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Thread: I hate third wave coffee..., stop serving it to me please!!!

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    I hate third wave coffee..., stop serving it to me please!!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    It seems that all the caffes around my office in the CBD of Melbourne serve third wave !

    i can't stand it in my latte or as an espresso, especially as I don't take sugar.
    David Jones cafe in little Collins street (you know which one) is close to my office but I refuse to go there now. It's crap!!!!
    i want dark chocolate and cocoa flavours in my coffee not mouth puckering acidity, and thin body.
    I've stopped buying coffee and started using my plunger in the office.
    I'm tired of fads , and third wave is a fad!

    Third wave is fine in alternative preparation methods, but for espresso it's just wrong!
    That's my rant, it's a Friday so I think I allowed to rant!
    have a great weekend fellow coffeegeeks
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    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Try Black Velvet Espresso, serves a great coffee IMHO.
    address i'm unsure I just know where it is

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    Maybe I'm wrong here but my interpretation of 'Third wave' means to produce high quality coffee from production to the cup so not sure what there is to hate.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    You're referring to it's original ( American ) definition.

    The term 'Third Wave' was first coined by "Trish Rothgeb (formerly Skeie) of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters first wrote about the third wave of coffee in a November 2002 article[1] of The Flamekeeper, a newsletter of the Roaster's Guild, a trade guild of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Nicholas Cho of Murky Coffee further defined the third wave of coffee in an often-referenced online article[2] and earlier in his interview in March 2005 on National Public Radio's All Things Considered program.[3] "

    Above quote from Wikipedia.

    It seems that some adopters of the 'third wave' philosophy also embraced a certain roasting style ......................

    hence the argument here in Australia.

    In America they were ( and still do in places ) roasting their coffee well into second crack, or even more. So, for them, stopping

    the roast before second crack was a complete revelation of what coffee could taste like.

    Some just stop the roast too soon........( for espresso).

    Coffee is in a continuous state of flux with no set rules, just periods of fashion and tangenital directions; some of which become eventual dead ends.
    Last edited by chokkidog; 6th March 2015 at 12:15 PM.

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    TOK
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    Had an espresso in town a couple of days ago, in an upmarket restaurant. The coffee was "traditional" espresso style, very well made and a very good cup. The difference between it and the "I wanna do it my way and choose to roast too lightly" brigade, is that the espresso presented to me was well balanced and had a good bottom end (body). I enjoyed it for what it was, and cough cough....it tasted like...."coffee". There was no pretence for it to taste like anything else.

    Anyone that is truly interested in coffee should be able to handle sampling and enjoying the different styles presented around and about.....AS LONG AS THEY CUP WELL, and one of the problems with so called 3rd wave in this country, is it seems to be the domain of snooty noses who are positioning themselves to take the high moral ground in coffee....and when all's said and done, its all about money.

    And while a small, nothwithstanding loud, group of coffee fascists arugue around and around about what is "good" coffee, the majority of coffee drinking consumers don't have a clue (and don't necessarily need to). All they want to know, is that their lartay tastes ok. The coffee and cafe industries are going through a lot of heartaches, to satisfy a minority of people. No doubt this improves the standard of quality for all, but many need to take a broader approach to all this.

    Whatever. Remember, it doesn't matter what it is AS LONG AS IT CUPS WELL. And good golly gosh, some people also need to remind themselves that excellent coffee can be had from the many good brand regular machines, not just the brands that have been appropriated by those wanting to take the high moral ground on equipment (as well as coffee) and reinvent the market to suit their own back pockets (demand / sale of equipment...note comment above...its all about money), even if it started out as something well intentioned.

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    TC
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    And that's it in a nutshell for me. When it becomes about ego and arrogance, the cup (and the paying public) always suffer.

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    Interesting article: Sour Coffee Limits the Potential of Specialty Coffee | HoneyCo

    ..."Higher quality green coffee, a beautiful seed to cup story, and having your coffee prepared by highly skilled baristas is all for naught if the final product is simply not enjoyable."

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    TOK
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    Well spotted Chris
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    A good idea would be for the roaster to supply the barista with a "bright batch" and a "darker batch", along with a couple of grinders, and offer the public a choice so that they the public can choose.That would solve all problems.
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    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Except that then a roaster with 50 grand worth of grinders on loan now has 100 grand worth out there.
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    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbeano View Post
    A good idea would be for the roaster to supply the barista with a "bright batch" and a "darker batch", along with a couple of grinders, and offer the public a choice so that they the public can choose.That would solve all problems.
    I dont think its a matter of letting the public choose to solve the problem...

    Prior to the introduction of third wave I don't feel it can be argued that coffee was served darker for the more espresso type and has been this way for longer that the third wave craze can remember. I say craze as I think third wave will only be a crazy that may eat its self from the inside out sooner or later. Im not saying im a great roaster as i still have alot to learn however i feel a good roaster can roast darker than the third wave coffee and still maintain many of these characteristic the bean has rather than losing them through roasting to dark.

    Just my opinion.

    Cheers

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    Selective cafes to start with,and you will soon know how economical the trial is.Start with 10 and let the public decide,after all they the public supply the moolah in the first place.To lose one regular customer will take twenty five newbies.And whats a couple of grinders worth, based on the volume of the cafes? 1000kgs plus per annum x $27-$35kg verses a tax deductable grinder and a satisfied regular customer base. Im sure the customer would appreciate the option.The grinders can always be used again or sold on.

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    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    I guess what im trying to say is, what ever trial is done, its only taking into consideration the now and not the future. My view personally is it wont last into the future to warrant a trial. I have trialled it at work with just who know not much about coffee but know what they like. Im back to roasting some where more on the verge pf second crack or somewhere in between FC and SC.

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    This trial concept is a bit crazy.

    Anyone who thinks that they can do better than the status quo, are free to enter the market themselves. If the market decides they are right (and they run their business well) then they might see success, and create a new "craze".

    If they are not right... well they can always enjoy the company of the other 90% of the market producing crap coffee.
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    mds
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    Unfortunately the90% of the market who produce crap coffee seem to do quite well and they have a larger chunk of the coffee pie.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Crikey elbeano! You're joking right? Tongue firmly in cheek?

    The sort of roaster with the deep pockets full of grinders that you're

    referring to wouldn't give a rat's for the trial you're suggesting.

    And the roasters who get asked the two question interview ( How much is your coffee? and ......

    What do I get for "free"? ) wouldn't be about to cough up anything to freeloaders dipping their toes in the water.
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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbeano View Post
    A good idea would be for the roaster to supply the barista with a "bright batch" and a "darker batch", along with a couple of grinders, and offer the public a choice so that they the public can choose.That would solve all problems.
    One of the problems with letting the public choose is that people like Tony Abbott and George W. get voted into office. Seems to me that these same punters would be just as likely to choose the wrong coffee for the wrong reasons as well. More problems created that solved I'm afraid.

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    Why spend 5-10 minutes of your life explaining to each existing customer why they are going to like this new light fruity brew,only to have them lose confidence in their favourite barista.All because the roaster is dictating how it should be.We all know the hugely wicked margins roasters make,so a couple of grinders spread through the pointy end of the coffee consuming community aint gonna make bugga all to their bottom line.In fact,brownie points and good karma are guaranteed,along with respect from both the barista and paying public.To offer options of the same bean is just common sense.Every industry offers variations of the same base product these days and its time the Australian Coffee Industry follows suite.......and as far as politics go,its the systems in place that allow these leaders in that is the underlying problem.
    From Third Wave Coffee to Australian Politics,aaaaarrrhhhh.
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    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbeano View Post
    We all know the hugely wicked margins roasters make,so a couple of grinders spread through the pointy end of the coffee consuming community aint gonna make bugga all to their bottom line.
    Interesting perception, I did not know that?

    GrahamK
    Last edited by GrahamK; 10th March 2015 at 05:04 PM.
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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    It never ceases to amaze me how often the totally clueless deem it their duty to share their view of reality with those who truly know. Good luck with that attitude... you'll certainly need some.
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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbeano View Post
    Why spend 5-10 minutes of your life explaining to each existing customer why they are going to like this new light fruity brew,only to have them lose confidence in their favourite barista.All because the roaster is dictating how it should be.We all know the hugely wicked margins roasters make,so a couple of grinders spread through the pointy end of the coffee consuming community aint gonna make bugga all to their bottom line.In fact,brownie points and good karma are guaranteed,along with respect from both the barista and paying public.To offer options of the same bean is just common sense.Every industry offers variations of the same base product these days and its time the Australian Coffee Industry follows suite.......and as far as politics go,its the systems in place that allow these leaders in that is the underlying problem.
    From Third Wave Coffee to Australian Politics,aaaaarrrhhhh.

    If you truly believe that the net (rather than gross) margin of coffee roasters is abnormally high for the risk involved, what's stopping anyone from jumping in and undercutting them and making a tidy profit?

    Increasing the number of grinders out on loan affects both a) the bottom line (via repairs and depreciation or however you want to allocate those costs over the life of the asset), and b) the investment required to generate whatever profit there is (i.e. the return on assets / equity). Both are pretty clearly relevant to business decisions.

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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    I think if I were crazy enough to set up a cafe and had extra deep pockets, I reckon I'd have…

    • A "house blend" of richer (more traditional) espresso blended beans for milk based drinks running through a planer grinder like the Super Jolly (I miss the richness and cocoa notes of the FWs I used to get from my M4).
    • Then perhaps a slightly lighter single origin through a conical for the long black/espresso drinkers.
    • Then maybe a lighter again S.O. through another conical for pourover/aeropress etc.
    • Then a smaller planar for decaf.

    This combo should give most camps a good range of option - depending on how they like their coffee

    But this would be a very big setup for most.
    If I could only have one grinder and one range of beans? I'd probably go the first - I imagine white coffee drinkers would far outweigh most others in cafes … and 3rd wave really doesn't cut through milk from what I've found…
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  23. #23
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbeano View Post
    Why spend 5-10 minutes of your life explaining to each existing customer why they are going to like this new light fruity brew,only to have them lose confidence in their favourite barista.All because the roaster is dictating how it should be.We all know the hugely wicked margins roasters make,so a couple of grinders spread through the pointy end of the coffee consuming community aint gonna make bugga all to their bottom line.In fact,brownie points and good karma are guaranteed,along with respect from both the barista and paying public.To offer options of the same bean is just common sense.Every industry offers variations of the same base product these days and its time the Australian Coffee Industry follows suite.......
    In order to introduce some balance to this now totally stupid "discussion", I'm afraid someone has to chime in and say this:

    You obviously have no experience in roasted coffee biz or your wouldn't be making these kinds of uninformed comments. To spell that out, you obviously have absolutely no clue as to the running costs of a fully fledged roastery and what pays for what inside the system, and your comments are ignorant not to mention insulting to anyone associated with coffee roasting business.

    The ideas you are coming up with have been tried time and again and have been proven in the great majority of cases in my experience to do absolutely zippo for a roastery other than to cost it more for no apparent gain. People are in business to derive an honest living, not to play anonymous academics in coffee forums or to hold the hands of clueless cafe owners that that wont take responsibility for anything they do. Cuppa no good? Blame the roaster. Get real.

    And with regard to: "...the roaster is dictating how it should be...." What planet are your from? For some years now roasters have dictated absolutely NOTHING in the majority of cases and it is the cafe clients that dictate what they want including a full set of freebies. The cafe dictates what coffee they want to use according to their own set of misguided paramaters (everyone knows that roasters know nothing and barista's know everything these days...). This includes the coffee beans & how much they want to pay for them while still getting the full catasrophe of freebies.....the actual real life idea being, if you don't give me all this stuff and the price I want to pay, the next roaster will.

    These pages need to be restricted to people that know what they are talking about rather than have uninformed comment from people looking in from the outside OR if you like, buy yourself a roastery then take a look from the inside of a real business.

    Quote from Vinitasse above" "...It never ceases to amaze me how often the totally clueless deem it their duty to share their view of reality with those who truly know. Good luck with that attitude... you'll certainly need some...."

    Well said.
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    From an outsiders point of view, id just like to throw in this:

    If I went to a cafe and it was explained to me that I had to pick which beans I wanted as some people like it this way and some people like it that way, this one's lighter and this one's darker etc., I would feel like the batista was lacking confidence in his product.

    To me, we go to a particular cafe because we know that this batista produces an amazing coffee and had chosen this well balanced blend to showcase their skills (that or we just need a quick fix). That's why I'm paying for this product. I trust these basic decisions have already been made for me and unfortunately the ones who would actually find this concept interesting, would be the vast minority.

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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by depecid View Post
    If I went to a cafe and it was explained to me that I had to pick which beans I wanted as some people like it this way and some people like it that way, this one's lighter and this one's darker etc., I would feel like the batista was lacking confidence in his product.
    Or knows his product well

    Would you like to be given the choice of a rich, dark chocolate espresso or a light, citrus & floral, herbal tea-like pour over?
    Very different beans, often requiring very different roasting - and very different results in the cup (sometimes ugly!) if you mix them up

    The best aeropress black coffee I've ever had came from a batch I mucked up and roasted too quickly for espresso (making it too sour). And my best espresso roasts are usually too 'roasted' in flavour to make a good AP when I've tried them. I don't think I've ever found a true 'one size fits all' coffee or roast profile.

    So the question is - would you like that choice?
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    I think many folk who are just consumers of coffee (not coffee snobs or coffee connoisseurs) would possibly find being offered this and that, this way and that way intimidating... A lot of people when they go to get coffee just want a coffee! I know that perhaps over simplifies things but there's some truth in it I believe. When I used to drink instant coffee at home, and flat whites when out, I hardly ever ordered anything else because I didn't really know much about it. I basically knew FW, lartays, capps were coffee & milk but no more than that, and LB & SB were black, I didn't really even know what espresso was. After getting a Moka pot I sort of had an idea of what espresso was (albeit stove top style). Even then I was nervous about ordering my first short black! What if they ask me something and I look like a fool, what if I sound like a twit ordering it etc etc...

    I understand much of that was "me" issues but surely I'm not the first person to be overwhelmed / intimidated by ordering coffee. If they asked me to choose beans when I ordered my first SB, I think I would have said never mind make it a flat white. I'm generally a fairly confident sort of person.... Now I've got no worries about ordering anything off the coffee menu, ristretto, piccolo latte, whatever no problem...

    I'm not sure if I've got my point across very well here but hopefully you get the general idea.

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    Not sure if this is off topic, but I had a haircut the other day.
    she said "ok . What would you like ?"

    i said. I don't care , just get it out of my eyes.

    now they may be talking about me at hair snobs.com but if I had to pay an extra amount to have the hairdresser decide how I want my hair , I'd pay it.

    i like having a variety of beans to choose from in a specialty cafe however, but the 90% of coffee consumers just don't want to be arsed with the decision, and I can understand that.

    what I like in a cafe is a barista who has made a thoughtful decision about a (large or small) range of coffees, and I can trust them. A la designing by coffee.


    and my hair looks just great, thanks for asking.
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  28. #28
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortblackman View Post


    and my hair looks just great, thanks for asking.
    If only you were taller?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    So the question is - would you like that choice?
    Sorry I forgot to imply I was talking about espresso, flat whites, lattes etc. as that is what the majority of the paying public are after.

    As a snob, however, yep I would 100% rather a bean roasted for its purpose.
    And if that means it should be roasted lightly to get the best out of it, then I trust your professional judgment.
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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by depecid View Post
    And if that means it should be roasted lightly to get the best out of it, then I trust your professional judgment.
    And I guess that's the key point in the above third wave rave - many professionals are now saying "Melbourne Pucker Face" is the only way to drink espresso, using beans roasted in a way more suited to filter, and many snobs are now saying "bollocks to that!"
    I guess we'll continue to vote with our feet - and keeping home roasting!

    But like you, I'll stick to a more traditional espresso thanks
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    Senior Member mwcalder05's Avatar
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    First post here in ages so here is my 2 cents. If you don't like the coffee that a cafe is serving - don't go there! End of story. Stop complaining about the third-wave-sour-Melb-face-craze and go back to Starbucks! Or, if you want to be extremely helpful, when I was making coffee I loved feedback. I loved it when customers said that they liked the coffee but even better when they said they didn't like the coffee. It gave us something to work with. Instead of complaining here anonymously, how about you face up and tell someone who cares like the person who made the coffee for you.

    Rant over. Nothin to see here folks...
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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwcalder05 View Post
    "Stop complaining about the third-wave-sour-Melb-face-craze and go back to Starbucks!"
    My turn now...

    The quote above pretty much sums up a lot of what is wrong with the whole third wave thing... a superior than thou attitude which suggests if you don't like it sour then you really just don't have a clue. As someone with a professional clue I can tell you that the espresso coffees that are truly worthy of respect, and consumption, lie in a very happy place between I'm-so-hip-I-reek-of terroir-sour and Starbucks.

    My rant now over.
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    Senior Member mwcalder05's Avatar
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    Ok, maybe Starbucks was a little too far, my apologies. But anyway, I used to work in a place that serves a roast that has been taken a little bit further for those milk drinks and people who like a full-bodied espresso and two other single origins which probably have a more acidic character. I don't see what's so hard about some '3rd Wave' cafes swallowing some pride and serving a different type of coffee.

    I think this is where places fail because there is no education or interaction between the barista and customer. My point before was that a lot of rants on this forum shouldn't be here but given (more politely) as feedback to the barista. If he/she is still arrogant and pretty much doesn't give a toss, then go somewhere else.

  34. #34
    Caffeinated kopigeek's Avatar
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    It's just coffee. Enjoy.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by depecid View Post
    If I went to a cafe and it was explained to me that I had to pick which beans I wanted as some people like it this way and some people like it that way, this one's lighter and this one's darker etc., I would feel like the batista was lacking confidence in his product.
    Would you feel the same way about a steakhouse who offered a choice of doneness? Or a teahouse that also served coffee and cold drinks? Or any restaurant offering red and white wines?

    Light and dark-roasted coffees (can) offer completely different flavours, and for people with any sort of clue, having those options available means being able to select something you're more likely to enjoy. A cafe can't objectively make the "basic decision" for the customer between light and dark roast any more than they could between apple and blueberry pie.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    A cafe can't objectively make the "basic decision" for the customer between light and dark roast any more than they could between apple and blueberry pie.
    Agreed. They can't. It's actually the role of the roaster to roast to get the best possible result from bean stock. The cafe has the opportunity to choose which pie or pies they purchase.

    Example: I see baristas furiously stirring soy in the hope it won't curdle when added to the house milk coffee blend and I feel sorry for them. It doesn't have to be that way. The "we don't do soy (or whatever else) because it doesn't work with our coffee" throwaway lines are a cop out.

    When it becomes a p!$$!ing contest to see who can roast the lightest, the result in the cup all too frequently goes out the window. Somewhere along the way, somebody forgot that filter (or cupping) roasts in the main just don't work that well in milk or as espresso. You can roast for fruit and not have lemons. Heck, even I can do it!

    Great beans too frequently butchered. Perhaps some of these places could offer complimentary antacid to go with the water on the bench!

    Quote Originally Posted by mwcalder05 View Post
    But anyway, I used to work in a place that serves a roast that has been taken a little bit further for those milk drinks and people who like a full-bodied espresso and two other single origins which probably have a more acidic character. I don't see what's so hard about some '3rd Wave' cafes swallowing some pride and serving a different type of coffee.
    That you did . The one espresso I had there was Melbourne lemon through and through. Not your fault mate as you guys were doing your utmost with the beans you were provided. Nevertheless, one visit was enough.

    A little "pride swallowed" to make a superior coffee? No brainer. Lemons are brilliant in marinades, meringues and even with tequila.
    Last edited by TC; 11th March 2015 at 06:47 AM. Reason: tpyo ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    Would you feel the same way about a steakhouse who offered a choice of doneness? Or a teahouse that also served coffee and cold drinks? Or any restaurant offering red and white wines.
    Interesting point, but I don't agree with the comparison.

    As we know coffee does not keep like those wines, or cold drinks, but has a small window if opportunity.

    I frequent a café where they have 5 different beans on the wall where you can pick what you want, and make a blend if you see fit.

    Cool!

    However, I've never seen anyone order any of these beans. It's always "ill have a flat white thanks". Which makes me wonder how long those largee tubes of beans sit there for. Same goes for Jamaica Blue, I've always wanted to try there higher priced grand cru bean, but I've never heard anyone order it and I wimp out last minute as I expect it to be stale.

    I completely understand where you are coming from, but I don't live in a cbd and while there are plenty of awesome cafes around, the regular clientele that I've encountered just want a coffee.

  38. #38
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    Everyone drinks the coffee they deserve

  39. #39
    Coffee Nut fg1972's Avatar
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    I work in the CBD and have pretty much stopped going out for coffee apart from meetings because I find the boutique cafe scenes far too complex when it doesn't need to be with far too many options.
    Just my opinion when there are loads of options and variations, I find none of the things offered are perfected.
    I believe in keeping it simple but must be of the highest quality just like an authentic Italian pizza with only 2 - 4 quality toppings instead of 10 processed ones on some bland dough.

    Ordering a coffee seems to be like,

    Attendant, "What would you like sir?"
    Me, "I'll have an espresso please"
    Attendant, "This week we have single origin beans yada yada, yeah yeah, something or other from timbuck too, southern highlands, some place where it's hot blah blah"
    Me, "I prefer a blend"
    Attendant, "well we have 3 x blends this, that and the other"
    Me, "I'll have something that tastes like coffee please"
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  40. #40
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by depecid View Post
    -snip-

    You're talking about SOs for sale and a business model that doesn't guarantee fresh stock. That is a different animal to having a number of specific beans "on tap" tailored to fit a few popular flavour preferences.

    If a cafe offers a "lighter roasted, fruity SO" and a "darker roasted chocolate/etc blend", then what's to make you think they'd have problems keeping stock fresh? If it were me (a pleb consumer) I would advertise each on a blackboard, use the blend by default and use the SO whenever it was asked for, partly because I find smooth sweet medium-dark blends to be far more neophyte-friendly and also because anyone asking for the SO specifically is unlikely to bring the drink back complaining that the flavour profile isn't to their liking.

    After a few weeks (or however long) you should have a *reasonable* handle on average throughput on each type of bean. As long as you're only dealing with a small number of options, it's not much different to keeping fresh beans in stock for one "type", as long as sufficient demand exists. It probably wouldn't, out in the styx, but if you're not dealing with enough people who are "into" coffee, then you wouldn't want to offer apecialty options anyway.

  41. #41
    mds
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    I am actually enjoying this thread. However, we have to remember that we're CoffeeSnob and we expect great coffee. So just like any other product, if you don't like it don't buy it and vote with your feet.
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  42. #42
    TOK
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    Originally Posted by fg1972
    I work in the CBD and have pretty much stopped going out for coffee apart from meetings because I find the boutique cafe scenes far too complex when it doesn't need to be with far too many options.....
    Ordering a coffee seems to be like...
    blahblahblah...
    Attendant, "well we have 3 x blends this, that and the other"
    Me, "I'll have something that tastes like coffee please"

    Well said.

    Something that all the coffee politicians in this thread dont seem to understand (because they dont work in the business OR where they do they only work in 1 cafe rather than a roastery that has experience of servicing many cafe accounts) is that only a small percentage of coffee sold is for want of a better term, destined for "snob types", and what you have well annunciated in your post, is spot on.

    Most people dont want to go to a "show", they just want to buy a good tasting cuppa and be left alone. They dont want to be interviewed by the shop assistant behind the machine and given too many choices, they want a cuppa / coffee in a cup. Sorry I know that's is an outrageous concept to understand here...They actually dont give a fig where it came from, who processed it or whether it was done by vestal virgins between the ages of 19 and 24.7 years of age. In fact, it is a well known fact that the cafes that pull the crowds artleast initially, are the ones that have had a squillion spent on their fit out...even if that was to spend a lot of money, to make it look like there wasnt a lot of money spent. You then populate the place with a certain style of cafe workers, and the crowds will come atleast at first, to see what is going on. Its about the imagem portrayed...and "the show".

    This is a concept that a lot of people here seem not to understand bwecause they are coffee consumers, not business developers, but as has been stated above, most of the commentators are not IN the biz they are only looking in from outside and only get to see what the smoke and mirrors are designed to let them see, and the image in many places is created by some very savvy business entrepeneurs with lots of capital behind their developments, and who are busy driving the market into thier back pocket and their bank accounts. These are people that are skillfully pitching to their market and the coffee is just the most convenient vehicle for their business plans at the moment.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, just that some anonymous academic forum posters opinions dont seem to have any sense of reality in some of their observations.

    and

    Originally Posted by Dragunov21
    ... a business model that doesn't guarantee fresh stock.....



    Exactly, and that is by far the greatest proportion of what happens out there in cafe land, as learned through a considerable period in my coffee roasting business, servicing cafe clients that wouldnt listen but wanted us to run with their great ideas, that may have had a chance to work if they did it properly and took some responsibility, but they wouldnt, and expected their roaster supplier to do all the work for them... As I keep saying in roundabout ways, the "coffessnob" concept is a minority concept. It works well where it works well, but in the majority opf cases it is not where most of the coffee is sold, in any case as I stated a bit further up, the thing that draws the crowds at least at first is the concept image of the cafe ("the show"). If you have a crappy image cafe, no one will come for the coffee even if its gold plated. And frankly when a cafe is busy, the last thing they need is to complicate their life playing 20 questions with every single client while they push their particular brand of coffee politik on their clients. Money in the till guys, and by whatever means is easiest.

    and

    Originally Posted by trickydicky2
    Everyone drinks the coffee they deserve



    Could have let this go but...

    The coffee world, is made up in our country of 3 general groups: growers / roasters / cafes, with a miriad of differences within each. It has become quite complex and requres a measure of understanding by level headed experienced people that can think laterally and clearly.

    As such I find the comment, in terms of its context as a block of unexplained text on a screen, to be extremely condescending, offensive to the coffee drinking public.
    Last edited by TOK; 11th March 2015 at 09:41 AM.
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  43. #43
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    I think you can only lay so much blame for initial ignorance on the members of what is, after all, primarily a consumer forum. If they choose to argue with those who they should realise are speaking from experience, that's another matter...

    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Exactly, and that is by far the greatest proportion of what happens out there in cafe land, as learned through a considerable period in my coffee roasting business, servicing cafe clients that wouldnt listen but wanted us to run with their great ideas, that may have had a chance to work if they did it properly and took some responsibility, but they wouldnt, and expected their roaster supplier to do all the work for them... As I keep saying in roundabout ways, the "coffessnob" concept is a minority concept. It works well where it works well, but in the majority opf cases it is not where most of the coffee is sold, in any case as I stated a bit further up, the thing that draws the crowds at least at first is the concept image of the cafe ("the show"). If you have a crappy image cafe, no one will come for the coffee even if its gold plated.
    To clarify, are you saying that in your experience, maintaining fresh bean stock is not particularly crucial to customers of the average cafe (ie will not affect flavor enough to drive them out) because only snobs care, or are you saying that you have had clients who have failed due to a need to run with their own overcomplicated offerings, which resulted in failure to maintain fresh stock?

  44. #44
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    What a fascinating thread. Well worth hearing the varied opinions of people on both sides of the counter, and those in the factory!

    For my rather small second crack, I'll add what I've noticed. I'm a very small (slightly above hobby) and new roaster in country Vic. We've experimented with various options of blend and SO presented to the public and have quickly found that served on a machine (as opposed to retail bagged) having a single, reliable blend for milk based coffee quickly became the norm. Any time we present a 'menu' of coffee on grinders the public just get confused and flustered. Note: I did say country Vic, so we are talking a different audience to CBD Melb here. But simply, 1 out of 50 customers even consider that they could choose the flavour profile of their coffee. They just want a good cup. And as we know as roasters/baristas, you are judged on every cup. My experience is they judge you on your choice of blend that you offer - they don't want to choose, they want you to choose for them - and choose well.

    So in retail form we offer all the usual choices (the mindset/customer is different there) but as a drink, just 1 milk focussed blend. It also allows us (being new) to work on it week by week to improve it and shape it, rather than dabbling about in lots of cool lemony areas and never making anything exceptional.

    I will take away from this thread the idea of a dedicated espresso blend however. But just like decaf, it is 1 in every 50 orders so volume and freshness is a challenge.

    But to somewhat agree with the thread's sentiment - the "SO Ethiopian that tastes like blueberries" just doesn't sell down here. I can buy bags of it and make us all dance about the cupping table in joy but regular coffee drinkers just don't want to drink it. We did an introductory cupping class with some regular customers recently and one person upon blind cupping a stunning Guji (which was easily the most $ on the table) said "This isn't even coffee. It's disgusting whatever it is - but it's not coffee".

  45. #45
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    ...
    To clarify, are you saying that in your experience, maintaining fresh bean stock is not particularly crucial to customers of the average cafe (ie will not affect flavor enough to drive them out) because only snobs care, or are you saying that you have had clients who have failed due to a need to run with their own overcomplicated offerings, which resulted in failure to maintain fresh stock?...
    Good question.

    I believe the business model needs to be "set up" properly to offer a (small) variety of different coffees. Most often the failures have been where "regular" cafes have just got an idea they should put say...4 containers on a wall and offer their clients a choice. Their staff are not up to it. The cafe owner/manager doesnt deliver the required training to make the sales or have product knowledge or follow up with their staff, etc. For these reasons the idea falls on its head, also because when they are busy they do not make the offering of choice to their clients, the coffee goes stale, its no good, the concept fails. And....some of them want their roaster to come in and rotate stock around for them etc etc etc. Unless the idea is conceived and carried through properly, in a location or type of cafe where the concept/idea is more likely to work, it aint gonna work. You cant plonk this into a "regular" cafe, while you can design this into the more up market cafes that are catering to "snob" clientelle...it just cant be done carte blanche.

    And of course the cafe owners/managers attitude to this is crucial.

    And you know what....if the salesman (read barista) behind the counter spins a yarn to a client about the vestal virgins that picked the cherries, their cousion sold it to his cousin who took bag of coffee lovingly on his steamer to the port of Sydney where he sold it to his brother in law in the little roastery behind the shipyard who lovongly roasted it and delivered it by horse and cart to this cafe etc, the likelihood is he will probably get away with pushing a coffee of average quality onto a client and they will probably like it and return for more. Not everyone is a super cupper, most have milk, and that is just "sales". How many cafe owners forget to rotate the stock, spend an hour mixing old with new bags of beans out the back, and the show goes on. These are the practicalities of life.
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  46. #46
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    This is an excerpt from an article that some might be interested in that has nothing to do with coffee but the subject of CHOICE
    http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/bsc...er.Revised.pdf When people have no choice, life is almost unbearable. As the number of
    available choices increases, as it has in our consumer culture, the autonomy, control, and
    liberation this variety brings is powerful and seemingly positive. But the fact that some
    choice is good doesn’t necessarily mean that more choice is better. As we will
    demonstrate, there is a cost to having an overabundance of choice. As the number of
    choices people face keeps growing, negative aspects of having a multitude of options
    begin to appear. As the number of choices grows further, the negatives escalate until,
    ultimately, choice no longer liberates, but debilitates
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  47. #47
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg41 View Post
    This is an excerpt from an article that some might be interested in that has nothing to do with coffee but the subject of CHOICE
    .....As the number of choices grows further, the negatives escalate until ultimately, choice no longer liberates, but debilitates
    Great post thanks for that.

    **********************

    At my "local" (a high quality fresh roast coffee house), they know me well and I only need to ask for "one" and it is done. The same every time. and of very high quality. And that is all I want from "it". Cupping for adjudication of many different types of beans, is not like simply enjoying a cuppa for what it is, for a 5 minute break from work, over a social meeting etc.

    There are many many consumers like me. They just like it like they like it, don't necessarily need a choice, and don't want to be preached at by counter staff. They just want their coffee.
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  48. #48
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    We have about 60 employees in our office and a good 75% of them drink coffee daily.

    They have a choice--instant for free, pod for $1, or my home roast for 75 cents. Only 3 people (and I'm one of them) drink my home roast. The rest can't be bothered grinding or spending the time to make an aeropress or presso, their priorities are: fast, hot, cup full of milk.

    If you don't like what is being served to you in a popular place, you are too far out of line to be profitable--go elsewhere. If the coffee is sour from a light roast, the average customer just adds more sugar.

    Greg
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artimus View Post

    But to somewhat agree with the thread's sentiment - the "SO Ethiopian that tastes like blueberries" just doesn't sell down here. I can buy bags of it and make us all dance about the cupping table in joy but regular coffee drinkers just don't want to drink it. We did an introductory cupping class with some regular customers recently and one person upon blind cupping a stunning Guji (which was easily the most $ on the table) said "This isn't even coffee. It's disgusting whatever it is - but it's not coffee".
    I'd quite happily take it all off your hands.



    For a beer analogy, more people will go out and buy a carton of Tooheys New, than a nice locally brewed APA, a Belgian ale or a German weizen. 10 yrs ago you would never have even seen the latter on tap in WA.

    Access and exposure is just the first step.
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  50. #50
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    For a beer analogy, more people will go out and buy a carton of Tooheys New, than a nice locally brewed APA, a Belgian ale or a German weizen. 10 yrs ago you would never have even seen the latter on tap in WA.

    Access and exposure is just the first step.
    I feel like this isn't the whole story. With beer, even the most ignorant consumer knows that there are different types with significantly different flavour profiles, even if it's a matter of seeing Guinness and thinking "that's the strong(ly flavoured) bitter one".

    I get the impression that people who aren't into coffee generally don't even realise/consider that coffee has a significant range of flavour possibilities (beyond adding syrup or ordering different drinks). Ironically, I feel like K-cups and (more recently) Starbucks may be the biggest factors in bringing "origin" and different natural flavour profiles into the broader public consciousness.



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