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phaelon56

30 minutes to get a latte?

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A coffee business discussion thread I'm involved in elsewhere on the 'net raised an issue that warrants discussion. Nearly anyone who's made good espresso at home or observed the process of grinding, packing, tamping, pulling and milk steaming in a well run cafe most likely realizes that it's much more labor intensive and time consuming than "pushing the buttton" on a Starbucks superauto and waiting for the counter person to pour off some milk from a giant pre-steamed pitcher that's been sitting on the counter for awhile.

But at what point will a long wait time prompt you to go elsewhere or switch to some other kind of beverage on that occasion?

How long a wait can you tolerate on weekdays? Five minutes... ten... a bit more?

How about weekends? Perhaps a bit longer than that?

And would there be value in having an "express line" that was for orders consisting of drip coffee only? (assuming that the rule was strictly enforced).

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Actually, my favorite places-Vivace and Lighthouse Roasters (in Seattle) move very quickly. Those guys are pros and they handle busy times very well. I can't remember ever waiting more than 10 minutes (and that is when the lines have been very long). And for these places, I would wait no matter what-I'm not going to go someplace I don't like as well to save a couple minutes (it would require time to get to another place, anyway).

You would have to have quite a few people ordering drip to make that kind of express line worthwhile.

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Vivace eliminates the need for an express line by not serving drip coffee...

They have a backup espresso machine though, at least at the Denny location.

Actually, my favorite places-Vivace and Lighthouse Roasters (in Seattle) move very quickly. Those guys are pros and they handle busy times very well. I can't remember ever waiting more than 10 minutes (and that is when the lines have been very long). And for these places, I would wait no matter what-I'm not going to go someplace I don't like as well to save a couple minutes (it would require time to get to another place, anyway).

You would have to have quite a few people ordering drip to make that kind of express line worthwhile.


Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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I'd say five is probably my max to wait in line... and I even work in the biz. The problem at the store I work for is that the lattes and cappucino are NOT the ones that eat up all the barista time, the ice-cream shakes are. Rather doubly unfortunately, they are mighty popular. I do like the idea of an express "drip only" line, though, I'll have to look into that. :biggrin:

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