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Thread: Recent experience at Cafe in Sydney - gram of Coffee per cup?

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    Recent experience at Cafe in Sydney - gram of Coffee per cup?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there,

    I'd like to relate a recent experience I had this week and hoping if someone can shed some light on it.

    I decided to try a cafe around the corner from my work Sydney's Central area. This particular cafe sells their own house blend at $3.50 per cup as well as a 'guest blend' at a 50c premium making it $4.00 per cup. In my opinion this is extortionate given this meant I was paying $4.00 for a Piccolo... anyway I couldn't refuse by this stage... it would've been far too embarrassing.

    Anyhow (and I'm no coffee expert), but on dosing my coffee into the basket, I noticed the barista had only filled it up to be less than 1/2 - 3/4 full when compressed. I questioned him "Excuse me, but could I ask if you have used a 'full shot' of coffee in my Piccolo? Because I do not want a Piccolo size beverage with the strength of a latte..." He continued to make the coffee not adding extra saying that it would taste 'bitter' if more were added to the small cup and he tried to reason by saying "To get the best taste out of each coffee, we have to determine how many grams to use for each blend, as this differs"... He went on to add "so would you still like a full shot?" but as I noticed he had already started extracting I replied "yes I would like a full shot but with the appropriate amount of coffee... I do not want you to simply over-extract the coffee."

    I queried further... "OK, so what the difference with your house vs guest blend" and he said that per shot they use approx 21g for house blend and 19g for guest blend in order to achieve the "best flavour" possible some beans require less per shot. Instinct told me he was taking me for a ride and on tasting the finished product I have to say the flavour was sub-standard, with the strength of a FW almost.

    So my question is, Is this true? Do baristas alter the amount of coffee per cup to achieve the 'best flavour' per individual blend? Personally, I felt a bit ripped off paying $4.00 for a 'less than full shot' of coffee with a dash of milk but if this is usual practice then at least in future I can leave the poor barista alone to do his thing without questioning what amount 'I deserve' or at least paid for. If this is not the case, then it appears some dodgy things are happening to increase margin.

    Thanks!
    Dan

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flaminstuff View Post
    So my question is, Is this true? Do baristas alter the amount of coffee per cup to achieve the 'best flavour' per individual blend?
    Yes.

    Having a squiz here may help explain it.

    Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste - Tips and Techniques • Home-Barista.com

    I don't know what the breakdown is between consumables and labour/overheads in the average cup of coffee, but cutting down dosage by a few grams in a double wouldn't make much of a difference to the bottom line, I'd suspect, and if the coffee was noticeably poorer then that would certainly impact the bottom line negatively.

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    Recent experience at Cafe in Sydney - gram of Coffee per cup?

    They definitely weren't doing it to save money, I'd say they genuinely thought it was a better way to make coffee with that bean.

    Of course that doesn't mean the coffee was actually any good, just that at least one person thought so.

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    It is reasonable and they coffee probably did taste better done that way. You can only really take their word for it as its down to the baristas personal taste at what dose the coffee tastes bests. Using lower doses can help bring out more sweetness in very fresh or lightly roasted coffee.

    **abuse edited by Andy - Keep it nice!**

    For them to be using a dose that much lower I can only guess it is a very light roasted coffee which are often generally best drunk black rather than with milk.
    Last edited by muppet_man67; 26th April 2013 at 06:32 PM.

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    Wow.

    Actually in no way was I trying to be a pain, in fact our conversation was absolutely non-argumentative. How and why you think he would vent over the situation after me asking a few questions about coffee is ridiculous and completely beyond me. He was actually a nice man and having others respond to answer that in fact 'it is' normal practice for baristas to do this, I now have every reason to return.

    I was the first to admit not being a coffee expert which is the reason I asked the question and it's the whole purpose of these forums isn't it?
    My post was just to understand if this was normal practice... that's it... so if you have problem, then that's your problem. No skin off my nose mate.

    Finally, I suggest you release some of that angst somewhere other than on people.... you sound like a real gem to be around.

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    TC
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    Me thinks it's time for a decaf guys....
    Dragunov21 likes this.

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    Tgif......

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    The above is exactly why I don't go to cafes as a general rule... I won't say which part of the above, but I get enough sass from the mrs to keep me in my place. And the coffee's usually better too!

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flaminstuff View Post
    Wow.

    Actually in no way was I trying to be a pain, in fact our conversation was absolutely non-argumentative. How and why you think he would vent over the situation after me asking a few questions about coffee is ridiculous and completely beyond me. He was actually a nice man and having others respond to answer that in fact 'it is' normal practice for baristas to do this, I now have every reason to return.

    I was the first to admit not being a coffee expert which is the reason I asked the question and it's the whole purpose of these forums isn't it?
    My post was just to understand if this was normal practice... that's it... so if you have problem, then that's your problem. No skin off my nose mate.

    Finally, I suggest you release some of that angst somewhere other than on people.... you sound like a real gem to be around.
    Chillax dude; it's kinda like someone jumping on a chefs' forum and asking whether the chef at your restaurant was trying to pull one over on you by only using a little bit of spice/wasabi/whatever. Read what he wrote again and you'll find it's the most detailed/informative reply in the thread.

    If I was a barista and some dude came up to check I wasn't short-changing him on <10c-worth of beans, I'd be having a rolled-eyes chuckle about it with my mates later on. Don't take it personally.

    After you've been doing a job long enough, you screw up rarely enough that your life is vastly improved if people who haven't are asking for re-dos 0.1% of the time rather than checking if you're doing it right.

    Ask yourself this - did the coffee taste as good or better than other places that charge $4 for a piccolo? If the answer's yes then you've gotten your money's worth. If not then you can grab your next one at the other said cafes instead.

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    Senior Member Bernsbrew's Avatar
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    Flamin asked a perfectly reasonable question of the barista in his quest for a decent coffee, what's wrong with that? The coffee was substandard, so (s)he now knows to ask for a bigger dosing. Flamin took exception to muppet_man67 calling her/him a pain in the arse. Muppet_man67 should publicly apologise because the abuse was insulting, personal, undeserving and out of place on this forum. Failing an apology, Muppet_man should be suspended until he undertakes to treat others with more respect. Over to the mods.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Bernsbrew should probably take him/herself a bit less seriously and come chill with the rest of us mere mortals who can handle ourselves without getting offended at every opportunity.

    (Also, lack of tone on the internet's a pain, ain't it? )

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    Apologies Flamin. The post has been edited by Andy and I've made further changes, We are all here to learn and discuss.

    To keep it constructive
    Guest blends and S/O are often chosen because they are outside the norm, they are usually not chosen as the house blend precisely because cafe owners know they wont be to everyones tastes and they might not work well in all the drinks served. They are there as something different or special and to keep the regulars interested.

    Further, 19gm in a double is a pretty standard amount, this would be considered updosing if they were using the standard baskets most machines come with. The fact they are using 21gm for their house blend tells me they are likely using larger than standard baskets, not the kind of thing penny pinching establishments would normally do.

    On broader costings, wholesale supplied quality coffee varies greatly in price but its quite possible they are paying up to $10 a kg or more extra for guest coffee. Thats going to add about 20c more per double (if they don't use single filters) There is also extra wastage and effort involved in guest blends from having to dial in a new coffee every few days.

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Well Done Mods/Poster - that last post (which is no longer there) was unacceptable.
    R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hey no worries mate.. thanks for the explaining, that makes complete sense.
    Cheers



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