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l.a. café crawl -- surprising results
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Discussions > Regional > US West > l.a. café crawl...  
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Randii
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Posted Wed Sep 19, 2007, 7:00pm
Subject: Re: l.a. café crawl -- surprising results
 

Psyd Said:

OTOH, we, as consumers, are caught in the quandry brought about by Starbonics and the Bucksian Empire, in that we either have to instruct the barista what we want by describing the ingredients and how we'd like them prepared (and in most places, that'll automatically include spit in your order...) or ordering what we think we want and hope that it's what they think that we think it is.

Posted September 19, 2007 link

There are other options.  Instead of ordering what you "think" it is, you can *ask* what the drink consists of *before* you order it.  If you determine that the establishment doesn't make their drinks to your expectation, you can simply not order the drink, and go to an establishment that meets your expectations.  If you think you "must" instruct the barista on how to make your drink, either do it kindly, with respect, and in a way that is not condesending, or *don't* do it at all!  (That way no one gets spit in their order!)  Finally - and much more constructive - instead of "instructing" baristas, try sending a nice, informative letter to management, explaining your disappointment with the level of barista training at their establishment, and *suggest solutions* to help them train better baristas.

Standardization for drinks could be helpful.  Until that day comes, kindness, respect, and comon sense will get you what you want.  ("You'll catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar.")
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Psyd
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Psyd
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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2007, 2:15pm
Subject: Re: l.a. café crawl -- surprising results
 

Randii Said:

If you think you "must" instruct the barista on how to make your drink, either do it kindly, with respect, and in a way that is not condesending, or *don't* do it at all!  (That way no one gets spit in their order!)  

Posted September 19, 2007 link

You'd think so, wouldn't you?  In a perfect world, that could be the case. Where I live, they know me, so it isn't an issue, as I travel, it varies.  Some will be completely blown away by the fact that I want coffee, not milk with coffee in it, and will turn handsprings to make something that will impress me. Others will consider me a perfect heretic for not wanting something from what they have decreed as the perfect coffee menu.  If you haven't met any barisiti like that, you should get out a bit more.
For the record, I'm always very polite to anyone in the service industry, and I tip well.  If you're in the service industry and I don't treat you very well, you probably know exactly why, and you're probably aware that you deserve it.  And, I "must" instruct the barista if the menu only offers a 12 oz cappucino as a small, and nothing smaller.  Or automaticaly assure myself of getting something I know I'm not going to like.

Randii Said:

Finally - and much more constructive - instead of "instructing" baristas, try sending a nice, informative letter to management, explaining your disappointment with the level of barista training at their establishment, and *suggest solutions* to help them train better baristas.

Posted September 19, 2007 link

Also great, but when on the road it really isn't too helpful.  What I need is to be able to order a drink I want without having the staff think I'm an idiot or think that I think that they're idiots. Everyone seems to be able to agree that a 'cappuccino' is something like a drink of thirds, or an ounce of espresso in three to four ounces (or something like that) of steamed milk.  That is, right up until they get behind the bar at an espresso house.  Just at that point, about ninety percent of the baristi on the US suddenly decide that you probably want far more milk in your drink than  you're prepared to order (or, why else wouldn't you order a 'latte?), you're just not aware of it yet.  Howard Schultz has decreed it, it must be so.
OTOH, the asking is how I start, usually, and it really isn't any better.  Those in the latter groups tend not to like to be questioned at all.  I suppose that's because there is a lot of self-esteem issues for baristi that don't have a lot of training, and those that do and have been 'converted'.

 
http://members.cox.net/gearsale/Astoria
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gabelucas
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gabelucas
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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2007, 7:50pm
Subject: Re: 3rd Wave "Look and Feel"
 

MarshallF Said:

I apologize for rubbing it in Gabe. But, I think it is important to illustrate the point that the "look" of a "3rd Wave" coffee shop is only limited by the imagination and budget of the owner.

Marshall

Posted September 17, 2007 link

Oh don't apologize man! Not at all! I agree with you, but I also think as someone who has been around these parts that there is definitely AS OF LATE a specific trend in the more well known "3rd wave" shops.

in both those pictures....

clean lines
simplicity
lots of light
attention to the "machines"
slick as hell look.


it's a trend. and it's definitely getting cleaner and cleaner. I think you would agree with me here, as the new Stumptown, Intelligentsia and Victrola demonstrate. Ritual is absolutely part of that trend. They may not all be identical, but there is a lil' somethin somethin about all the newer sleeker 3rd wave shops. for sure. especially in USA.

Gabriel "bring it on Marshall, all in good fun" Boscana

 
Gabriel Boscana
Ritual Coffee Roasters
San Francisco, CA
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EricZeiler
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2007, 11:56am
Subject: Re: l.a. café crawl -- surprising results
 

Living two blocks from 9th Street Espresso in the East Village (NY), I disagree with that statement.

As a former Angeleno, I am very excited to visit LA in a few weeks and check out all of the new spots that have arrived since I moved!
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EricZeiler
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2007, 12:14pm
Subject: Re: l.a. café crawl -- surprising results
 

MarshallF Said:

we should be celebrating the Perry family for creating an oasis of quality in an unexpected place that outshines anything in North Beach or Greenwich Village.
Marshall

Posted September 17, 2007 link

Forgot to quote Marshall.
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MarshallF
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MarshallF
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2007, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: l.a. café crawl -- surprising results
 

EricZeiler Said:

Forgot to quote Marshall.

Posted October 1, 2007 link

I deeply apologize. I was thinking back to my original impressions of Coffee Klatch when I first visited 5 years ago after a disappointing tour of Village and North End coffee shops. Of course things have changed since then. I will edit my prior post!

Has anything improved in the North End of Boston?

Marshall
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rocktageous
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Posted Tue Dec 11, 2007, 12:40pm
Subject: Re: l.a. café crawl -- surprising results
 

My girlfriend lives in Claremont and I go to Coffee Klatch almost every time I'm out there, so I'll offer my thoughts.

I'll get the negative observations and criticisms out of way the first. I ordered a double shot on my first visit and it was served in a paper cup. That's unacceptable. I was on our first date and she didn't order anything, so I didn't want to go through the process of asking for another shot in porcelain. I would like to assume that the barista would've obliged, but I don't know how much effort it would've taken to have my request understood and fulfilled. Regardless, straight espresso should never be served in a paper cup. On all of following visits, I've ordered a double capp or double latte in a small cup. My order is always met with something like, "Our double is 16 ounces; do you want a 12 ounce with an extra shot?" It's not much of a hassle and certainly not what Harry went through, but it would be nice for the barista to understand why I want a smaller drink and respond with a simple, "Okay."

I can see both sides of the argument as to whether quality coffee in traditional sizes would go over well and I'm not really sure where I stand. I'd like to believe that customers will respond positively to quality. From my experiences, I've seen a lot of people ordering vanilla lattes and drinks with whipped cream at Coffee Klatch and I've taken people to great cafes where they've enjoyed the coffee, yet they continue to drink giant flavored drinks from Starbucks and Coffee Bean. My suggestion would be to drop the large size and offer traditional, small, and large (the current medium). Also, how about offering some of the tasty coffees in Chemex or press pots in addition to the auto-drip? I would gladly pay $3.50 for a nice cup of the Biloya.

Aside from the above criticisms, I have enjoyed every one of my drinks from Coffee Klatch besides the shot. Yeah, it doesn't have the sleekest design, but given the choice of a cafe to hang out in, sip coffee, and read a book, I'd prefer sinking into one of their couches or chairs over the stiff chairs and cold interior at Caffe Luxxe.

Well, I've sufficiently procrastinated enough. Back to work.


Andy
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GaryH
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GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2007, 11:10am
Subject: Re: l.a. café crawl -- surprising results
 

rocktageous Said:

Aside from the above criticisms, I have enjoyed every one of my drinks from Coffee Klatch besides the shot. Yeah, it doesn't have the sleekest design, but given the choice of a cafe to hang out in, sip coffee, and read a book, I'd prefer sinking into one of their couches or chairs over the stiff chairs and cold interior at Caffe Luxxe.

Posted December 11, 2007 link

Luxxe does have a cold look but since I'm a minimalist I love the design. I was at Luxxe on November 23, 2007. Took these pics.

GaryH: Luxxe_Nov07_1a.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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GaryH
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GaryH
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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2007, 11:11am
Subject: Re: l.a. café crawl -- surprising results
 

My wife had this Americano and I had a very nice latte and three double ristrettos. They pull them so short, about 0.8oz, that the ristrettos don't have a lot of flavor to them. I liked it a lot better one year ago when the ristrettos were pulled with spouts and the volume was about 1.3oz.

GaryH: Luxxe_Nov07_2a.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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