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Thread: Coffee article in the Sunday Age

  1. #1
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    Coffee article in the Sunday Age

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Mariner's Avatar
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    Good article, entertaining too. Recently went to the US and on parts of the west coast at least (California to be exact), the specialty cafes are overflowing with beards, moustaches, spacers, tattoos, buddy holly style glasses, 10 different brewing methods (espresso must be so yesterday) skinny jeans and cardigans.

    However, I can handle being a 40yr old has been at any cafe as long as the espresso is good

    I like that one of the baristas in the article talked about making customers the drink that they asked for. Within reason I agree with this. A good barista can certainly vary those several critical inputs to reproduce flavours for a wide variety of consumer tastes - even if it wouldn't be considered optimal by my, or anyone else's standards. There are several coffeehouses in the US where you are not allowed have sugar in your coffee because they don't think it needs it. That's a bridge too far for me, a bit too hipster.

    I also liked that it was important to her [the barista] that her customers left her establishment happy. I believe that it isn't only about the coffee but about the interaction and relationship that goes with a good cup of joe that is equally important.

    I like a barista who has the dedication to their craft like the soup nazi but not the attitude. Great article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    (espresso must be so yesterday)
    I think a lot of these hipster baristas wish espresso was so yesterday, but I reckon 98% of the coffee drunk in these 'leading edge' cafes is espresso-based.

    As for not allowing sugar, that's hilarious. I personally don't like sugar, a good coffee is more than sweet enough for me, but the unbridled egotism that's rampant in some of these cafes cracks me up. I know you're referring to cafes in CA, but you occasionally see similar attitudes here, such as a certain well know cafe in Melbourne not doing decaf, skinny or soy.
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    It's easy to judge, but all cafes have reasons for the approach that they take, every cafe is looking for their own unique niche in what is an increasingly competitive cafe market. The fact there is a diversity imo is a good thing.

    For example, cafes like Patricia's in Melbourne where they offer whit black or filter. For them it makes perfect sense. They get to serve coffee how they think it tastes good. They back themselves on on it. By simplifying their coffee menu, it allows them to make more cups an hour more consistently.

    On the other hand, other cafes that promote a culture of "whatever the customer wants" are going to attract different customers, they will have a business in offering a more personalised kind of service. I don't think its fair to say one is right/wrong or hipsterish. Proprietors are essentially making commercial decisions and they will either work to commercial benefit or they will not. If those decisions don't work they wont last.

    There is a fair bit of negativity collectively often slung at coffee professionals on the internet, often from home barista's. In no other profession I can think of do people demand so much expertise for a product that is made by hand, and costs so little to buy. It's made by people who put years into learning a craft so they can be rewarded with a wage marginally above the minimum rate but often below it, when you consider that most cafes are non-compliant with weekend penalty rates. We work in coffee because we love the challenge, the industry and serving our customers.

    I thought the article summed up well what my experience has been with most melbourne coffee professionals I have met. They are humble people, mostly wanting to provide excellence in the service their customers experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by muppet_man67 View Post

    There is a fair bit of negativity collectively often slung at coffee professionals on the internet, often from home barista's. In no other profession I can think of do people demand so much expertise for a product that is made by hand, and costs so little to buy. It's made by people who put years into learning a craft so they can be rewarded with a wage marginally above the minimum rate but often below it, when you consider that most cafes are non-compliant with weekend penalty rates. We work in coffee because we love the challenge, the industry and serving our customers.
    Yep I agree wholeheartedly that coffee represents amazing value. To have someone go through the process of grinding, dosing, steaming, etc, and sometimes for as little as $3, not to mention the cost of hardware and running costs, I challenge anybody to name a service that comes even close to delivering the same value.

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    ...... "Sorry, our coffee is so sour that you won't be able to drink it as a ristretto"

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon View Post
    Yep I agree wholeheartedly that coffee represents amazing value. To have someone go through the process of grinding, dosing, steaming, etc, and sometimes for as little as $3, not to mention the cost of hardware and running costs, I challenge anybody to name a service that comes even close to delivering the same value.
    Yeh. It amazes me that the green bean gets here at the price it does (which is one reason why consumers who can afford to help out should at least think about it). And at the wholesale/retail end it's a pretty tough game too.
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon View Post
    Yep I agree wholeheartedly that coffee represents amazing value. To have someone go through the process of grinding, dosing, steaming, etc, and sometimes for as little as $3, not to mention the cost of hardware and running costs, I challenge anybody to name a service that comes even close to delivering the same value.
    And not to mention the (nearly always) third world farmers who grow the green stuff in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    ...... "Sorry, our coffee is so sour that you won't be able to drink it as a ristretto"
    Had a chuckle about that one too. Enough said....... (after deleting numerous comments about heads and orifices) 8-O
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    ...... "Sorry, our coffee is so sour that you won't be able to drink it as a ristretto"
    So long as this statement is backed up by really good tasting espresso, I don't really see the problem. I think there is a bit of a misquote going on too. If you read between the lines he suggests that if you made a grind adjustment to get a tighter pour it would be drinkable.

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    What they saying on FB.

    St Ali
    " We totally understand why consumers ask for a Ristretto. They're looking for a richer, heavier mouthfeel. This is created by stopping the shot before too much dilution has occurred. With darker roasts (eg. Allpress) the coffee is much more soluble, and so a barista will stop the shots shorter (aka Ristretto) to 'dull' the roasty/bitter characters in the coffee that are unpalatable in a more dilute 'espresso'. To achieve a full and sweet extraction of delicately roasted coffee, a barista must pass a little more water through the grounds. This results in a slightly more dilute, but much more nuanced and enjoyable drink.
    We always give the customer what they want, but sometimes they might not know exactly how to order it. That's why we give them the espresso on the side, instead of lecturing them about solubility and sourness. "
    Mariner and muppet_man67 like this.



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