Archive for March, 2009

Had a little play with the forecasting sheet that we had at www.howtostartacoffeeshops.co.uk and thought that it might be good to bring it to the spotlight a little more.

It is an excel sheet that you could use to calculate cost, takings and overheads. It is a good way to find out the estimates and to give you an idea of the cost for a coffee shop. The examples are not correct, the figures on the sheet are just fictional.

Please do have a good play with it. It is easy to modify and quite useful. Have a look at the forecasting sheet .


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Hand made syrups

Virtu World, Stephen Bickley from The Food Detectives, have just informed us that they are now producing around 60 different natural flavours all hand-made to order. All this for the same price as bulk orders and actually cheaper than it used to be!

You can now have any flavour you desire and as always, the flavours are free from artificial flavours and preservatised. Simply made from fruit and totally natural!

Here is a list of the flavourings currently on offer:

Apple Pie & Custard
Bakewell Tart
Birthday Cake
Black Cherry
Black Jack
Banoffee Pie
Cola Cube
Creamy Cappuccino (Decaffeinated)
Cream Soda
Espresso (Decaffeinated)
Ginger Sponge Pudding
Hob Nob Biscuits
Ice Mint
Irish Cream
Jam Roly Poly
Lemon Sherbert
Lemon & Lime
Parma Violet
Pear Sweets
Rhubarb & Custard
Strawberry & Cream
Strawberry Steamed Pudding
Toffee Apple
Treacle Sponge & Custard
Treacle Sponge Ice Cream
White Chocolate
White Chocolate Cappuccino (Decaffeinated)

 Call Steve directly on 01909 512188

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Milk steaming during a barista training course

Milk steaming during a barista training course

I had a chat with a friend yesterday who is an experienced barista and runs a couple of coffee shops. We had a chat about barista training and about the importance of milk steaming.

A good question came up: How much time should be spend on teaching the milk steaming? My answer is basically as much as possible! When you think about the importance of milk it all makes sense to me. Most people will order a latte or a cappuccino in a coffee shop or restaurant. Or even better, most people will order a milk based drink. A caffe latte is probably made up of about 80% steamed milk, now that is a large amount of the drink.

I could spend a full day on espresso training, no problem at all. However, I wonder how much good this would do. The result would probably be better if we spend a full days on milk training and a little on espressos. Teaching someone how to set up a coffee grinder, how to tamp and how to pull a good shot is really not too difficult and this is practised every time when making a cappuccino or a caffe latte. If you are straight to the point with teaching and you can find a way to explain this in a simple and precise way then usually people pick the theory about espressos up very quickly.

Most of the barista training that I do is focused on milk steaming and latte art. I always teach about the coffee grinder and the espressos as it is vital in my opinion to know about this. However, most of the time is spend on milk steaming because I believe this has the biggest impact. Milk steaming is not too difficult if you are shown the right way and people pour latte art usually within a couple of attempts. However, it is a skill that needs to be practised.

How much time do you practise on your milk and do you find it very important?

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Hydro tap

Hydro tap

Is a water boiler old fashioned? Or is it necessary? There are other options out there like the zip tap or hydro tap.

The Hydro tap is a tap that delivers boiling water or filtered chilled water at the press of a button. It is quick, saves space and is apparantly energy saving.

Speed and design are big advantages and we think it is a pretty cool thing to consider. Contact the company or search on the internet for prices. http://www.zipheaters.co.uk

Another hot tap is the Quooker, which originates from Holland (Dutch things are good…)

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1We received an e-mail about a new site called www.findmyshift.com

It is a great tool to create a rota online which might be helping you guys out. There is a free function which is worth having a look at.
Hope it helps.

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Just surfing the internet and checking one of the blogs that I follow a little and I came across 2 videos that I think might be very interesting.
I always want to show people more about the growing of coffee during the training courses. I think that it is important that people realise how coffee grows and what is actually is. However, I understand that a barista course should focus on producing amazing coffees and we spent most of the time behind the espresso machine.
So, since you are sitting at home probably, you might as well use your time wisely by watching a video about the processing of the coffee cherry.
These are 2 videos by Tom from Sweet Maria. The music went a little wrong but the info is very good.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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Two people started a coffee shop about two weeks ago with the idea of having a shop that would run itself most of the time. Coffee wasn’t a complicated thing, just something to sort out. This all has changed by now…

3 barista courses later and these wonderful people are now pouring rosettas and producing some absolutely beautiful cappuccinos. I think that it has opened a whole new world and it is fantastic to help people along the way. We have worked hard together these couple of weeks to make coffee shop a success.
It shows that people like to learn and it’s the proof that quality coffee combined with training really works. And that’s what we are all about at Absolute Coffee: combining quality coffee with barista training.

Do you remember how you started your coffee shop? How was your start? Please do let us know.

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