Archive for June, 2010

We got some interesting coffee in the other day which is fun to explain. This is coffee from Kenya that is a defect and the result is that the two beans grow around each other creating elephant looking hollow coffee beans.

Good brightness and a slightly chocolate aftertaste.

This defect happens around the world but in Kenya it is more concentrated.

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So our first Blend and Roast is pretty good actually! We roasted a blend of beans from Papua New Guinea from the Bunum Wu estate and blended it with Costa Rica and Ethiopia coffees.

Rich, quite sweet and really great depth. The first day when it was very very fresh it was really fruity and light. Now, 5 days on and it has really developed in a coffee with more depth. We are liking it more and more.

PNG Bunum Wu

okay okay, we are better at making coffee then taking pictures!

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Okay, normally we do not export coffee but our good friend Umar is an exception.

We roasted coffee and sent it to Saudi Arabia and has arrived now. What a wonderful feeling!

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How to market my new coffee shop to get new customers in?

The hardest thing is to break someone’s daily routine. Most people already have their regular and are probably happy going there day in day out. They want to try some other coffee shops sometimes but it can be a risk for them so they like to stick with what they know.

You have to find a way to break in and give them a reason to give you a try. This might be a wonderful review or recommendation from someone they know. But word of mouth can take some time and you need to promote and take advantage of the fact that you have just opened.

Imagine you shop at your favourite supermarket all the time. What would make you try another new supermarket down the road?

How much do you have to spend on marketing? What is your marketing budget? Do you think you have a couple of hundred pounds available?

If you have a few hundred pounds for marketing then why not give away a 1000 coffees. 1000 FREE coffees. It won’t really cost you much. Simply go out on the street with some free vouchers that entitle people to any free coffee. Call it a celebrating of the fact that you have just opened up and you would like to invite anyone for a free coffee.

Now that person has no excuse really not to give you a try. Why wouldn’t they try it? And once they’re in you capture them with the best coffee and best service in town!

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We had Peter on a barista course with us today who started a few weeks ago for a re-fresher course. He joined a barista course with us a year ago and decided to open a coffee shop. Peter wanted a big brand behind him when it came to coffee and decided to go for a ‘well known’ Italian coffee. We talked a bit about this during the course and I am just wondering how you all feel about having a big brand behind you.

What is more important to your customer you think?

1) That the coffee is of the finest quality, locally roasted, extremely fresh and that you can tell where the coffee is from?


2) That the coffee is a well known brand?

I personally wouldn’t go with a brand name of course. For me it is all about quality and knowing where the product is from. Having a coffee that is roasted maybe months ago in another country is not the thing for me. Not having a roasted date on the bag and not even knowing what is in my blend would really bother me. And what if someone down the street uses the same coffee as me and doesn’t make the coffee very well? That might affect my reputation as well.

It is probably great to get free cups and lots of branding…. but really, it is not free at all is it. You pay for the cups every time you serve a coffee. And you are promoting another brand which you pay a lot extra for, not your own product. Wouldn’t it be better to have your own logo on the cup? Wouldn’t it be great if you could tell your customers exactly where the coffee is from and when it was roasted? And wouldn’t it be great to pay almost half the cost for the coffee and actually get a much fresher and richer coffee?

I would like to know your opinion on this. Please let me know. What is more important to you? A big brand behind you or locally roasted speciality coffee?

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Kay who joined a barista course on Saturday with us made a really good point. Learning a new special skill and doing something ‘the right way’ leads to better things. (Not exactly how she put it but that was the idea behind it)

I think she is very correct. When you serve absolutely delicious coffees in your coffee shop than you are more likely to serve delicious food as well. If one barista makes great coffee then it will most likely affect the other baristas as well.Etc.

Just a thought…

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Blend & Roast

To keep things exciting we have changed a couple of things around.

First of all, we have added a La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi II to the training room at the roastery in Sheffield. What an amazing machine!!! This is a very good one group espresso machine. Great for domestic users who want the best but mainly for very small coffee outlets who want to serve the best coffee.

Also we have a triple bottomless portafilter for the La Spaziale. Wow! We can now create some super shots, absolutely amazing. Coming on a course soon? Like coffee? Expect something amazing!

La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi II with Mahlkonig Vario

Also we have set up our brand new Blend & Roast program. Next to our house blend this will be our ‘second’ espresso blend. Constantly changing and constantly developed to improve. Each training course we will run the House Blend next to the current Blend & Roast espresso blend.

If you want to have your own espresso blend than this is it. Custom roasted for customers, however you like it – as long as we like it as well. We are very excited about this and it will keep us extremely motivated to produce outstanding espresso blends.

It’s all good!

The new training room is proving to be a BIG success. We have never been busier. And rightly so as we think it is looking very good. I know you want to see some pictures but just come and see it 🙂

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