Ivanovich Senior Member Joined: 4 Oct 2012 Posts: 2 Location: Ciudad de México Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Wega Mininova Grinder: Baratza Preciso.
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 4:50pm Subject: Upgrading a coffee shop.
I know many of you have visited a bunch of cafés hoping to get a decent shot, just to get your hopes crushed when you see the barista make all the mistakes in the book, I was that "barista" for a little time. I work in a little café in Mexico City, actually a sidebar of a furniture shop.
I got taught the "basics" and put behind the counter to sell "what I thought to be" espresso based beverages to the masses, but that was not enough to me, knowing how perfectionist I am, sooner than later I was reading article after article to learn all I could about this marvelous new world I've became to love. This way I found about freshly roasted coffee, distribution techniques, roasting profiles, temp profiles, tamping techniques, cleanliness, freshly ground, etceteras, etceteras.
In my effort to give a truly great coffee experience, I manage to get a constant supply of freshly roasted coffee from a local roaster, and little by little pushing the owners to go specialty. I would love to eventually give monthly cuppings, and "spread the word brudda".
By the beginning of November, we're having an important event for the shop and I have green light to come up with my own specialty drink. I thought of a cold drink involving homemade vanilla extract, a double shot, and milk, but I'm still searching for that perfect balanced drink.
The good thing about living in a coffee producing country is that you have an incredible variety of flavors from different regions, all in your own country, and believe me, Mexico has truly great coffee, if you know where to look.
The downside of my story is that the bar it's having a slow month, maybe it's because the incoming holidays, or because the other guy who works the morning shift couldn't care less about coffee and seems to be ruining all my work. All and all, I would love some suggestions, to improve my skill, to improve the costumer service, to improve my coworker's attitude, to improve sales. All the things, us the uber-geeks, would like to have in our local café.
The quality coffee I serve is mostly thanks to all of you guys, who have paved the way before me, and consider this my most sincerely thanks.
Considering that mornings are probably the most crucial time for a coffee drinker, this should not stand. Sit down with the guy and show him and teach him. If he doesn't care, get the managers to find something else. People like this are a liability to your business because if the morning coffee stinks, they're even less likely go to there for an afternoon coffee. The mornings are probably the most crucial time for a coffee shop! People like this could also possibly put you out of a job! Mind you, this would be indirectly, but without customers, there isn't any income. No income means they can't pay you. No pay, no job.
How much volume does the shop do in the mornings? If you can, see if you can swap shifts with this person to let the morning crowd know what a talented and knowledgeable barista can do!
The coffee shop should be striving for the best product they can deliver to the customer at all times, no matter the situation. Without that, there's nothing to be proud of and no product to stand behind.
Focus on getting this co-worker up to speed and show them what a great tasting cup of coffee can really taste like. They'll change their mind quick.
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,947 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, 5:39am Subject: Re: Upgrading a coffee shop.
Congrats on caring enough to do your best and to continue to push for better and better.
It is sad that the other PBC (Person Behind the Counter he is not a barista, as you strive to be, he is just someone there for the job and serving dreck) likely will not be welcoming to your help unless the management supports you and forces him to listen, sad but true.
There is SO much to learn, I don't think we ever stop learning, there is always a new bean or roast or method of brewing to try. That is what makes a good barista. A PBC just pumps out drink after drink without caring about the quality. We welcome a barista to our board, keep it up!
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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