• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Beto

Restaurant Coffee

12 posts in this topic

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

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.

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

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...

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.