Espresso Blog

How Do You Know If You've Poured the Perfect Shot of Espresso?

The perfect shot of espresso isn't an elusive goal. It's within any barista's reach, with a little practice. Beyond the basics of pulling a shot, you just need to know how to evaluate an espresso's appearance, smell and taste.

So, what makes a shot of espresso truly great? 

The right brew time, for starters. Let's assume you have a delicious espresso roast, you know how to examine and tweak your grind, and how to tamp it into the portafilter just like so. If you've got these initial steps down, your espresso should take somewhere between 20 and 25 seconds to brew.

The stream of espresso...

Improve Your Staff’s Body Language as Part of Your Customer Satisfaction Strategy

Have you ever walked into a party and immediately decided whether to talk to a person, based on the way they looked or acted? Were they engaged in lively conversation or were they leaning against a wall with their arms crossed? Did they make eye contact or avoid it?

With anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent of communication being nonverbal, it’s almost crazy how little significance we place on nonverbal cues in retail sales training. Especially knowing that people will draw a conclusion about whether they want to talk to a person—or buy from them—in as little as a few seconds.

So, what do...

Controlling Your Restaurant Business Costs

Unfixed restaurant business costs and waste can get out of hand before you know it—and drastically affect your bottom line. When was the last time you reviewed your costs and waste channels?

Following are a few ways to make sure your costs and waste don’t run you out of business:

Don't jump on every menu trend. Walk-in space, employee bandwidth—and even customer sentiments—are tested when a menu is constantly in flux. If you try to be everything to everyone you risk losing your identity and the reason people seek you out. You also risk wasting a lot of food.

Watch your advertising dollars....

Is Your Customer Service as Good as You Think It Is?

Put yourself in your patrons’ shoes to find out if you're on your customer service "A" game.

When was the last time you asked a customer for honest feedback? If your answer is, “not lately,” you may not truly know what's great (and what needs improvement) at your café or restaurant. And not knowing what needs improvement will likely lead to a loss of business.

Not only should you solicit feedback from patrons, you should take on their experience as your own. Among the benefits of walking in your customers’ shoes:

  • You'll uncover possible shortcomings in your products or service
  • You may find...

Five Coffee Equipment Maintenance Tips

Your brewing equipment and grinders (and customers!) count on you to make the best brew you can. Coffee equipment maintenance is needed daily and weekly, plus a tune up every 6 months, to assure they run smoothly and turn out the best possible coffee.

If you resolve to stick to some regular procedures, your equipment will thank you!

Tip #1 – Daily Coffee Equipment Maintenance

  1. Backflush each espresso group head nightly and wipe down your espresso machine so it’s sparkling clean for the next day.
  2. Clean brew pots and brewing chambers on your drip brewers.

Tip #2 – Weekly Espresso Machine,...

The Science Behind Milk Frothing—And Its Importance For Espresso Drinks

At Espresso Services and coffee shops across the country, careful attention is paid to the quality of the coffee that goes into lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso drinks. But milk is an equally vital component in these beverages.

How you steam and froth your milk is just about as important as grinding and tamping your coffee correctly. And having some understanding of the chemistry around steaming and frothing may help you make the best tasting espresso drinks your customers could ask for.

Milk’s Magic Ingredients:

Three solids are suspended in milk that directly impact its flavor and...

Airpot Selection and Maintenance Tips

As commonplace as they are, airpots can be a conundrum coffeehouse and restaurant staff. There are several models to choose from and they require different things to operate and care for them correctly. This guide to using and maintaining the most common airpot designs will set you on the right path.

Preheating and brewing your airpot:

No matter what kind of airpot you have, preheating is crucial. Brewing hot coffee into a cold airpot immediately lowers the temperature of the coffee by at least a few degrees. Most manufacturers recommend starting the day off right by filling the airpot...

How to Talk to Customers at Your Coffeehouse or Restaurant

You’ve got a great location, tasty food and drinks, and you've assembled a talented staff to welcome your customers. But have you talked to your team about how to talk to customers? It can seem obvious or demeaning to "teach them manners," but even well-meaning baristas, bartenders and servers can be perceived as impatient, impetuous or indifferent if they don't choose the right words with customers.

The following list of What Not to Say ... and What to Say Instead should be required reading for any employee—especially those who deal with customers. Some of the what-not-to-say phrases will...

So Many Coffeehouse Design Plans, So Little Time

There’s a lot of documentation involved in getting your coffee shop built out. Here’s what you need to know.

Our recent post about coffeehouse design showed you all the things you’ll need to consider when planning the use of your space. But that may be the easy part. Ultimately you have to assure the dimensions of everything you bring into the space are spot-on, as well as making your electrical and plumbing plans crystal-clear and correct, so you can avoid myriad headaches: rejection of your plans by your local authority (city or county), equipment that doesn’t fit in the space allotted...

Sales Training for The Retail Coffee or Restaurant Setting

Get the nuances of customer interactions right, and you’ll see more repeat customers.

Sharpening your sales skills can help you and your staff sell more drinks and meals—and build a steady base of regular customers. It can also help you attract investors to your business model or land a business loan.

Contrary to what you may assume, you don’t have to be an extrovert to be good at sales. It doesn’t matter if you’re oozing with small-talk skills and confidence (in fact, this can sometimes work against you), or if you’re more shy and introspective. Either way, you have an equal chance of...

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