Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Articles: CoffeeGeek Columnist Feedback
How to Spot a Quality Cafe by Mark Prince
Cafe Solutions
Commercial sales and service, nationwide installation, equipment leasing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Articles > Columnist... > How to Spot a...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 4 of 4 first page previous page
Author Messages
MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,609
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 4:29pm
Subject: Re: How to Spot a Quality Cafe by Mark Prince
 

I don't want to be facetious here, but what came to mind about steel in brewing vs. steel in serving is the 5 second rule (though it's longer in coffee brewing lol).

I am assuming that steel's reactive nature to coffee is a slow one (steel is a reactive alloy metal - all metals, except gold, are reactive, IIRC). The reaction level (plus seasoning) of steel in filters, in espresso machines, in grinders, etc, (all the steel that touches coffee before it gets into a cup) is low. Plus all these bits of steel are seasoned - they've been in touch with coffee for a long time, and have not have soap and other things rinse that contact away. Just water + heat takes care of things like bacteria, etc.

Coffee sitting in a steel cup, one that's faced soapy suds many times, will see a reaction to a bare metal, that coffee going through a portafilter and grouphead made out of steel will not. Just a guess, but I think it's probably accurate.

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
goobers
Senior Member


Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 1
Location: AU
Expertise: I love coffee

Drip: Aeropress, v60
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 4:12am
Subject: Re: How to Spot a Quality Cafe by Mark Prince
 

Roasters that have been around for a long time is almost always a good indication of a cafe to avoid (the older ones tend to be a bit old school). They often have the biggest branding and are willing to supply any cafe that will take their beans. The smaller boutique, quality roasters dont supply every cafe, they are selective.

1) Regarding the syrups in the article, I cant recall seeing those in any speciality cafe, perhaps thats a US thing.
2) Preground beans. Ouch. When i visit a new place, I always sus this out (and have walked out even before i've barely walked in because of pregrinding) I will say though that if a cafe is using certain roasters, then you know you're safe from pregrinding.
3) The milk. I've been caught out a few times whereby a coffee maker has re-used the previous milk. You can taste it, its quite gritty like. I do like to listen to the milk be textured when I visit new places.
4) Look out for pour over, aeropress gear etc - then visit :)
5) The barista tasting coffee is essential - I often see this (because I mostly visit decent cafes :))
6) Cappuccinos with proper foam - not foam piled high!

My comments are based on my experience and the area I live in.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 898
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 6:04am
Subject: Re: How to Spot a Quality Cafe by Mark Prince
 

grumpybarista Said:

. But basically, I am not aware of any systems that are 100% porcelain, that is, where the brewed coffee only touches porcelain. How does this affect the final taste in the cup, if any?

Posted April 11, 2014 link

Not porcelain, but Cona and some other syphon brewers are all glass. No metal parts touch the coffee when brewing.  Conas are still manufactured - not sure about the others - but in many cases you can use a glass rod filter even if the device was not specifically designed for one.

In their promotional material. Cona used to make a big thing of the fact that no metal touches the coffee.  Not sure it makes that much difference though.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
cerridwyn
Senior Member
cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 505
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Sat May 31, 2014, 10:09pm
Subject: Re: How to Spot a Quality Cafe by Mark Prince
 

Customer service is all about attitude.

There is a famous roaster up in the Silicon Valley area south of the Bay that lost a lot of business because of his attitude and that of his staff. He was rude, and inappropriate and he roasted a bloody fine coffee. I had the only 'god cup' of espresso I have ever had there. And it is the only time I walked in the door and you would have to pay me a boat load of cash (after taxes) to get me to walk back in his door. The dark atmosphere that his behavior brought to the place made me uncomfortable to even sit for a minute while I had my drink.

It's something many people don't notice. They just order, pay, drink, leave. But being a woman who is no longer young, and who when I ordered espresso got treated like a leper, well, sorry, I'll go back down the street, where the coffee was not quite as good but the people rocked in how they treated their customers and as a result, the atmosphere was friendly.

I have been back to the place mentioned first. It's under new ownership and is a much nicer place to get my fix.

So I would add if you walk in the door and immediately don't feel comfortable, you might get a great cup of coffee/espresso, but you might not really enjoy it.

Oh, and one more bit about customer service. When you ask a question, you should get an answer. If the person is new and doesn't know, it should be, "I'll ask and come back and let you know." and they should do it!

And on a personal level, not necessary a Quality Coffee Shop, but a characteristic that adds to it and raises the bar, is what do they give back to the community.

 
The world needs more outstanding coffee.

do you game?:
http://forum.paxcorvus.info
http://www.outland.org
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
mforbes
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jan 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti 2-cup Brikka
Grinder: Barazza Encore
Drip: Kalita, Chemex, Aeropress (w...
Posted Sun Jun 1, 2014, 1:54am
Subject: Re: How to Spot a Quality Cafe by Mark Prince
 

Not a fool-proof method, but highly effective is my usual litmus test to ask the barista: "How is the espresso is today?"  Any acknowledgement that it is not always perfect, but that today the shots are great, has been followed by a great shot.  This indicates that the barista is continually assessing the shots as Mark describes, and is able to adjust the grind etc. to compensate for any fluctuations. Occaisionally a good barista will admit some difficulty and suggest a macciato instead.  The only failure I have had is that some respond: "Our espresso is always good."  Occasionally this has been followed by a good shot, but more often than not it is a letdown. The worst response I have ever had was: "I don't know, I don't drink espresso." (After tasting I realized why: it was awful!)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
BoldJava
Senior Member
BoldJava
Joined: 2 Jun 2006
Posts: 1,534
Location: St Paul, MN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: '82 Oly Cremina 67
Grinder: Macap MC4 Doserless Stepped
Vac Pot: Yamas
Drip: Hario, Beehouse, Cilio, Kone...
Roaster: RK Drum and Gene
Posted Sun Jun 1, 2014, 4:39am
Subject: Re: How to Spot a Quality Cafe by Mark Prince
 

cerridwyn Said:

Customer service is all about attitude....

Oh, and one more bit about customer service. When you ask a question, you should get an answer. If the person is new and doesn't know, it should be, "I'll ask and come back and let you know." and they should do it!

And on a personal level, not necessary a Quality Coffee Shop, but a characteristic that adds to it and raises the bar, is what do they give back to the community.

Posted May 31, 2014 link

Best post for the month of May.  Well articulated, spot on.

 
"On the trail for the goats' grail..."

Dave Borton
St Paul, MN
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 4 of 4 first page previous page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Articles > Columnist... > How to Spot a...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Home Espresso Machines
Watch videos with Gail & Kat, Rocket, Jura Capresso, Saeco, Rancilio, Quick Mill, Nespresso
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.220692157745)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+