A new podcast project

Today is the start of a new podcast I’ve been working on. It’s called the Coffee Jobs Podcast and is a weekly show that will run for the next three months or so. Each episode is an interview with a leader in the coffee industry. The podcast is there to serve two different audiences: those working in… Continue reading

A challenging idea about fresh coffee

We’ve done a pretty good job of communicating the importance of freshness with coffee. No one reading this would disagree with the idea that, generally, the fresher the better. Listening to Cat & Cloud 1, the discussion about freshness made me want to write about a more difficult and frustrating idea. The idea that we… Continue reading

Coffee & Opportunity Cost

Opportunity costs are, perhaps, the most ignored costs in a busy business. That may be a coffee shop, coffee roastery, or a restaurant. In fact, they apply to every business and I think deserve more discussion. Opportunity costs sneak under the radar because they don’t show themselves obviously in the profit and loss statement. An… Continue reading

Are we sure about pastries?

Countertops are precious space. It’s a beautiful, effective point to merchandise a product. Close to the till, a great moment for a last minute impulse purchase. What we’ve chosen to do with that space, in pretty much every cafe, is sell pastries. Im not sure I agree that this is a good idea. I like… Continue reading

When Speciality Stops Being Special

Growth is always considered a good thing, and it is impossible to escape the good news that speciality coffee is growing. Its dollar value continues to swell, especially at the retail level in first world countries. However, if it continues this way then we’re going to have to deal with a surprising quandary sooner rather… Continue reading

On Geisha

The World Barista Championship, and the World Brewers Cup in Dublin this year produced two worthy champions. They also produced a lot of discussion about one particular variety: Geisha 1. The reason for the discussion was the dominance in the competitions of this one particular variety. Four of the six finalists, in both World Brewers Cup and the World… Continue reading

A customer conundrum

I’ve brought up the idea previously of needing to grow the number of customers choosing to drink coffee at independent businesses. The growing number of business aren’t bringing enough new consumers to the market so are fighting over ever-shrinking slices of the pie. Consumption as a whole remains strong. Plenty of people are buying coffee,… Continue reading

Automation And Espresso

What we see today as the role, or the definition, of a barista is going to change completely. This isn’t wishful thinking, this isn’t fear mongering. The impending role of automation is something we will have to come to accept. In the future the role of the barista will involve putting the customer first. (Matt Perger’s… Continue reading

A culture of throwing stones

I read the piece in Eater, by Matt Buchanan, titled “Maybe Just Don’t Drink Coffee” because quite a few people were joyfully sharing it on twitter. My reaction is perhaps different to most people’s. I’m not saying that it is a badly written piece, quite the opposite. It’s very well written, and I like Mr… Continue reading