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Thread: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

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    Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im sure that this has been done to death so humour me, and get it over with quickly.

    I live in an area where good coffee at local cafes is pretty much non-existent. Even so, I buy one or two cafe coffees per day - or have done until recently. I am almost always disappointed. Ive been watching various local cafes make coffee and pretty much all of them:

    * grind to order

    And, on the whole, use machines with reputable brand names.

    So ... why is the coffee so crap? Why is the coffee so crap at most cafes Australia-wide?

    My view is that its not all that hard to make a very good coffee - maybe not a "God Shot" but very good at the least. Fresh beans, decent grind, well packed/tamped ... voila. A God Shot might well be rocket science, but VERY GOOD (or even excellent) coffee is not. Is it?

    Why is cafe coffee crap (on the whole)?

    CM


  2. #2
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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Lack of training.
    Lack of passion for coffee.

    I hear you. After paying $4.50 for a coffee that tasted like burnt milk with no coffee flavour I decided to get serious about coffee at home. The rest is history.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    OK.
    Milk ... dont get me started on that one. :)

    But it takes about 3 minutes to learn how to tamp a coffee properly. And if the beans are fresh gound. I dont see how its that hard?

    I have a dodgy coffee machine at home. Ill replace it soon. But I have a good grinder and Ive started buying fresh-roasted beans and even with a dodgy machine and no proper training, Im putting out a standard of coffee that is better than 95% of cafe coffee. And Im not very good/only just getting started/am a complete bloody amateur etc etc!!

    Is it a cleanliness issue? Are most commercial machines riddled with old rancid coffee?

    CM

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    machines and grinders too, all coffee flow paths must be clean; anyone who has opened their grinder after some heavy use knows the oil gunk that builds up...

    not only this but the temp of the machine is often not calibrated for the blend and volume that the cafe does, as often as not there is no-one onsite who can (or can be bothered) tweak for best results, which comes down to a lack of quality training.

    when a business has been doing the same thing for ten years it can be hard to make changes, even for the better, without a great deal of will, and if the business is making money then the people who should care often dont.

    i actually think a LOT of people (used to instant or bad cafe coffee) expect coffee to taste bad!

    even people behind the machine often dont know what theyre aiming at, expecting that because they pay for top bean, the coffee will just be good. when it costs nearly a dollar to make a great double shot the impetus to experiment and throw out sub standard shots is lost, and working on it to make a better coffee becomes prohibitively expensive.

    i have a friend who is fairly fussy when it comes to coffee, and until recently she thought the better machine the better the coffee by default!

    all too often its just that the barista thinks theyre really cool standing behind a fancy machine and just fails to give a sh!t...

    >:(

    built up oils start to get pretty rank quickly so heads and handles must be periodically cleaned throughout the day to maintain good flavour, often there is no program in place to assure this happens, or the PBTG think theyre just too busy!! personally id wait happily for an extras minute and a half to get a nice clean cup over a rancid one anyday, but many people just want to order and go... :(

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    I have done a little looking into my small towns coffee making and makers and operators, couple of things that stand out like dogs bits *:o

    Cafe owners tend to come from a food background not a coffee background so they view coffee as a way to value add their food sales and not a carrot to sell food.

    Staff training or lack of is one key, cafe owners spend little or no time training staff either because of lack of abilities on their part or lack of care. Typical coffee training would only be in the order of maybe a 3-4 hour TAFE course as part of a broader hospitality course anyway.

    Coffee purchased month at a time so it looks impressive sitting lined up on the shelf, generally in 3-5kg bags with 1-3kg / day turnovers. Half opened bags stored in the fridge for extra freshness *::)

    Equipment. Just a few observations here as the list of crimes against the humble bean is long.

    Hoppers filled at the beginning of the day and sat next to the machine to get nice and warm leftovers stay in the hopper and are then topped up the next morning. Dosers left fill till the auto shutoff cuts out or in the case of one local the doser is broken so they spoon coffee from the top of the full doser into the portafilter *:o .

    Setting up of grinders "we had our technician here last month and he spent an hour setting our grinder" This is extremely common none of the girls who work for me had ever been told or shown why changing the grind over the course of a day or a bag is critical toward getting a good shot.

    Setting up of the machine. Pressurestats set higher than desirable to make more steam for the 1-2 litre jugs of scalded milk from in some cases 2 group compacts, results in hot shots also total lack of understanding by staff of a cooling flush after sitting idle.

    Tamping "Oh you mean the thing on the front of the grinder" *:D or "Oh that little plastic thing that came with our Expobar" less than 20% of the nearly 30 espresso machine here have a decent tamper or staff who know how to use them !!!

    On scalded milk the non use of thermometers at any stage even to recalibrate hands of more experienced user resulting in screaming milk with milkshake bubbles *:P

    CLEANLINESS !!!! Another whole topic in itself.

    ........ etc etc etc.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    I think the number one reason is that they dont know that the grind needs adjusting let alone how to adjust it.
    This results in gushers of bitter coffee.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Excellent responses. Thank you. I have learned today.

    Question 1 - Ive only ever made coffee at home, so its easy enough for me to adjust/throw things out if a cup doesnt turn out right. So its news to me that when youre making hundreds of cups in a day, that you have to adjust the grind periodically ... is that because the grinder warms/heats up? Whats the reason for this?

    Comment 1 - I reckon that too many people like weak or overly milky coffee, and this helps encourage bad coffee making. But Id hope that whether weak or strong, people can tell when the coffee itself tastes bad.

    But then ...

    CM


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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    CM, re. question 1: as temperature changes through-out the day so to does humidity, which in turn effects coffee which is hygroscopic and wants to absorb the moisture. when starting in the cool of early morning, pours that are spot on will tend to get slower as the humidity increases, the coffee is absorbing moisture from the atmosphere and will stick together more tightly. in professional espresso techniques david schomer recalls the story of working at the onset of a storm, from one shot to the next, perfect to totally choked. while this is a fairly radical change, regular minor adjustments are absolutely required to keep it spot on, assuming all other variables are equal

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    What Zane said :)

    I did a recent outdoor job, Temp variation from 17 in the mornings to high 30s and humidity changes from 30-98%. The grinders were being tweaked almost all day and by big chunks in some cases to get a consistant pour.

    This meant remaking shots in some cases but that is the difference between showing a little care and attention to not giving a damm like in most cases. BTW drank a few of the slow pours (40+ seconds) and they were not to bad either very dark and syruppy :D

    Inside with the Aircon on much less variation in asmospherics so much less playing. As a home user you may still find some variation in grind needed between the beginning of a bag and the end of a bag too. :)

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Great stuff. Thank you.

    Are you referring to a book by david schomer or is that from some other source?

    Thanks again,

    CM

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    yep: Espresso coffee, professional techniques, by David Schomer

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    imo too many people in the cafe industry think they make the worlds best coffee already and therefore have no interest in finding ways of making it better.

    It is arrogance coupled with ignorance and a total lack of curiosity in their work. Im sure I am not the only person who has worked in a cafe whos boss already thinks they do the best coffee in town because they have one factor covered. Ie Most expensive beans or best equipment money can buy. They then forgot everything else that needs to go into a good cup.

    The other thing that might be happening is you just dont like the blends some of these cafes are using, ie dark italian with robusta. There is nothing wrong with this per say. But it has not followed the general trend in specialty coffee that is to roast lighter, bitterness which was once a feature is not as popular anymore. There was a time where if you served up a latte that had no bitterness it would be sent back for being too weak.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Reminds me of the quote "the best farmers are the most observant farmers".

    Some very interesting points raised here. Thanks!

    ;)


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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Where I work the boss thinks the coffee is amazing, the grind does not get changed (I have gone to change it and co workers go what are you doing dont do that you will screw it up), the tamp doesnt fit very well, the machine does not get the settings change. Noone else noticed no matter how it was tamp the coffee was a gusher. But yet lots of coffees still are sold. But it may just be personal preference but I prefer the coffee I make and roast at home, as opposed to that company that supplies the umbrellas and starts with V

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Its really sad how uneducated people are about coffee.
    I hear this alot: "We have to keep LOTS AND LOTS of coffee ground in the grinder because you cant get the correct amount of coffee otherwise"

    As soon as they walk away, I throw out all of that coffee and start fresh :)

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    The reason why most cafes or coffee shops make crappy coffee is because they make their blends for profit. Commercial coffee versus great-tasting coffee that you make with love. Yes, there are good cafes, but you have to pay double or triple the amount it really takes to make one cup. Coffee blends in coffee shops are just way overpriced.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 535E525F5264563B0 link=1269912471/15#15 date=1269956209
    The reason why most cafes or coffee shops make crappy coffee is because they make their blends for profit. Commercial coffee versus great-tasting coffee that you make with love. Yes, there are good cafes, but you have to pay double or triple the amount it really takes to make one cup. Coffee blends in coffee shops are just way overpriced. *
    This a reason for some; but not all.

    Im closely affiliated with a well renowned roaster in my area and the coffee is known for its quality. The beans are sourced for their quality as well as ensured theyre all ethically traded.

    There are some cafes that use this brand of coffee that make the worst swill youve tasted. Why? Not because the coffee beans are crap, but they dont maintain their equipment, they ignore all the free training they were provided with, they pre-grind, they dont take note of the roast date on the bags.

    Quote Originally Posted by 564E4B4B5E4F64565A550D0C3B0 link=1269912471/11#11 date=1269922063
    The other thing that might be happening is you just dont like the blends some of these cafes are using, ie dark italian with robusta. *
    Nothing wrong with an italian style blend, when taken for what it is. I remember having a coffee at a place in South Melbourne from an italian barista. I hadnt had an italian style coffee for a long while, and while my palate has changed, I could still enjoy it for what it was. He was doing everything right, grinding on demand, watching the extraction, using fresh beans (I snuck a peak at the bag) and most importantly; taking pride in his work. And the result was a nice coffee.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Lucky for us on this forum, we have suggested cafes that do serve very good coffees.

    And we all obviously make our own at home :P


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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    When I advertise for a barista, its amazing the amount of people who come in and say they are baristas, yet they cannot adjust a grinder, they are hard pressed to name a single machine or grinder brand they have used, they havent ever heard of a conical burr before, they often struggle to tell me what coffee brands/roasters are respected around town...

    That to me is basic knowledge for being a barista, if you cant answer those few questions, then the chances of the person making a coffee which is respectable, are very slim because they display no passion for their craft

    hence bad cafe coffee. The fact that people on this forum actively try to seek answers to their questions about coffee, shows passion which eventually translates to better results in the cup at home.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C47525C48524748260 link=1269912471/18#18 date=1269990869
    The fact that people on this forum actively try to seek answers to their questions about coffee, shows passion which eventually translates to better results in the cup at home. *
    Or resulted in me getting a job with "no experience".

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E434F424F794B260 link=1269912471/15#15 date=1269956209
    The reason why most cafes or coffee shops make crappy coffee is because they make their blends for profit.
    I would tend to disagree the price differential between rubbish and good blends (not counting really exotics C of E or similar) is actually very little in terms of input costs in commercial coffee. Beans in quantity at wholesale run to around the high $20s to just on $30 for a lot of them so pricing differential is minimal. There is some offered a little lower than that but its just not worth it.

    Scenario for you same beans at two places barista works at both remarks "the coffee we make at !@#$% tastes like rubbish compared to here" place one is run by a chef and her husband "I dont really know anything about coffee" place 2 is owned and run by a Coffeesnob ;)

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5354505F575D48585F56310 link=1269912471/20#20 date=1269995836
    Scenario for you same beans at two places barista works at both remarks "the coffee we make at !@#$% tastes like rubbish compared to here" place one is run by a chef and her husband "I dont really know anything about coffee" place 2 is owned and run by a Coffeesnob
    Valid point.

    A few years ago I was working ion Nth Sydney and found a place serving Campos.
    I tried it once; crap.
    From then on I bought a bag each week to take home as I had no time to source fresh beans otherwise without using the post.

    A reputable brand of coffee on the signs out the front of a cafe is no guarantee of good coffee in the cup.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F64717F6B71646B050 link=1269912471/18#18 date=1269990869
    When I advertise for a barista, its amazing the amount of people who come in and say they are baristas, yet they cannot adjust a grinder, they are hard pressed to name a single machine or grinder brand they have used, they havent ever heard of a conical burr before, they often struggle to tell me what coffee brands/roasters are respected around town...

    That to me is basic knowledge for being a barista, if you cant answer those few questions, then the chances of the person making a coffee which is respectable, are very slim because they display no passion for their craft
    Sounds like someone I know, completely naive to grind, dose, tamp, freshness etc, but can froth milk and be relatively efficient behind the machine. I told her to apply for jobs as a Barista as for most cafe owners think good coffee=good milk texture. She got the first job she applied for.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    I have to share this story here it may or may not answer some questions.

    A while ago my boss and I went to a cafe in a regonal area who wanted to use our coffee cause they love how it tastes when they buy it from our cafe.

    After a 6hr drive we got hit with "we already make the best coffee in town so with your coffee it should be even better"

    we had only just steped behind the machine to have alook and one of the staff said she had to make a coffee for a regular cause he loved the way she made it. so we steped aside and watched

    1.5L milk jug comes out for one 16oz cup. steams the milk to screaming with heaps of areofoam, milk gets put to one side and prepares the shot. just like you would expect. no grinder adjustments here, the guy who installed it done it 18 months ago. and plenty preground and ready to go. no tamp so the 90ml shot takes about 6 seconds mmm yum. by now the milk is no longer hot enough (cause you can actually pick the jug up with you bare hands) ;) so it gets another steaming and now the areofoam actually ends up about 30mm higher than the top of the jug (i think to myself i wish my scones rose like that) milk goes in the cup and out goes a happy customer now the litre of milk is left for the next coffee...

    After as much training as we could cram into 2 days we had most of there bad habbits broken and a cleaning routine in place and they were making reasonable coffee . When we got back I followed up with a phone call and they said as nice as our coffee was it was all just too hard and they were going to stick with there current supplyer. Cause afterall they did have "the best coffee in town"

    just goes to show that ignorance is bliss.

    maybe this is the attitude of your local cafe


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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    This is a bit unrelated to the original post, but I dont think anyone can say they have "the best coffee". Best is a very subjective term. We all know there are so many variables in the journey from crop to cup, and every person has different flavour preferences.

    In the end its all about education and experiencing different origins of coffee prepared in different ways. That is a more rewarding experience than sticking to a blend or origin you believe is "the best" and never trying anything new.

    Coffee is a never-ending journey of exploration. The best cafes rotate origins or at least have a variety available, and i also believe that good cafes will provide a means to learn about those origins, how they are processed etc, even if its just a sign board. Education is good for business.

    I cant imagine anything more boring than drinking the same coffee every day, even if it was the best in town.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Interesting stories - but I think there is another and possibly the most important reason.

    Most customers cant tell a God shot from a dog shot ::)

    While ever no one complains why change the way its done. If people keep buying the crap the "barista" will keep making it - thats human nature ::)

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    @CoffeeMechanic, its really quite sad how many do prepare coffee like that. People just keep adding coffee machines because it will "boost sales" but because its an extra thing they do, they spend no time training staff, or even making sure the coffee machine is prepared.

    I get given so much crap from my co-workers for the amount of time I spend adjusting, and cleaning my coffee machine, but thats because I pride myself on my station, my colleagues see coffee as something extra also.

    I wish people would stop calling themselves baristas just because they make "coffee" for customers.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    You need training to operate in most industries but dont need any training to operate a commercial coffee machine....why?

    I love the fact that in Italy being a Barista means certified training......

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B6E796A6061600F0 link=1269912471/27#27 date=1270036825
    I love the fact that in Italy being a Barista means certified training
    I have a certificate but dont call myself a barista.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Well... There is, another factor in all of this and while most of us try to some extent...

    Most PBTG in a café / coffee shop are not allowed to OR have NFI.

    My bandwith is not back for a day or two... So no pics yet..

    Leeham, picked up a couple of two group commercial machines.. *Now while the better one was on sold or what ever... *I got lucky *;D *and took the other one... Sight unseen and with Leeham only being in a position to give it a basic going over and running it up....

    I must say that Leeham has no part to play other than doing an excellent job in assisting and allowing me to get the unit before Easter *;)

    IN a nut shell... The unit has been used and shows the usual external signs. *No chrome left on the steam wands. Opps they have NEVER had the tip off... Do not ask what they looked like inside...

    I doubt that they OR the service person / company ever *gave it a chemical backflush. *I say again - Do not ask. *Pics of the group solenoid tell the story.

    Group seals had been replaced and a standard gasket paper type packer under the group seal..

    Shower screens had never been off. I say again - Do not ask, pics tell a 1000 words.

    BLACK scale... Dirty BLACK and oily through the whole system.... *Filter - What Filter... Ya it cam with the machine. *What - Ya have to change it ???


    The actual E61 heads were a RFM... *The scale and crud was such that the most of the holes were nothing more than a pin hole at best - if not blocked. Do not ask, pics tell a 1000 words.

    Good quality High end Procom pump... *

    Lets take a Quality Approach... Ask WHY and do it more than a few times... To get to the RC.

    Half the balls had collapsed in the main bearing.. *WHY ?

    1: Water has gotten into the bearing ( Most stop here and replace the bearing / pump = Problem will happen again) WHY ?

    2: Bearing was not a fully sealed type WHY ?

    3: Usually not needed due to the design of the pump and internal seals

    4: Best guess (seen it before) - NO pressure reducer in the water inlet line (should be 350kpa - or their about). Excess input pressure breaches the design and seals *in the pump. WHY ?

    5: Poor install or cutting costs... ( Primary RC = Fit a pressure reducer that is suitable).

    Where does that place us... Well to start with... if the pump was set up at the service centre, it would have had a pressure reducer.. *With no pressure reducer - who knows what the actual values might have been when running ??? *:-?

    RCA suggests - *Lack of Understanding / Focus by the Owner / Manager etc *::)

    So where does that fit in with * "Why is most cafe coffee crap? "

    Incorrect *install / cleaning and lack of attention to key components that many Baristers / PBTG may assume are correct *OR are not allow to touch = CRAP COFFEE *8-)

    PICS to follow in my rebuild post...


    PS. Leeham, any hints as to where they came from... Cause I do not want to go there for a coffee - regardless of the BEANS or the PBTH....







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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    AM i ran that machine and made 1000s of coffees a day for my loving customers, i have the best coffee in town..... whats your problem.......
    the profits it turned due to never needing service were fantastic $$$$$ CA-CHING.....

    that rubbish about machines pulling 200 shots an hour is way underestimating the performance that can be had out of one of these babies.

    Mate pressure reduction...???? how you gonna punch out shots in 10 secs with only nine bar ??? you need serious pressure profiling to get em moving..... run a 2 inch line to it to speed things up.

    dont wash out the oils!!! dont you know you never wash a tea pot same goes for coffee machines.....

    ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

    anyway I did have 2 of them from the same place and was told by the owner that his service *(i peeled off some "service" stickers) man said to him. "just replace them, dont bother with service" so he did with two Boemas ????? And then the owner said, he thought these are way better machines.....???

    they came out of a "well regarded fish and chip" restaurant here in SYD, imagine how the kitchen might function in regards to cleaning.... *

    Its not the 1st time i have bought a machine where the owner has said something like that about the service techy. Not saying all are like that but a few cowboys are around in all games

    As for AM buying it, it did concern me buying "unseen" i *normally would not sell or by something that way. i did send 20 odd pics and made videos but yes you cannot see inside the boiler.....

    there was no pressure reducers on any hoses i got, i would say they had one under bench with the filter but just left it for the next install..

    No i did not drink any coffee from it !!

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 565A535E5E573B0 link=1269912471/30#30 date=1270075078
    AM i ran that machine and made 1000s of coffees a day for my loving customers, i have the best coffee in town..... whats your problem.......
    the profits it turned due to never needing service were fantastic $$$$$ CA-CHING.....

    that rubbish about machines pulling 200 shots an hour is way underestimating the performance that can be had out of one of these babies.

    Mate pressure reduction...???? how you gonna punch out shots in 10 secs with only nine bar ??? you need serious pressure profiling to get em moving..... run a 2 inch line to it to speed things up.

    dont wash out the oils!!! dont you know you never wash a tea pot same goes for coffee machines.....

    ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

    anyway I did have 2 of them from the same place and was told by the owner that his service *(i peeled off some "service" stickers) man said to him. "just replace them, dont bother with service" so he did with two Boemas ????? And then the owner said, he thought these are way better machines.....???

    they came out of a "well regarded fish and chip" restaurant here in SYD, imagine how the kitchen might function in regards to cleaning.... *

    Its not the 1st time i have bought a machine where the owner has said something like that about the service techy. Not saying all are like that but a few cowboys are around in all games

    As for AM buying it, it did concern me buying "unseen" i *normally would not sell or by something that way. i did send 20 odd pics and made videos but yes you cannot see inside the boiler.....

    there was no pressure reducers on any hoses i got, i would say they had one under bench with the filter but just left it for the next install..

    No i did not drink any coffee from it !!
    giggled like a schoolgirl... After I read the first few lines... Ya had me worried there for a moment :-/; Leeham ;)

    As to above... Assumptions.

    Bugger me... Consumables a machine may be... But the lack of cleaning does nothing for the product in the cup.

    Go here for some slack pics etc.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1270002934/1#1


    What ever the outcome... It has been a great road todate.

    PS. Leeham - PM Ya account details and the final $$$... I have goods I have not paid for...

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C293A214F0 link=1269912471/13#13 date=1269944047
    Where I work the boss thinks the coffee is amazing, the grind does not get changed (I have gone to change it and co workers go what are you doing dont do that you will screw it up), the tamp doesnt fit very well, the machine does not get the settings change. Noone else noticed no matter how it was tamp the coffee was a gusher. But yet lots of coffees still are sold. But it may just be personal preference but I prefer the coffee I make and roast at home, as opposed to that company that supplies the umbrellas and starts with V
    Same 3... this is why I dont say where I work in the public forum - I would be mortified if a real snob came in expecting a good coffee and got our "standard" - Hot, weak, made in a dirty mess, and on old beans.

    I can fix the hot and weak part, but the old beans is a permanent issue and I get flicked off the coffee machine when the bosslady decides she is tired and just wants to froth milk for a bit. Then my clean workstation get covered in exploded milk and spilt grinds.

    It irritates me no end that working on the coffee machine is seen as the "easy" job and that she has just trained 3 new people to make coffee just like her. I have regulars come up and say "Im sorry but we had to take a coffee back the other day. It was that bad. Arent you training them?"

    Im getting very sick of working here to be honest. Anyone know any places in Newcastle or Lake Macquarie that might actually want a person behind the machine that knows a bit about coffee and takes and care and pride in its presentation?

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Exactly why I havent either mel, I also told my friends do not go there unless they want a hot chocolate.

    But then when you get people who come in and want their milk burnt horribly, it screws up the whole pattern you get going to make a nice smooth consistent coffee and or milk.

    I had some woman come in yesterday and ask for her coffee hot, so I got pretty much as hot as the milk could get, not hot enough, remake her the whole coffee, this time have steam pouring off the milk and as hot as I could possibly get it, again not hot enough. I think she was just drinking the foam but what would I know :P

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5306150E600 link=1269912471/33#33 date=1270079211
    I had some woman come in yesterday and ask for her coffee hot, so I got pretty much as hot as the milk could get, not hot enough, remake her the whole coffee, this time have steam pouring off the milk and as hot as I could possibly get it, again not hot enough. I think she was just drinking the foam but what would I know
    I love being in control and ownership of the gear, I refuse to scald milk :) I get to put lines like this on the bottom of my coffee menu If you want Syrups, Flavors or 16 oz Buckets of coffee flavoured milk you are in the wrong spot. and thats the more polite version ;D

    In truth if a customer wants coffee a particular HORRIBLE manner due to having a little time I am happy to talk to them about why it is done a certain way by us, instead of their way. Still guilty of having to prepare the odd single shot in 12 oz but under sufference. But where possible education of the customer over time results in better results and more hapiness all round.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3037333C343E2B3B3C35520 link=1269912471/34#34 date=1270083242
    I love being in control and ownership of the gear, I refuse to scald milkI get to put lines like this on the bottom of my coffee menuIf you want Syrups, Flavors or 16 oz Buckets of coffee flavoured milk you are in the wrong spot. and thats the more polite version

    Good work! Its people like you (and myself ;) ) helping build specialty coffee in Australia, keep up the fantastic work!!

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Have really enjoyed some of the stories this thread has produced. Thank you all.

    CM

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    I have been a barista in a reputable coffee chain on the Gold Coast for the past three years where everything is cookie cutter as it is in chains, but we are trained to do the most basic jobs including grinder adjustment, how to get the best out of your milk and yes basic hygine and cleaning. I recently decided to expand my horizons out of the coffee chain and had a few interviews at a few different cafe around the coast and the lack of this basic knowldge was shocking. I totally agree with what Muppet Man said about the big headed baristas. Im not bragging or anything, but I was runner up in our in house barista competition and went on to compete in the state comp and in no way am ready to stop learning and improving. I am a real believe in never settling for what is in front ouf you, but to go and find out more. It really is sad to see some people coasting through life settling for what they have...

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A65607D65040 link=1269912471/37#37 date=1270170763
    have been a barista in a reputable coffee chain on the Gold Coast for the past three years where everything is cookie cutter as it is in chains, but we are trained to do the most basic jobs including grinder adjustment, how to get the best out of your milk and yes basic hygine and cleaning. I recently decided to expand my horizons out of the coffee chain and had a few interviews at a few different cafe around the coast and the lack of this basic knowldge was shocking. I totally agree with what Muppet Man said about the big headed baristas. Im not bragging or anything, but I was runner up in our in house barista competition and went on to compete in the state comp and in no way am ready to stop learning and improving. I am a real believe in never settling for what is in front ouf you, but to go and find out more. It really is sad to see some people coasting through life settling for what they have...
    Well said. I work for a group of specialty coffee stores and if i ever stop searching for something better, or a way to better myself as a barista then i will leave the industry. I think the problem sometimes is alot of people use barista as a fill in job whilst at uni and things like that. We usually only hire dedicated professional people who are already great at their job, or who are wanting a career out of coffee.

  40. #40
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6364606F676D78686F66010 link=1269912471/34#34 date=1270083242
    I love being in control and ownership of the gear, I refuse to scald milkI get to put lines like this on the bottom of my coffee menuIf you want Syrups, Flavors or 16 oz Buckets of coffee flavoured milk you are in the wrong spot. and thats the more polite version
    I think youve been pulling that lever a bit too much.

    Its not that I dont have limits eg. I just dont stock 16oz cups, though I think the above type of attitude and way its presented is a bit off. All very well for you to prepare drinks the way you like, but what about the customer?

    If you offer sugar, or allow milk for that matter, then you have learnt to justify what you feel is acceptable but shows youre not as much of an espresso purist as you think you are.

    By all means, provide customers with information. Briefly, I had a customer the other day who likes her coffee with skim and one. I made it for her and made another with whole and none, and asked if she would like to try it. She agreed, said it was nice, but still preferred the skim and one.


    Quote Originally Posted by 6C646D6862686E7472010 link=1269912471/32#32 date=1270078302
    Im getting very sick of working here to be honest
    Im very sorry to hear that Mel, particularly as it didnt seem all that long ago that there was excitement in your posts when setting up the new gear.

    I guess its time for you to visit a few places, sit and order, observe, then consider if youd like to work there before thinking of applying. From what Ive read of your posts, and just instinct, youre my type of Barista!


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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 18393232352F5C0 link=1269912471/39#39 date=1270177535
    If you offer sugar, or allow milk for that matter, then you have learnt to justify what you feel is acceptable but shows youre not as much of an espresso purist as you think you are.
    Far from being a purist Dennis, my normal brew is a double shot Latte and not an Espresso ( I drink them too) when using a machine, I even add sugar from time to time.

    As indicated that is the bottom line after A LOT of positive information on drink choice and selection, taken in isolation fell free to think it a bit off, but without knowing the rest of whats written your assertions on the bottom line without knowing the full context are somewhat misplaced.

    I am a Coffee purist and thats the point of difference I choose to make with what I am doing, others in town are serving up buckets of milky hazelnut skinny mocha frapichinos and I make no apologies for not doing them and if that costs me then so be it.

    Bottom line is its my bottom line and I and the snob within me are very comfortable with it :)

  42. #42
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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6067636C646E7B6B6C65020 link=1269912471/40#40 date=1270193804
    Bottom line is its my bottom line and I and the snob within me are very comfortable with it
    As AM would say "its whats in the cup that counts" now we can add "and whats in the bank adds comfort" :D

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    This is true ;) Dark and Syrupy mainly topped with milk was whats in the cups and about 3 kg for the day today in the [s]bank[/s] till and the sun was shining too 8-)

  44. #44
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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 04252E2E2933400 link=1269912471/39#39 date=1270177535
    All very well for you to prepare drinks the way you like, but what about the customer?
    I see it as beanflyings point of difference.

    If you want a hamburger you dont go to KFC.

    The customers that dont like his way have plenty of other choices Im sure.

    Theres a pizza joint that says something like "no half and halfs and no pineapple etc etc".
    They do it "their way".
    You need to book to get in and takeaway is a long, long wait.
    The quality is there in the pizza just as Im sure there is quality in the cup at beanflyings.

    Horses for courses - Customers for cafes.

    You know Dennis that youve had customers that havent been happy with your way of doing things (even if it was their fault).

    I say the customer is not always right.

    And whats that old saying?
    "You cant please everyone so you may as well please yourself."

  45. #45
    Senior Member bennett's Avatar
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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1C203D262C2D3A2F272C480 link=1269912471/43#43 date=1270196553
    I say the customer is not always right.
    Im in the minority with my friends, when I stick up for the soup nazi type of restauranteur or cafe owner.

    I am sick to death of whinging customers who think they know everything - and I dont even own a cafe, Im just an angry customer sticking up for the barista/chef/restauranteur who takes pride in their work.

    Its funny you would think that a soup nazi approach would mean less customers, but the pizza restaurant TG is talking about is probably the busiest in Sydney and they dont take sh*t from anyone !

  46. #46
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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F484C434B415444434A2D0 link=1269912471/40#40 date=1270193804
    taken in isolation fell free to think it a bit off, but without knowing the rest of whats written your assertions on the bottom line without knowing the full context are somewhat misplaced.
    Well yes, I left out the part that said its the polite version. I think you may have left out the full context. ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F484C434B415444434A2D0 link=1269912471/40#40 date=1270193804
    Bottom line is its my bottom line and I and the snob within me are very comfortable with it
    I dont disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7945584349485F4A42492D0 link=1269912471/43#43 date=1270196553
    If you want a hamburger you dont go to KFC.
    I really dont get this comparison and find it patronising. When I step up to a coffee machine I expect a coffee. If I happen to ask for the milk a little cooler (and I have a customer who does), or a little warmer than the arbitrary 60 degrees, I dont want a freakin science lesson from the barista. Not that 90% of them know anything about coffee anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F4843434859592D0 link=1269912471/44#44 date=1270201046
    Its funny you would think that a soup nazi approach would mean less customers
    Are you referring to me? If so, maybe you could tell me what I wrote to give you that idea.

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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    It sometimes means less customers, but it usually means people that are more willing to spend more money at the business because they are loyal.
    Id spend more money at a place that has a higher standard.

  48. #48
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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 48696262657F0C0 link=1269912471/45#45 date=1270206809
    Are you referring to me? *If so, maybe you could tell me what I wrote to give you that idea.
    No Dennis, Im actually saying the complete opposite. If youre not a Seinfeld fan, the Soup Nazi was a master soup chef, who didnt bow to his customer requests - but his soup was so good people would line up for it anyway.

    If a customer asked you for a scalding hot cup of coffee would you texture the milk to 85 degrees and give it to him? I would hope not, I would just tell him to go elsewhere. As a community we shouldnt bow to public pressure, just because thats what the public wants and fear that if you dont give it to them business will suffer.

    In my experience, businesses that have a GREAT product and a f*ck off attitude still do quite well and the customers that complain are usually the type of tight wad customers you dont want anyway.

  49. #49
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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Quote Originally Posted by 527378787F65160 link=1269912471/39#39 date=1270177535
    Quote Originally Posted by 6C646D6862686E7472010 link=1269912471/32#32 date=1270078302
    Im getting very sick of working here to be honest
    Im very sorry to hear that Mel, particularly as it didnt seem all that long ago that there was excitement in your posts when setting up the new gear. *

    I guess its time for you to visit a few places, sit and order, observe, then consider if youd like to work there before thinking of applying. *From what Ive read of your posts, and just instinct, youre my type of Barista!
    Thanks for the kind words Dennis - I was really excited and used the opportunity of shiney new equipment to really lift my game and make better coffees but unfortunately its made me the number 1 target for my supervisor. Im of the opinion youd want as many people making the best coffee they can, but this woman really wants to be the star of the show and I guess it doesnt sit well with her. Otherwise Id be quite happy to keep working where I am. I love my Wega, I love my Mazzer, I love my A-team co-workers, club money is a good days wage.

    Ive just heard tonight that we have a new food and beverage manager - if he can see the value of good coffee, there might still be hope.

    I can only think of a couple of places that offer the kind of coffee Id prefer to be doing and theyre all right in town (45mins thru traffic),

    Plan C: coffee cart ... and make my own rules ;) Much to be said for that I hear.

  50. #50
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    Re: Why is most cafe coffee crap?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 18393232352F5C0 link=1269912471/45#45 date=1270206809
    Thundergod wrote on Yesterday at 19:22:
    If you want a hamburger you dont go to KFC.


    I really dont get this comparison and find it patronising.
    Dennis I am always careful what I write and I think you know me well enough that I wouldnt intentionally be patronising towards you.

    The sentence quoted was meant to highlight that different businesses specialise in different goods.

    KFC sells chicken, McDonalds sells hamburgers.
    If beanflying wants to sell his coffee his way then whats the difference to what KFC and Maccas do?



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