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Restaurant Coffee


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Beto

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 09:36 AM

Chef Andrés,
Thank you for your dedication to quality and innovation in food. You’ve certainly done more than your part to elevate the level of dining in the Washington, DC area. One of my best dining experiences ever was in Café Atlántico.

One thing that always puzzles me is the unrealized potential for excellent coffee in fine restaurants. Ingredient sourcing, food preparation, the wine list, etc., get the utmost attention (as they should). However, coffee sourcing and preparation almost always seem to be an afterthought. This is a shame, since coffee can have a taste profile rivaling the complexity of wine.

Coffee is usually served at the end of a meal. Shouldn’t the last thing a diner tastes be as good the first?

Muy Atentamente,
Jeff

#2 Jose Andres

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 10:47 AM

Chef Andrés,
  Thank you for your dedication to quality and innovation in food.  You’ve certainly done more than your part to elevate the level of dining in the Washington, DC area.  One of my best dining experiences ever was in Café Atlántico.

One thing that always puzzles me is the unrealized potential for excellent coffee in fine restaurants.  Ingredient sourcing, food preparation, the wine list, etc., get the utmost attention (as they should).  However, coffee sourcing and preparation almost always seem to be an afterthought.  This is a shame, since coffee can have a taste profile rivaling the complexity of wine.

Coffee is usually served at the end of a meal.  Shouldn’t the last thing a diner tastes be as good the first?

Muy Atentamente,
Jeff

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Well Cafe Atlantico is as good as you say for the hard work of many people but specially KATSUYA FUKUSHIMA, the most sensitive unique cocinero I know.....................Coffee you are right ! Why we have black pepper in the tables? Why not Cinnamosn? Why white first, red after...Men we are boring the human race..........to me to experience coff, green coffee even, trough the meal will happen ...Wait an see...

#3 srhcb

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 11:01 AM

One thing that always puzzles me is the unrealized potential for excellent coffee in fine restaurants.  Ingredient sourcing, food preparation, the wine list, etc., get the utmost attention (as they should).  However, coffee sourcing and preparation almost always seem to be an afterthought.

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A restaurant is, of course, first and foremost a business. There's a lot more money in serving wine and liquor than there is in coffee.

I, for one, would gladly pay a premium price for good coffee in these circumstances, since I don't drink, but perhaps not too many others would?

SB (besides, there's the matter of free :shock: refills!)

:wink:

#4 Beto

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 06:15 AM

A restaurant is, of course, first and foremost a business.  There's a lot more money in serving wine and liquor than there is in coffee.

I, for one, would gladly pay a premium price for good coffee in these circumstances, since I don't drink, but perhaps not too many others would?

SB (besides, there's the matter of free :shock:  refills!)

:wink:

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Let's explore that assertion for a moment. A pound of specialty coffee that costs $6/wholesale, brewed to gold cup standards yields approximately 36 cups. You can sell each cup for $3.00. That's $102 or 94% gross margin! That beats wine and liquor by a long shot.

I wouldn't give coffee refills any more than I would give wine refills.

#5 srhcb

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 06:47 AM

A restaurant is, of course, first and foremost a business.  There's a lot more money in serving wine and liquor than there is in coffee.

I, for one, would gladly pay a premium price for good coffee in these circumstances, since I don't drink, but perhaps not too many others would?

SB (besides, there's the matter of free :shock:  refills!)

:wink:

View Post


Let's explore that assertion for a moment. A pound of specialty coffee that costs $6/wholesale, brewed to gold cup standards yields approximately 36 cups. You can sell each cup for $3.00. That's $102 or 94% gross margin! That beats wine and liquor by a long shot.

I wouldn't give coffee refills any more than I would give wine refills.

View Post


I'd be willing to pay $3.00 for good coffee, freshly brewed, (not the last cup from the bottom of the pot that's been sitting for two hours), but I'd expect at least one "free" refill. If the refill is factored into the price, this allows me to brew fresh coffee more often without wasting half an old pot, and, in turn, serves to justify the higher price.

Would you ever comp a good customer a bottle of wine, or send a table a round of drinks?

SB

Edited by srhcb, 19 October 2006 - 06:48 AM.


#6 Beto

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:01 AM

I'd be willing to pay $3.00 for good coffee, freshly brewed, (not the last cup from the bottom of the pot that's been sitting for two hours), but I'd expect at least one "free" refill.  If the refill is factored into the price, this allows me to brew fresh coffee more often without wasting half an old pot, and, in turn, serves to justify the higher price.

Would you ever comp a good customer a bottle of wine, or send a table a round of drinks?

SB


I would comp them, I just wouldn't make refills a matter of course since, in the customer's mind, it would devalue it.

Comps make a customer feel special, refills don't.

You're absolutely right in that a burnt, old pot of coffee is just bad, bad, bad. Unfortunately, it is all too common, even in better restaurants.

What I'd like to see in restaurants is a selection of coffees that can be paired with different desserts and coffee brewed to-order. In short, coffee that's done in a way that realizes its full potential.

#7 srhcb

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:23 AM


I'd be willing to pay $3.00 for good coffee, freshly brewed, (not the last cup from the bottom of the pot that's been sitting for two hours), but I'd expect at least one "free" refill.  If the refill is factored into the price, this allows me to brew fresh coffee more often without wasting half an old pot, and, in turn, serves to justify the higher price.

Would you ever comp a good customer a bottle of wine, or send a table a round of drinks?

SB


I would comp them, I just wouldn't make refills a matter of course since, in the customer's mind, it would devalue it.

Comps make a customer feel special, refills don't.


I don't suggest a "bottomless cup", but like the idea of offering, ("comping" if you will?), a second cup. If we differ on this, so be it. Any other views from either the industry or customer perspective?

You're absolutely right in that a burnt, old pot of coffee is just bad, bad, bad.  Unfortunately, it is all too common, even in better restaurants.

What I'd like to see in restaurants is a selection of coffees that can be paired with different desserts and coffee brewed to-order.  In short, coffee that's done in a way that realizes its full potential.

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This would seem to be the answer! (Thanks to Bombdog for the link in another thread) I'm sure they aren't cheap though.

SB (So, maybe $4/cup?) :wink:

#8 srhcb

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 11:58 AM

I didn't mean to hijack this Thread, so I initiated a discussion over at the Coffee & Tea Forum on the subject of refills.

THANX SB :wink:

#9 Dorine

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 07:20 PM

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[/quote]

Let's explore that assertion for a moment. A pound of specialty coffee that costs $6/wholesale, brewed to gold cup standards yields approximately 36 cups. You can sell each cup for $3.00. That's $102 or 94% gross margin! That beats wine and liquor by a long shot.

I wouldn't give coffee refills any more than I would give wine refills.

View Post

[/quote]



Where do you buy your coffee??? Where I buy mine, $6 is the *cheap* stuff! Good varietals can go up to $25/lb.--such as Jamaican Blue Mountain. If all you're getting is $6/lb. coffee, you can't expect it to taste of much.

In addition, well made coffee involves how it is stored, how long before brewing it is ground, how finely and with what method it is ground, how it is brewed...




#10 Dorine

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 07:26 PM

[quote name='srhcb' date='Oct 19 2006, 11:23 AM']
[quote]You're absolutely right in that a burnt, old pot of coffee is just bad, bad, bad. Unfortunately, it is all too common, even in better restaurants.

What I'd like to see in restaurants is a selection of coffees that can be paired with different desserts and coffee brewed to-order. In short, coffee that's done in a way that realizes its full potential.

View Post

[/quote]




I'd rather get individually brewed offee made to order and a choice of varietals and brewing methods without an automatic refill than free refills of dishwater from the coffee dripping machine. Offer me a choice of a melitta expreso pot or a french press pot or a Turkish pot fresh at my table for a flat price--not for any choice but a separate flat price for each pot. I'd pay for that.




#11 Dorine

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 07:39 PM

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[/quote]
Well Cafe Atlantico is as good as you say for the hard work of many people but specially KATSUYA FUKUSHIMA, the most sensitive unique cocinero I know.....................Coffee you are right ! Why we have black pepper in the tables? Why not Cinnamosn? Why white first, red after...Men we are boring the human race..........to me to experience coff, green coffee even, trough the meal will happen ...Wait an see...

View Post

[/quote]




I have huge doubts about coffee throughout the meal. That is something I associate with childhood in the 1950s. Then, most US adults, including my parents, drank coffee with dinner as the standard beverage. Not water or wine, but coffee. Weak, miserable, dishwatery, junk from cans in the supermarket ruined in the percolator.


OTOH, I have thoroughly enjoyed green coffee brewed with cardamom pods during dinner at the home of my Saudi Arabian students. Or served before dinner with dates to break the Ramadan fast.


But I think in US restaurants, the association with the dreadful coffee our parents drank for their dinner beverage will put people off!


No tengo mucha confianza en la idea de tomar el café durante la comida. Me recuerda la infancia en los años 1950. En aquellos tiempos, la gente mayor EEUUense, incluyendo mis padres, solía tomar el café con la comida, y no tomaron ni agua ni vino, sino en café débil, miserable, que recordaba el agua de lavar platos, cosa despicable en latas del sypermercado, más arruinado por su preparación en el 'percolador'.


Por otra parte, me ha gustado mucho el café verde preparado con cardamón durante la cena en las casas de mis estudiantes de Arabia Saudita. O servido antes de la cena, con dátiles, para desayunar (al ponerse el sol) en Ramadan.


Pero me parece que en los restaurantes en EEUU, la gente de buen gusto recordará el horror que pasó por café en las cenas de sus padres y despreciarán la idea de tomar café durante la comida.




#12 Beto

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 07:45 PM

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Let's explore that assertion for a moment.  A pound of specialty coffee that costs $6/wholesale, brewed to gold cup standards yields approximately 36 cups.  You can sell each cup for $3.00.  That's $102 or 94% gross margin!  That beats wine and liquor by a long shot.

I wouldn't give coffee refills any more than I would give wine refills.

View Post




Where do you buy your coffee??? Where I buy mine, $6 is the *cheap* stuff! Good varietals can go up to $25/lb.--such as Jamaican Blue Mountain. If all you're getting is $6/lb. coffee, you can't expect it to taste of much.

In addition, well made coffee involves how it is stored, how long before brewing it is ground, how finely and with what method it is ground, how it is brewed...



View Post


I was referring to wholesale prices for coffee, not retail, which is typically keystone.