should be paid fairly for their work. *Coffee shops should be paid fairly for their work. *The customer should pay fairly for the product. *Neither person on the ends should be forced to bear an excessive amount of burden. *People who are willing to overpay for a cup of coffee should not create a situation where those who want to pay a fair price are unable to get a good coffee.

    The only things I disagree with are:

    1. The concept of wine as a premium product. *That it is being treated as one doesnt mean that it should be. *Wine is no more premium than coffee, leeks, or T-shirts. *People have an inherent desire to create things like this. *I have more respect for vegetable vendors than I do coffee shops because one of them actually knows what their product truly is.

    2. *Farm B should be motivated to improve their methods because they see Farm A being paid fairly from the responsible roaster. *The CoE crew need not even enter the picture. *The CoE is no better able to pick the best coffee than the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is able to pick the best movie. *I reject the claims of both to be able to do so.

    Part of the reason I pursue this thread isnt solely because of the consumer angle. *I think the specialty coffee industry has created a bubble, much like the dot com bubble. *Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. *New coffee shops are opening up everywhere. *Prices at the spouts are the highest theyve ever been. * Green bean prices are getting higher and higher, and at least one coffee out there is setting an astronomical record. *Does any of this sound familiar or bear a resemblance to other bubbles? *Coffee is trendy right now--very trendy. *I think its actually a better time to be selling a coffee shop than starting one because, if the bubble bursts, theres going to be some hardships, especially for the farmers (who a lot of people in the industry pretend to care about so that they can justify price increases). *The industry can either self-regulate and let the air out slowly, or they can let it go bang. *(Its good to note that, in previous bubbles, those at the very center of the industry--computers, housing, tulips--took no note of the warnings or flat out denied the existence of a bubble).

  47. #47
    mwatt
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Um, arent the CoE and Esmeralda lots sold by auction? No one insists on a high price; the price is created by demand. The more people that want a particular lot, presumably cos its outstanding, the higher the price goes as the bidders compete for it.

    As for acidity, Im a little flummoxed by your views to be honest. I cant remember not considering acidity in coffee. I also think there is a great deal of confusion about acidity given the massive bent towards espresso in Australia, though I see youre not in Australia, but am wondering if you are talking about acidity in espresso or brewed methods?

    World coffee prices generally are not too high. In many countries, I believe that farmers not only do not make any money, but they dont even cover the costs of the production of said coffee. I cant see how that is a good deal for anyone?

    There are really two different cost factors were talking here. The cost of the beans, green or roasted, and then the price you pay for a brew in a café. Unfortunately, in most places its impossible to know what the relationship between the two is, as there is next to no transparency in regards to the origin of beans. I love it when one of my favie roasters can write on the bag for me not only the date she roasted it, and the region/country of origin, but the particular farm(s), the farmers name, and the varietal of the plant. Thats awesome. This is besides the point though, isnt it? ;)

    As for the distaste for premium products, I just cant understand your point. Some things are just better than others. Kinda sucks for the people putting the work in to make/grow a better quality wine/leek/t-shirt/coffee if they have to charge the same as the stuff thats made poorly.

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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Im not talking about C Grade coffee when Im complaining about pricing. *C Grade coffee is too low. *Im talking about the pricing within the specialty coffee industry.

    Im generally talking about acidity in brewed coffee (I actually like some acidity in espresso). *

    I agree on your two different cost factors. *I agree on the lack of transparency. *I agree that more information on the bag (or the vendors website) is better.

    I wasnt very clear when talking about premium products. *Coffee by nature is not a premium product, it is just a product. *There are different qualities of coffee, but even the highest grade of the most famous coffee isnt worth what people are willing to pay for it. *You argue that it is their perogative to pay whatever they feel it is worth, and I agree, but only on the most superficial level. *Once there is a trend of high prices for one coffee, human nature (read: greed) takes over, and people try to push it to see how far they can take it. *This is excessive. *Its the driving force behind what I see as a bubble.

    I think if people would read carefully what Im saying, youll find there isnt that much to disagree over.

  49. #49
    mwatt
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B54574F6A595156380 link=1253865679/47#47 date=1254466683
    but even the highest grade of the most famous coffee isnt worth what people are willing to pay for it. *
    The obvious question, therefore, is "and exactly how much is should they pay?"

    Wheres the limit? How much is reasonable, and how much is too much, and who gets to decide?

    Im finding this a really interesting discussion.

  50. #50
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    Re: $4 coffees in Brunswick st ???

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 112E2D3510232B2C420 link=1253865679/49#49 date=1254472136
    Ive already addressed those questions. *

    Plus, dont get too bogged down in questions of how much..." *They merely distract. *Its like saying .....
    Well not really, and Im sorry but I strongly resent the use of that example; its hideous and offensive.

    If you think the prices, for say, La Esmeralda, are exorbitant, and thats its stupid to pay so much, exactly at what point do you think it becomes reasonable? If youre going to state emphatically that its not worth what people are willing to pay for it, then please enlighten us, what is it worth?



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