Archives for posts with tag: roastery

Stepping into a coffee shop gives a feeling of well-being. Because you know that something comforting will make that experience nice and sweet: coffee and cake is always a great combination.

Most customers only see the “front of the stage” and the “backstage area” is still unknown.

Making coffee using various methods is one part, but the most important is how the beans are selected then roasted to give that specific flavour.

There are various types of coffee and they are all different whether the origin is from Ethiopia, Colombia, Rwanda or Nicaragua.

Click on infographic for larger version

Delicious Coffee - Infographic

Delicious Coffee – Infographic

Coffee roasters such as Origin (based in Helston – Cornwall), follow a particular process in order to get things right.

However, it is not rocket science – it is all about ticking the right boxes and having a great infrastructure.

Sending a person (or two) abroad is part of this quest; finding, seeing, roasting and cupping potential beans which will give that cachet to the espresso coming out of the machine. Travelling is essential – you can’t find gold by working remotely from behind a desk.

Click on images for larger versions

Stressful Business Travel - by Role

Stressful Business Travel – by Role

Stressful Business Travel - by Gender

Stressful Business Travel – by Gender

Coffee drinkers usually like the kind of buzz and café culture present in espresso bars. But preparation is so important to get the final product right. After all, it is like having quality ingredients for a recipe.

The crop can be the best but the coffee roaster will have to deal carefully with it as well. Slightly overdone and it will all be too dark and the taste could be awful. This is why that craft coffee requires skills from start to finish and each stage is precious to get the real thing.

More and more people are keen to take workshops to learn how to be a barista or roast coffee without spoiling it. Britain is become a nation of coffee experts, without a doubt.

The next step would be to run a coffee shop: a dream for a lot of individuals. But do they know what is actually behind such venture?

It is not just about standing by the percolator and grinder and playing with it. It is also about working long hours to serve from early morning when people commute to work – to early evening and eventually catch the same crowd on their way back home. Getting that regular foot fall is a great point, because the barista will start to know its clients and even their drinks… a great customer service will then be delivered.

To keep the business running it will be important to get a variety of coffee and not just one, as people like choice. Coffee owners must have a kind of investment management system in place and this has to be done on a regular basis to create this uniqueness – the passer-by will stop because of the new & distinctive scent coming out of the shop.

Whether the premises is large or small, it is also about getting the right staff. The drink can be awesome but the service has to be good too, with the correct manners. No need to go over the top, but being attentive to the customer’s needs is always appreciated: this can go from asking the right questions to serve the correct drink to bring hot or cold milk for that americano!

Getting the right brew is not just about pressing a button on a machine, it all starts at the root of the selection. It makes sense that a cup of coffee is around £2.50 because there is a cost of research, skills and knowledge behind it. Daily, the grinder needs to be adjusted too, all this according to the air pressure or this extraction could produce inconsistent espresso.

Good coffee requires time and skills


Specialty coffee: it has to be craft, artisan, freshly made and prepared with “attention to details” (i hate this expression, but that’s how it is).

Making things right is what will make a great cup of coffee and this goes from the quality of the coffee bean, the way it is roasted but also the water quality – as mentioned very clearly in an article by Colonna and Smalls HERE.

Walking up and down the streets of a city, town or village it is obvious that the coffee culture is the sector which has certainly spread the most in the past decade.

A real paradox when the United Kingdom was for many years the home of (cream) tea and biscuits.

The culture and demand is changing. People are going abroad more often. This means more tourists in the UK, but also more Brits are visiting Europe too. Seeing all this cafés with the eventual croissant has directed some entrepreneurs towards a new direction: the opening of their own coffee shop, with a real character and some quality roasted beans.

However, some boxes have to be ticked to get the right formula. And this includes not only the drinks but also the atmosphere and overall the necessity to have that passion to produce and present the cup with always the same standard.

Even if this is only a hot drink with a snack on the side, it is vital to get the right finish as customers can be very fussy especially when the amount to pay can hover around five Pounds per person. It has to be perfect!

The barista is no more just a person pouring a cup of instant coffee from a cafetiere. His/her job is to actually craft what the customer is asking for. This means that a flat white should be served with a double shot of espresso, but if the customer is willing to have an extra shot then this will happen (an extra cost could then be added to the original price).

Always ask about the chocolate/cinnamon sprinkles on the top of the steamed milk.

There is even a national championship: The UKBC – a very tight competition.

Being behind the counter is about listening to the client but also socialising and building a rapport with people either drinking-in or just having a take-away. Both are important for a coffee shop.

The take-away cup will be carried in the street which will bring an urban presence about your business and potentially bring more footfall to your premises.

When stepping inside for the first or the tenth time the feeling should remain the same: ambiance, happiness, relaxing… if this is not there as yet, it would be important to work on it.

Talking without too much jargon is important as well. Sometimes first time visitors could be intimidated because the coffee world is so vast and there are quite a lot of different beans available on the market that a customer might say “I just want a regular black coffee” maybe because the barista isn’t clear enough regarding the difference between a latte and a chai latte! Indeed, this could be confusing. To rectify this, it is all about open communication and explaining what makes the difference.

There is nothing to hide when preparing the drink: picking the cup, steaming the milk and  giving this extra close-up opportunity when the latte art takes place. Being transparent about how the business works will keep regulars coming but also newcomers because the positive attitude will go around and remember that social media can do the rest too.

Latte art

Photo by Dan Lacher on Flickr

Once you have the right barista, tasty beans and coffee machine it is also vital to get a prime location for the business. Asking for guidance to a property services expert is certainly a safe choice because what you consider or see as a great place doesn’t always mean the busiest. The shop front needs to be noticed either by the fonts/typography used for your main sign or with that outside seating area similar to the ones in Italy or France – as long as it is also kept clean from dirty cups and ashtrays.

Finally, the aim is to blend a delicious drink, make the customer feel at ease with a friendly and warm welcome, as well as – of course – increase the shop’s daily takings. Looking after the clientele should create a snowball effect.

Remember, no need to be the best in everything…just know what you are talking about will be a great asset.