Apologies for my silence, my Life is in flux at the moment. My Boy is finishing up his exams, getting ready for university and we are moving. Unfortunately, the flat we are moving into needs a serious overhaul. So me and mine are busy getting ready for the next part of our lives.
In the meantime, it puts my plans for World Coffee Domination to one side temporarily. Note, I said to one side, not on hold.
Because in the meantime, I'm still drinking coffee.
And this blog post is a rant.
Ladies and Gentlemen, there really is no excuse for bad coffee.
I have turned into one of *those* people. When I go into an establishment now, I check out the coffee machine, I look at the state of the grinder, the state and colour of the beans in the hopper, the steam wand and see whether or not there's a tamper. I ask the person serving me about the coffee. And then, if I'm not satisfied. I order tea. Life is way too short for Bad Coffee.
As a restaurant owner, cafe owner or a business that serves coffee on the side...why oh why do you serve shit coffee? Why are you missing an opportunity? Is your business really doing so well that you can afford poorly trained service staff ?
I like eating out. The food around here is great. Lots of places now are making a real effort to ensure the produce on their menus are organic, locally and ethically sourced and then I get served shite coffee. Coffee roasted black; oily and sticky beans and brewed through a gorilla's nappy.
OK, so I'm exaggerating about the gorilla's nappy.
But I've recently had a cup of filter coffee that was so awful, I was nauseous after drinking it. No really. I'm not exaggerating. It was vile.
Before I drank said vile cup of coffee I asked the server behind the counter about the coffee. She didn't have a clue, wasn't interested and asked me if I wanted to talk to the manager when I asked another question.
Customer service? No, not so much.
As a business owner, manager, or server, your job is to make sure my experience in your establishment is a great one, fabulous even. You want me to leave your place and tweet about what a wonderful time I had there. You want me to tell my friends, my work colleagues, strangers on the street, what great food I had, what great wine I drank and that the evening was finished off perfectly - with an amazing cup of coffee.
Which means attention to detail. By the care that has gone into your decor, it's clear you want to be proud of your business. You're obviously hoping to appeal to my ethical side by insisting the produce is fresh and locally sourced. Follow through damn it. Serve me a decent cup of coffee. Train your staff to be as enthusiastic about that espresso as they are about the fresh asparagus and free range eggs.
I know times are tough and you get what you pay for. Buying cheap coffee might seem like a price saving, but it is false economy. People will pay money for good coffee. Hell, the amount of Costas and Starbucks popping up like dandelions, should tell you that people will pay good money for bad coffee.
Invest the money on good coffee. There are speciality roasters out there who will help and guide you. Supply you with great coffee you'll be proud to serve; train your staff to boast about the coffee and to use your coffee machine properly. Make your customers' experience in your establishment a great one. Tie up that last loose end.
I'm done being silent about it. If I come to your business and the server has no idea what they're doing, don't care and neither do you, I'm going to say.
I've worked behind the bar. I cut my teeth in my dad's pub. I know how hard it is to make any money serving food and drink. I know how impossible customers are, how much your feet hurt at the end of a shift. I know that VAT returns make you stressed four times a year.
The thing is, I work hard for my money. When I spend it, I'm not willing to blow it on shite coffee anymore. I want a good time. You show a good time and I am going to shout about it. I will tweet, blog and Facebook every last detail. I will stop strangers in the street, I will tell my colleagues at work about it. You show me a good time and I'm going to want to support your business as best I can.