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Thread: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

  1. #1
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    Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everybody

    I have been lurking on this site for some time but I thought it was about time I posted. My questions arent even totally about coffee but more about dealing with bizarre managers. I was wondering if anyone in the industry (or any industry really) had similar experiences and could give me some advice?

    I have recently started working as a maker of coffee (I dont dare call myself a barista) at a place which shall remain nameless, for reasons that will become obvious. The place I am working at isnt even really a cafe, its more of a sandwich bar that does tea and cakes in the afternoons. The manager, bless her, doesnt even like or drink coffee, and theyve only had the espresso machine for about a year - before that they used to serve heavily diluted stovetop coffee. Our coffee customers are mostly elderly people - there are office workers who come at lunch to buy sandwiches, but our coffee reputation is so bad they go and buy it from the place over the road instead.

    And now I am working here, despite not having any formal training. I am basically learning from this forum - with the useful tips I am getting here, at least I have got to the stage where I dont want to throw out 3/4 of the coffees I make (its more like 1/3 now). I cant thank you guys enough for that.

    Anyway, as you can probably guess, there are a lot of things that need to improve and Im really up against it. But right now my problem is that our coffee menu, and the way Ive been told to make coffee, is completely wrong and embarrassing.

    On our menu we have cappa, latte, flat white (so far so good) but also "muggachino" (this spelling), "long white" and a few drinks I think the manager decided to put on after walking past Starbucks once. I think I know the answer to this one -but theres no way were ever going to improve our reputation if these drinks stay on the menu, is there? Has anyone had to deal with this kind of non-coffee manager before - if so, what did you do?

    Secondly - what to do about non-standard preparations of drinks? We sell our flat whites - I call them "granny specials" - for $2 to people with seniors cards, and I have been told I "have" to make them "the way our customers like it". That is, by filling a cup 1/3 full with hot water, then adding a single espresso shot, then topping with stretched milk, no foam at all. We use quite big 250ml cups, so the coffee ratio is quite low - although at least they arent as embarrassing as the "long white" - which is 2/3 water, then a shot of coffee, then steamed milk.

    I would like to make flat whites the proper way - that is, like a latte in a cup - but our customers are the types that have no qualms in wrinkling up their noses and complaining to the manager if things arent exactly the same as they were last week. Should I just let this one go? I mean flat whites, to me, arent a real drink anyway, and asking around I have seen a fair bit of variation in how they are made, especially re the froth issue. Maybe I could put an asterix on the menu or something?

    Or should I just give up?

    sorry for the length of this rant, and thanks again for your invaluable advice so far

    Claire
    (novice coffee-maker)




  2. #2
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Welcome Claire to Coffee Snobs! Glad it has been helpful to you so far. I hope youre in for the long haul because even though it seems frustrating and you despair of your bosses now, you can certainly go on to bigger and better things in this industry! If you have the drive and determination.

    Ive read your post and sympathise with you. I think that youll gradually come to realise that it is actually a minority of the current population that appreciate great coffee, though that is slowly beginning to change, I feel.

    I think probably the best advice I can think to give you at the moment is: Have patience. I think you also need to keep reminding yourself that there is nothing wrong in giving the customer what they want. If they want half a cup of water with a bit of cold milk tossed over the top, give it to them. If they want a correctly timed and poured espresso shot, give that to them.

    As much as I hate having to make an instant coffee, I still do it. I may mutter under my breath about it but I also have come to the rather painful conclusion that the customers who come in regularly every Wednesday for their mug of instant cuppaccino pay the same price as those who get a beautifully timed shot with perfectly steamed milk! Yes, its true, most of the time they are getting the same for the same money. And if your boss decides to do the nice thing and give seniors rates or uniform rates or whatever, you still need to give the customer what they want. We are in a Service industry and I think at times it is easy to forget that. I believe that as a "maker of coffee" my job is to help make someones day. If it means burning the crap out of the milk because they like it so hot they cant taste anything, so be it. Theyre handing over the money which goes towards paying my wage after all! ;)

    Anyway, stick with it Claire. I know it seems frustrating. Soon, you will find yourself building a following of like minded coffee fans who will in the end be the ones who sway your bossess thinking. It has happened with mine and they still cant figure out how I can get that perfect cup and they cant! We all know here its no magic trick, but having a passion and a method and an enjoyment for the results goes a long way towards that perfect cup!

    Im still a newbie in the industry myself but have been a long time sitter on the other side of the fence. (And I do have a background in catering too) I would consider it a pleasure to help you out anyway I can and if you want more info from me, I invite you to use the email address you see in my sig to contact me or just use the PM feature of the site. Of course, I am confident you will also find many others here who will offer the same!

    Cheers
    Scoots. :)

  3. #3
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Welcome Claire from me too.

    I think Scoota said it well.

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Perfect your espresso technique - you already know how to make the flat whites the way that cadre of customers like it, but I am sure your boss would see the value of a new menu if you start pulling customers who like the good stuff!

    If she doesnt then you can mark it down to good training for a Barista slot somewhere.

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1163237851/0#2 date=1163249715
    Welcome Claire from me too.

    I think Scoota said it well.
    Strange, I just tried to say the same as Scooted did here, but in a responce to a Scoota post re her own experiences :-) http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1145109525/105#105

    I think we are all in agreement..... If that is what they want, then as a service supplier we should be providing it. However it does not mean that you can not strike up a bit of chit chat with thos that buy there coffee across the rd and ASK them how they would like it made. You never know, you may increase the sales and add to your skills and experience.

    KM and Myself work in the same department, both of us like coffee, but we like it diferent. KM likes it HOT ... Steeming in fact and I am sure the milk must be almost too hot and scalded? Where as I like mine not so hot, but strong. KM usualy picks up two mugs on the way in to work and his mug is marked for 2 suggars. I have none. The staff know him and it is a social engaugement as well as service delevery. To boot, the staff rince with hot water and pre heat the mugs for us, so that the it is still the way he likes it when he gets to work. For me I like at least a double, if not a tripple shot in a standard cup, yet many find that strange. Another mate will only drink weak international roast or a single shot in a mug with 50/50 water and streached milk..NO froth.

    Every one is diferent and that is what can make your job so interesting. Get to know your clients, and their likes / dislikes and then when you have their trust, see if they are willing to expand their tastes a little. But do not be dissapointed if they try and then go back to what they know.

    Enjoy the experience, and remember the road you take has many twists, turns and at times you may even think you are going in the wrong direction. Do not fear the the unknown, but embrace it and remember. Coffee Snobs are always here to lend and ear or offer advice and encouragement.

    AM.

    Soz about the spelling... It is late and I missed my coffee today :-(




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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by scoota gal link=1163237851/0#1 date=1163246027
    I think probably the best advice I can think to give you at the moment is: Have patience. I think you also need to keep reminding yourself that there is nothing wrong in giving the customer what they want. If they want half a cup of water with a bit of cold milk tossed over the top, give it to them. If they want a correctly timed and poured espresso shot, give that to them.
    You know, I never even thought of looking at it that way. That makes me feel better immediately. Thanks!

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    And thanks to everyone else too - I will go back to work tomorrow with a new spring in my step, and will serve the weak-@rse drinks with a smile on my face!

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    The fact that your here and open to new information sees you elevated to Barista even before you have the piece of paper.

    If I was still knocking pucks in Enmore, youd be behind my Cimbali on exchange(we often swapped with like minded establishments).
    I look forward to seeing your evolution on these threads!

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Perhaps you can put up a little sign saying: "feel free to tell me how you like your coffee made" ?

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt King link=1163237851/0#8 date=1163323595
    Perhaps you can put up a little sign saying: "feel free to tell me how you like your coffee made" ?
    Aint such a bad idea; if the place had a bad rap but someone still gets in there and sees that sign, they may be game to ask and be impressed! Imagine if someone on this site came into your shop without either of you knowing each other; they ask for a coffee like everyone else does and you serve them what you have to serve to everyone else. Theyd be back here and decry the establishment and the barista, when in fact you had the capacity to offer what they really wanted but you didnt know and they didnt ask!

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Good point Greg.

    That coffee place I wrote about a while back at Wollongong Uni didnt seem as good as everyone down there was saying but it was supposedly "the best on campus" and maybe that part was true.

    What I did though to give myself the best chance at a good coffee was to ask for my coffee how I wanted it not how they offered it on their menu board.
    I know it had to be a little bit better my way than theirs.

    To their credit it was made no questions asked.

    So I too think the sign would be a good idea.

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    A_M
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1163237851/0#9 date=1163383166
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt King link=1163237851/0#8 date=1163323595
    Perhaps you can put up a little sign saying: "feel free to tell me how you like your coffee made" ?
    Aint such a bad idea; if the place had a bad rap but someone still gets in there and sees that sign, they may be game to ask and be impressed! Imagine if someone on this site came into your shop without either of you knowing each other; they ask for a coffee like everyone else does and you serve them what you have to serve to everyone else. Theyd be back here and decry the establishment and the barista, when in fact you had the capacity to offer what they really wanted but you didnt know and they didnt ask!
    Your boss may have to approve, but the worse thing that they could say is NO.

    A sign is also a way to "Get to know your clients, and their likes / dislikes " etc and as you hinted... They eat at your place but obtain their drink across the Rd... and that its self is like a Neon sign shouting out for attention.

    Hang in there.

    AM

  13. #13
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Speaking of signs...

    The one I really want to put up on the machine at the moment is...

    "We heat our milk to 65-70 degrees. If you require the crap burnt out of yours please ask!" :D ;D ;D ;D

    Ahem...scuse the momentary laspe of reason, Id probably not word it quite like that! ;)

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    "We heat our milk to 65-70 degrees. If you require the *%@^ burnt out of yours please ask!" would be better.

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    I was prematurely impressed on the weekend. I was at a conference, and the two coffee options at the nearby shopping centre were Gloria Jeans and Michels Pattisserie. Since Michels had a better selection of breakfast foods, thats where we went. As I stood in front of the espresso machine, I saw a framed cutting out of a newspaper congratulating the barista on finishing 7th in the national barista championships. A quick comparison of the photo in the clipping and the barista behind the machine revealed it was indeed him. GREAT, I thought, I will get an excellent coffee this morning.

    I thought I would have a conversation with him, so I said "You did pretty well to score 7th in the barista championships!" His reply - "Oh that was easy" should have given away that it may have been too early in the day to put a similar effort in to my coffee. Either it was, or he had different coffee and a different machine at the championships. Maybe someone even set up his grinder for him there.

    Unfortunately the coffee had no wow factor. Was too hot for me - the milk wasnt burnt or boiled, just too hot. There was no freshness about the aroma or flavour.

    Given the resources (barista, machine, experience) I should have been able to have a coffee with the wow factor. Unfortunately, as in scoota girls previous post, the general public dont appreciate good coffee. What I consider a good coffee often is met by "ohhh its strong" or "it could be a bit hotter" or even "i need an extra sugar for this one" by some of my friends and family. The father-in-law will always drink the top inch out of his homeroasted carefully prepared cappucino and top it up with boiling water.

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Hey MochaMaster,

    I too was at this Conference :-)

    I know the guy you are referring too (a great guy as well) and I have had a great coffee from him. It may have been a bad day or something but he can make a great cup... remember, he is limited to what beans he can use.

    Great conference wasnt it???

    Marc

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    I have a father-in-law just like that!

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    I know this might sound unlikely or improbable - but I have friends and colleagues who DONT drink coffee. Yes, its true. Although I have converted two of them in the past.

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Keep at it... youll get them eventually :-)

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Slowly but surely all my friends are upgrading their kitchens from instant coffee to some type of espresso machine. If I keep knocking back instant coffee, theyll get the message. The hardest ones to convince are the ones where one partner doesnt drink coffee, and just doesnt get it.

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    My cousin introduced me to having an espresso machine at home.
    His brother is a barista but I havent been over to his new house to check on whether he has one as well.

    I have been told he doesnt like making a coffee when he gets home as hes seen too many all day. *;D

    I knocked back an instant at my brother-in-laws on Saturday.
    Its done light heartedly atm.
    He asked if Id like a coffee and I replied that it was too far to drive home.
    His wife enjoys a cappuccino when she drops in, so theres potential to convert them. *;)

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt King link=1163237851/0#8 date=1163323595
    Perhaps you can put up a little sign saying: "feel free to tell me how you like your coffee made" ?
    Wow, this is a great idea. 8-)

    I was going to do it – I made up the sign and everything – but then I realised I might not be able to live up to what the sign was promising. If someone actually asks for their coffee to be done differently, there’s every chance I won’t know how to, or will stuff it up. For a start, I’ve only been trained in doing standard 30ml espresso shots and am still trying to get those to a reasonable standard. I don’t really know how to do ristretto or doppio or double pours, or even to change the grinder settings correctly, and I think it would be an overly ambitious thing for me to even try at this stage.

    But you folks could definitely get me on the right track by answering my questions below. Sorry to defile this forum by asking such basic questions but I can’t seem to find the answers anywhere…

    1. What is the recommended way to make milky drinks weaker? I think the reason we have our stupid ‘made-up’ watery flat white recipe is that the previous maker of coffee didn’t know how to do it either and just decided to add water. If I want to do this properly I’m going to have to bite the bullet and make them with shorter ristretto shots and more milk, aren’t I?

    2. What should I do about non-standard cup sizes? Our latte glasses are fine, but some of our cappuccino cups and all of our FW cups are 250ml (they’re different brands). We’ve also just got some take-away cups that I haven’t measured yet, but they’re even bigger – could be 300ml possibly. The training notes that I have say the cups should be 170-220ml. I still make everything with a single 30ml shot, mainly because I’m too scared to do it any other way, and to me the cappas taste like they need another shot. Our other coffee maker who works the days I am not there told me to just fill the cups 1/3 full no matter what size they are – but that’s got to be close to 80ml and I reckon she’s over-extracting heaps as the coffee tastes just wrong. Should I be making 60ml double shots for these or is that too strong? And what about for the take-away cups? Is there a standard?

    3. Is there a shop (actual shop, not online) where can I get a replacement milk thermometer from? (Our other coffee maker lost ours yesterday *sighs*.) I am in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne but am prepared to go pretty much anywhere in Melb to get one - I am going to be a gibbering wreck trying to do the milk without it… I need one ASAP – will be going shopping tomorrow…

    Thanks in advance for your help…


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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by MochaMaster link=1163237851/15#19 date=1163467231
    Slowly but surely all my friends are upgrading their kitchens from instant coffee to some type of espresso machine. *If I keep knocking back instant coffee, theyll get the message. *The hardest ones to convince are the ones where one partner doesnt drink coffee, and just doesnt get it.
    I dont think some people ever get the chance to get it, because theyre not getting the chance to taste what coffee should really taste like.

    Ive loved coffee for as long as I can remember, but I always found espressos too strong and bitter. Then I went to Italy, decided to do as the Romans do (literally!) and not drink milky coffees. I discovered what espressos and macchiatos should taste like - it was a revelation and I became hopefully addicted for that two weeks. But when I came back to Oz it was back on to the milky drinks again because with black drinks theres nowhere to hide if theyre not made properly.

    Ive tasted some god-awful coffees, including some Ive made myself :-[, and frankly theyre enough to put anyone off. Tea (or instant coffee) is much harder to get wrong.

  24. #24
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    clairebbb,

    1. Dont know the official way - but I would restrict the shot.

    2. I wont venture into there. Ive not really scientifically measured my cups, so Ill stay out of that one.

    3. How flash was the thermometer? Many of the homewares shops carry milk thermometers. Some just have the cheap short ones, some also carry the larger, big round dial ones. However there is a lot of discussion about just how accurate they are. I have 2 at home and try to calibrate them to boiling water every now and then, but they are only a guide really. Perhaps give a shop like Domestix (or similar) a call and see if they have any in stock before trudging over there.

    Worst case scenario, you probably know by sound and feel when the milk is done. Especially on a commercial machine, youll find that your own insticts will be pretty good.

    Hope that helps.

    Brett.

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Clairebb if I owned a cafe I reckon Id want you on the staff - you are at least asking great questions and working to make better coffee.

    I cant answer all your questions as well as others surely will, but you are right on the money about an 80ml being a likely over-extraction.

    Do you get the chance to make a few test coffees for yourself - it would be good if you had the freedom to experiment a little.

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1163237851/0#9 date=1163383166
    Imagine if someone on this site came into your shop without either of you knowing each other; they ask for a coffee like everyone else does and you serve them what you have to serve to everyone else. Theyd be back here and decry the establishment and the barista, when in fact you had the capacity to offer what they really wanted but you didnt know and they didnt ask!
    Exactly, and that is really what I meant by embarrassing. It’s not that I have a problem with people wanting weak and watery drinks (actually I do, but I’d better not say anything unless I want to get fired), but if people who are not our regulars order our version of a flat white they’re going to think we’re complete amateurs.

    Fortunately, there is a little bit of space on our coffee menu blackboard, enough to write some descriptions on, and the manager has let me write a few lines under each drink. So I have written under flat white “this is a milder, less milky version of a traditional flat white and is popular with many of our customers. If you would like a traditional latte-style flat white, just let us know”. I’m hoping that will do it.

    Oh, and I accidentally broke our last three “muggachino” mugs, so no more muggachinos on the menu for a while either. Oops. ;)



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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by grendel link=1163237851/15#24 date=1163573481
    Clairebb if I owned a cafe I reckon Id want you on the staff - you are at least asking great questions and working to make better coffee.
    Thanks! Thats very encouraging, I really appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by grendel link=1163237851/15#24 date=1163573481
    Do you get the chance to make a few test coffees for yourself - it would be good if you had the freedom to experiment a little.
    Yes I do, first thing at the beginning of the shift (hardly anyone orders coffee until about two hours in). Personally I like them with a double shot of cofffee, that tastes right to me. But then I like my coffee rather strong, and most of our customers dont...


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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy link=1163237851/15#23 date=1163573292
    3. How flash was the thermometer?
    Dont know - I dont have anything to compare it with! It was just ours, and I miss it! I will take your advice and call Domestix, theres one fairly near me.

    Worst case scenario, you probably know by sound and feel when the milk is done. Especially on a commercial machine, youll find that your own insticts will be pretty good.
    I will I could say that, but I was pretty reliant on that thermometer! In the future maybe...

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    A_M
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by clairebbb link=1163237851/15#21 date=1163572496
    2. What should I do about non-standard cup sizes? Our latte glasses are fine, but some of our cappuccino cups and all of our FW cups are 250ml (they’re different brands). We’ve also just got some take-away cups that I haven’t measured yet, but they’re even bigger – could be 300ml possibly. The training notes that I have say the cups should be 170-220ml. I still make everything with a single 30ml shot, mainly because I’m too scared to do it any other way, and to me the cappas taste like they need another shot. Our other coffee maker who works the days I am not there told me to just fill the cups 1/3 full no matter what size they are – but that’s got to be close to 80ml and I reckon she’s over-extracting heaps as the coffee tastes just wrong. Should I be making 60ml double shots for these or is that too strong? And what about for the take-away cups? Is there a standard?


    Thanks in advance for your help…
    One of the biggest mistakes that I see so many do is to over extract.

    If you are pulling coffee to 1/3 of a cup no matter what size they are, that is " in my books" an outright disaster for any one drinking the stuff.

    With out going into the finer detail - a single basket for a single shot, a double basket where two cups are being pulled or where one wants a strong coffee or you have very large mugs etc

    With some basic skills, almost no experience and the correct machine set up, you should not have a problem pulling the basic 30ml or 60ml shot. It is what you might add to it, that will then have a significant impact.

    If you are running either basket and keep the extraction running to reach the 1/3 rule by overriding the machine (if it has a timer / auto stop) then that is truly Over extraction.

    Depending on where you are, I can only suggest that another CS member might offer their guidance, or you seek out further training ? The Coffee supplier may even be able to assist, as if the practices are as bad as whit is implied, they/ the product will also get a bad name.

    Just my 2 cents worth.



  30. #30
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    My 2 cents worth...

    If you are in Melbourne, Claire, then I think you need to get yourself to Talk Coffee and see if Chris will line you up in a course! I know that that is what Id be doing if I lived down there! ;) Theres nothing like getting some professional help and I think it would help to answer all your questions.

    I dont want to belittle any of the posts that are here, were all pretty correct in what we say to you but I think that there is a lot lost by just reading words on a screen and face to face talking with someone about this is totally invaluable.

    Good luck for your journey!

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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Good call from Scoota on that - get some contact with those in the know and have a chance to see it done well.

  32. #32
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Yeah a course is invaluable and something worth pursuing. Even to get you grinding and dosing consistently. If you get the basics and keep practising and than advance courses from there. That will make heaps of difference and than if you want to pursue this Barista gig even further you can. You in Victoria are you?

  33. #33
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Claire - a suggestion on the thermometer thing. When you are steaming your milk, wrap your hand around the bottom of the jug and take it off feeling the heat of the milk. Take note of what the thermometer is reading when you do this. After awhile you will start to get an idea of what 60 - 65 deg feels like by instinct and will not need the thermometer.

    This is the way I did it, and I also use the too hot for my hands, too hot for my mouth rule too which (for me) is pretty close to the mark.

  34. #34
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    In Sydney, site sponsor Di Bartoli run courses with Hazel De Los Reyes (last years Australian Barista Champ).
    The next one is this Saturday though (short notice - not sure if any places left)

  35. #35
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by scoota gal link=1163237851/15#29 date=1163578038
    My 2 cents worth...

    If you are in Melbourne, Claire, then I think you need to get yourself to Talk Coffee and see if Chris will line you up in a course! I know that that is what Id be doing if I lived down there! ;) Theres nothing like getting some professional help and I think it would help to answer all your questions.

    I dont want to belittle any of the posts that are here, were all pretty correct in what we say to you but I think that there is a lot lost by just reading words on a screen and face to face talking with someone about this is totally invaluable.

    Good luck for your journey!
    Yep I also second that advice to contact Chris at Talk Coffee, I attended a course he ran in Hobart for us Tassie CSs and can confirm that he will be able to help you solve your current challenges, and you will gain the knowledge and confidence to go onwards.

    Regards
    Bullitt

  36. #36
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Chris is a legend- dead set.
    Hell sort you out good and proper 8-)
    RH

  37. #37
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1163237851/15#20 date=1163468226
    I knocked back an instant at my brother-in-laws on Saturday.
    Its done light heartedly atm.
    He asked if Id like a coffee and I replied that it was too far to drive home.
    I dont bother being polite with rellies or in-laws. I just say I dont drink instant coffee.

    Ron

  38. #38
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by clairebbb link=1163237851/15#21 date=1163572496
    3. Is there a shop (actual shop, not online) where can I get a replacement milk thermometer from? (Our other coffee maker lost ours yesterday *sighs*.) I am in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne but am prepared to go pretty much anywhere in Melb to get one - I am going to be a gibbering wreck trying to do the milk without it… I need one ASAP – will be going shopping tomorrow…
    I bought mine from Starbucks - but Im not sure how to use it. It has an outer plastic sleeve (open at the bottom) that has a clip that looks like it supposed to clip to the side of the frothing jug.

    But if I do that, it slows down the speed at which the thermometer reacts. Is it supposed to be used with the sleeve on or off?

    Ill take a pic tomorrow and post it.

    Ron

  39. #39
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Sleeve off. Some of the sleeves have a clip on them like youll find on a pen, but the clip that goes on the side of the jug is usually triangular with holes in it for the probe to go through. Its designed so that the probe sits towards the side of the bottom of the jug so it wont get in your way too much.

  40. #40
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Hi folks and thanks again

    I definitely want to do a proper training course but I dont have much money at the moment and my boss doesnt want to fork out for it until shes sure Im going to hang around in this job - and I am not sure about that myself yet either (I have a second, non-coffee related job which pays better and has better prospects, but I am enjoying the barista job more, well most of the time).

    Weve decided that if after the January break I come back to the cafe and can make a committment for at least six months, then she will pay for me to do the training then.

    In the meantime, an old friend of mine who used to be a barista for years has kindly agreed to come to the cafe tomorrow and were going to spend the whole morning just going over everything I dont know, just making lots of different coffees and milks over and over, changing grinder settings etc. All it will cost is a slab of beer!

    P.S. We found the thermometer - in the fridge. No I dont know how it got there.

  41. #41
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Is good to see you will have some guidance on hand tomorrow which will give you more to practice and to get consistent with. It is good that your boss is atleast open to the idea of training in the future. Who knows you may convert her to a snob one day.

  42. #42
    Senior Member Sketchy's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing coffees at embarrassing cafe

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    […[/QUOTE]

    I bought mine from Starbucks - but Im not sure how to use it. *It has an outer plastic sleeve (open at the bottom) that has a clip that looks like it supposed to clip to the side of the frothing jug.

    But if I do that, it slows down the speed at which the thermometer reacts. *Is it supposed to be used with the sleeve on or off?

    Ill take a pic tomorrow and post it.

    Ron
    [/QUOTE]

    With those you need to cut the plastic sleeve about an inch down from the clip. We use them here and they work well.

    LE



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