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A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
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lucien2
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Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Baltimore, MD
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 7:48am
Subject: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

Greetings-

We are trying to elevate the quality of our coffee program by working with a local roaster. He's given us a lot of great feedback, and among all the advice is that we ditch our old nasty Bunn brewer and provide FP service table side. This would involve purchasing a water filter and the presses obviously. I think the owner of our establishment is provisionally on board, but has a couple of concerns I, as a novice, am unable to answer. I'm hoping some of you can, and help me convince him to take the plunge(r).

If you are going to go with one size press, is it better to use the smaller 2 serving presses or the larger ones? Some have said the larger ones are easier to sell to a 2-top for sharing, but the owner is concerned it could eat into margin if a lot of solo diners order it.

His second concern is that the fuss over the presses will slow service down if the dining room gets really slammed. I suspect it's "ok" to pre-grind a few presses before service as emergency back up, but I don't know if that is accepted practice or if we are over-thinking this.

Lastly, he is concerned about attrition- servers aren't the most careful beings at times, and there is a worry that we will be replacing the relatively expensive presses at a rate quick enough to seriously ding the profitability of the program.

So there it is, a coffee novice trying to re-invent a restaurant coffee program. Any tips from experienced pros would be most sincerely appreciated. :) I want to take better coffee to the people.
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jbviau
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jbviau
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
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Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
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Grinder: Preciso / LIDOs
Drip: Trifecta MB / Eva Solo...
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:13am
Subject: Re: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

More power to you! Since you're local, you might swing over to Woodberry Kitchen and check out how they're doing it. They offer two press sizes, I believe--seems like a good idea. I'd say you should try not to pre-grind if you can swing it for freshness reasons; grinding doesn't take much time anyway. Instead, you could portion out your whole-bean coffee doses in little airtight jars to shave a few seconds from the prep. process.
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lucien2
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Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Baltimore, MD
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:16am
Subject: Re: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

That's a good idea about the beans, thanks. I've been in touch with Woodberry, although the head barista rolled out for a new path in Brooklyn, and I don't want to bother her in the midst of that transition. I agree that using both sizes is best, but Woodberry factored a focused coffee program into the build out; we'd be shoe-horning it in to a small space, so unfortunately I think we need to pick one size.
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GVDub
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:18am
Subject: Re: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

You might also consider the Bunn FPG, or one of the other timed portion control grinders designed for press. Once the timer is dialed in for your preferred dose, it's quick and easy.
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jbviau
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jbviau
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
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Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Preciso / LIDOs
Drip: Trifecta MB / Eva Solo...
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 7:51pm
Subject: Re: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

Lucien, I kind of doubt Allie would mind being contacted, but who knows. ;)

Anyway, about durability, you might look into the stainless steel presses; Bodum, Frieling, and Espro all come to mind.

Here's another thought: consider using Eva Solos instead (no "pressing" needed). The people at LAMILL seem to find this option workable. A 1.0-L Eva could probably be used for smaller or larger brews. Plus, these things have always seemed to me to have a sort of wine-friendly vibe due to the carafe and aerator-esque filter assembly.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 7:35am
Subject: Re: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

Just as an aside, if your Bunn is nasty, I advise cleaning it.

There is nothing wrong with drip coffee, when done properly, it is a very nice cup indeed.

If you WANT to do FP at table side, great, there is nothing wrong with that either. Keep your water at 195 to 205 f or just off a boil. The rapid cooling of water will mandate that you have some way to heat the water at table side as if you heat the water in the prep area then take it to the table for service, it will have cooled below optimum temp for brewing.

Freshly ground, properly ground, fresh coffee is a delight regardless of the brew method. OLD stale coffee, long ago ground coffee is nasty regardless of the brewing method.

I have several drip brewers from Bunn and others that make outstanding coffee, it isn't the method of brewing that makes a great cup, rather it is the entire brewing process done properly that makes a drink worth returning to a restaurant for.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
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Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 10:32am
Subject: Re: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

calblacksmith Said:

Just as an aside, if your Bunn is nasty, I advise cleaning it.  There is nothing wrong with drip coffee, when done properly, it is a very nice cup indeed.

Posted October 22, 2012 link

Agreed, but . . .

calblacksmith Said:

If you WANT to do FP at table side, great, there is nothing wrong with that either. Keep your water at 195 to 205 f or just off a boil. The rapid cooling of water will mandate that you have some way to heat the water at table side as if you heat the water in the prep area then take it to the table for service, it will have cooled below optimum temp for brewing.

Posted October 22, 2012 link

I would do this slightly different . . .

I agree with the statement above that you can portion out the beans and put them into separate, air-tight containers in advance, and then grind just the amount you need on demand.  If you are indeed stuck with only one size, get the three-cup size for individual service.  That way, you give everyone just the exact type of coffee they order.  I would, however, grind and pour the water "backstage" (so to speak) and serve the empty cup with the press still in "brewing mode," if you will.  then, you can press at the table and pour.  That eliminates the need to heat the water at the table, and keeps everything flowing smoothly (so to speak) . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,479
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 2:18pm
Subject: Re: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

Jason
I agree 100%, "backstage brewing" would be the best way to offer press pot service.
I was just staying with the stated goal of doing the whole thing at the table idea. Your way would be the cleanest and easiest. I don't know how much the customer would be impressed by the actual pouring of the water anyway.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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lucien2
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Baltimore, MD
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 3:22pm
Subject: Re: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

what happens when one diner wants reg and one decaf? I know I sound silly, but I'm trying to avoid 2 sizes. Ceremony, the roaster we are talking to, thinks FP really is the best option for us. And I get it, it cuts down on waste and delivers a great up of coffee.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: A question for the pros- French Press service in a restuarant
 

That's why I suggested you get only the small, 3-cup size.  Then you can bring each diner their own separate press, whether it's two regulars, two decafs, or one of each.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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