That's ridiculously poor form if they are in fact doing that..
I drop in occasionally to a small place to order a takeaway flat white, maybe once every two weeks (I split my time between 4-5 different places). I have been dropping in there for around 4 years now.
In the last 6 months, I have noticed that if I get there during a quiet time, I order my coffee and a short period of time later, sometimes <60 seconds, my order is ready. Without hearing a grinder, any shots being pulled, or any milk being steamed.
Case in point this morning - I ordered and then moved across to look at the newspaper which is right in front of the grinder array. No one operated a grinder, yet I get my order in a minute or two.
This has happened the last 5 times that I can recall going during a quiet period. My hunch is that they are pulling shots and keeping them warm somehow, ditto for milk. If so, I would imagine this is poor form?
In terms of the quality of the drink - it was about a 6/10 but I do recall it being better once upon a time.
Just wondering - is this something that cafes sometimes do? Or is this one just being lazy occasionally?
I should note that when I got there it didn't look like they had just had customers, which would explain possibly not hearing milk steamed (they might use just-steamed milk leftover from a large jug). Anyway - this has happened too often to be a coincidence like a just-pulled shot that didn't end up being used in a previous order, or leftover just-steamed milk etc.
Anyway - I was just curious as to whether anyone else had ever observed something like this?
That's ridiculously poor form if they are in fact doing that..
Is the cafe one of those run down take away shops in the middle of an industrial estate? If so then this is perfectly normal and you can keep going there but make sure you don't enquire or sit down in the direction that they are putting together your coffee as they might get upset. If not, then sit looking towards the coffee preparation area and that should give you a clue as to whether they are extracting and grinding. 5 coffee's went by like this you say? Boy they must be very secretive in their coffee preparation. All the best P.I.
I'm not sure why you are going back there. If it were me, they would have only been given one chance at making a coffee.
I just might lean across the counter and give the barista the death stare as they make my order. :-) Yeah, just thought it was interesting and wonder if anyone else had come across the practice. Could be worse, I remember asking for an espresso in a bar in San Sebastian (Basque area of Spain) late one night a few years ago at my mate's Bucks night and I swear the guy pulled the shot through a spent puck that had probably had a few shots already pulled through it. Probably serves me right for asking for an espresso at a bar at 2AM.
Maybe the barista has remembered your order and already has it nearly made by the time you pay?
They might have pre-ground their coffee for the 'rush' coming after you leave. For a flat white they might easily just use the hot milk from a previous order. But I can't see any way they could get a possible 6/10 without actually pulling a shot.
I'd be watching them closely and be buggered what they think - you are paying for the coffee. And if they try to serve in anything other than normal fashion I'd be asking for a proper coffee and if they give anything other than a proper shot, say, 'Thanks, but no thanks. I am a CoffeeSnob member and I want a decent coffee. Bye now" and walk out.
If you, as a CS member, are willing to accept such treatment, what chance has the average Joe got of getting a decent coffee?
Under normal circumstances I'd say you're right, but if they have sunk so low as to be doing what TheVard thinks, who gives a toss what they think> Just walkimg away lets them keep getting away with it - market forces don't work unless the market actually uses them. Shitty product should be commented on just in case it gives them motivation to improve.
And I did say, "And if they try to serve in anything other than normal fashion I'd be asking for a proper coffee and if they give anything other than a proper shot" so they have 2 chances to do it right BEFORE you say anything.
*grins* Unless you're not proud to be a member of a coffee group?
Do I discuss my membership of CS with anyone and everyone who will listen, very seldom.
As far as using my membership as reinforcement of my knowledge of things coffee in a cafe situation, wouldn't dream of it, judging by some of the misinformed posts we see go up here, CS membership certainly does not imply any degree of expertise whatsoever, in some cases exactly the opposite.
About the only expertise membership of any forum guarantee's is the ability to type ones name and click a few buttons in the right order.
Last edited by Yelta; 15th May 2013 at 10:43 AM.
You should be proud Yelta, as posting on CS seems to be your life, I swear you must post atleast once on every new thread?
@David8 - there is a difference between commenting on a friend's attempts at coffee and that of someone selling you a product. If a mate comes round to help with a garden job and messes up, I wear it, but if I hire a gardener and pay good money and he stuffs up I want a proper discount or a replacement/restoration.
*shrugs* As for pride, there are different levels - telling a so-called barista you are a member of a coffee group is not boasting, it's letting him/her know you might know what you are talking about. And I repeat, this was not a boasting situation this was about what to do when after 2 tries at getting a decent coffee for which you are paying. There's a major difference in taking pride in what you do and bragging to score off others.
I'm not a "CoffeeSnob", I'm a guy who posts on a forum and makes coffee occasionally. It's just a drink dude, not a way of life. Motorbikes, on the other hand...
During my brief stint in a local pub making their coffee, I had a guy come back and tell me he owned a cafe and my coffee was far too strong for the average drinker. So I made him a coffee that approximated what he normally drank, Nescafe 43. He complimented me on the way out and promised myself never to go to his cafe for a coffee.
So yes, Dragunov, I know from whence you come, but again I point out in the scenario in preceding posts, the 'barista' has had 2 opportunities to bother getting a decent coffee from his machine. I don't see anything wrong with pointing out I'm not your average yobbo who thinks International Roast must be good because it has 'International' on the label.
If someone complains about the coffee, surely the first thing a real barista does is ask how they would like it? e.g. "I asked for a lawn mower and this Husqvarna chainsaw will not let me cut my lawn." "oh, OK, then here is a Stihl chainsaw" - would you just walk out or would you have something to say? Like, 'I've been gardening for 30 years and I've never seen anyone use a chainsaw to cut the lawn."
I must do OK at it - I have sent back wines, meals and coffees and never had a bad reaction - it has to do with tone, choice of words and using assertive language. (as opposed to aggressive) Done right and the vendor learns something. Done wrong and you're all probably correct in what s/he will think of you as they spit at you.
It really depends on whether you want to invest in that feedback relationship.
If you feel like it's worthwhile then yes by all means give feedback.
But if you are dealing with someone who doesn't care, is there to collect a wage and is on their iphone for 3/4 of the shift, then telling them it wasn't that good will do nothing because they don't know how to do any better nor are they inclined to take the necessary steps to satisfy you.
When I lived in the western burbs of brisvegas there was a local cafe that used to always do doubles but set one aside for the next customer. She didn't give a shit what I thought (you could see the look in her eye....) and while their coffee wasn't the best it was still a lot better than what I could get within 5km's. If they don't get it they don't get it, no point trying to edumacate them.
Must have been a little tone lost/made up somewhere along the way; it is absolutely possible to give constructive feedback or simply let them know that you're pretty unimpressed with their offerings. Claiming status as a member of some obscure (to the average person) website with "snob" in the name is probably not the most effective way of going about it.
Possibly you didn't mean it literally, but when I read "Thanks, but no thanks. I am a CoffeeSnob member and I want a decent coffee. Bye now" I couldn't imagine taking anyone seriously having said that.
OK. This calls for a proper test. I'm getting on a plane to Perth this arvo, and will be spending a few days buying coffee in cafes where there's zero chance that I'm known. I think I'll simply approach the counter, strike a pose like an actor from Georgian England, and wait. Then when they've had as much as they can take, I'll begin with "I'm a coffee snob member, and I want a decent coffee". Apologies in advance to any other members in the queue at Bench Espresso.
You've been around a little while longer than me Fatboy, 2004 well done, wonder how Wynton87 would define you, maybe coffee tragic.
I love it when someone comes into my cafe and announces that they really love their coffee and or they're very passionate about it because it gives me an opportunity to showcase what we do
And yes we've had a few coffeesnobs through and some have introduced themselves as such - and to me this is just a common curiously and a nice way to establish a common interest - but I expect that to the uninitiated announcing that you're a member of a coffee forum will probably generate either mild amusement or slight dismay
Personally whenever I go somewhere new I always check out the barista at work before I order my coffee - and if I see them taking any shortcuts I simply walk away ...