Espresso Blog

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...

Evaluate Your Coffee Shop or Restaurant Chai Program Before Fall Arrives

According to market research firm Euromonitor International, Americans are increasingly attracted to bold, spicy, exotic flavors. Specialty tea sales also continue to rise at retail, with chai being one of the most popular flavor profiles in the category.

But of course, it’s been popular for thousands of years in India. Many families there have special recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation—consisting of a blend (also called a masala) of freshly ground spices that are steeped with black tea. Common spices in the masala include cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorn...

Should You Diversify Your Coffee Shop Offerings?

If you’re thinking about expanding your drink or food menu, selling gift items or going beyond your shop to find new business, there a few things to look at before you leap.

Walking into a coffee shop for a pastry and a latte can be overwhelming. You might be confronted with 20 or more beverage options—or retail goods (candies, greeting cards, t-shirts, coffee mugs, kettle chips, tins of tea, etc.)

While a sparse, modern coffee shop with a minimalist menu looks great on the surface, let’s face it: It’s hard to pay the bills when you’re selling coffee and not much more. Starbucks sells much...

Inventory Management: As Simple as Getting to Know Your Customers

It's never a bad time to evaluate the products you're carrying. Take a moment to look at everything on your counter and in your refrigerator and ask yourself, "How many of these do I actually sell?" If you find yourself wondering why you brought some of them on board, it’s time to revisit your menu.

One key to managing inventory is getting to know your customers, your neighborhood and surrounding businesses. Do you have traditional coffee drinkers? Experimental ones? Office workers who want lunch options or mainly a morning crowd? This makes choosing the products you want to carry—and stocking...

The Latte Example: Figuring Out Your Food Costs

While great coffee and impeccable customer service can lead people to line up outside your door, you need to keep your food costs in line—or you'll still lose money.

Take the basic latte. Are you charging enough for it to make a profit?

A successful food-service operation has food costs that are around 30% to 35% of total revenue. If a cafe does $20,000 per week in sales and the total cost of food and beverages is $7,000 for that week, then the food cost is considered 35 percent.

To calculate the cost of a latte and other drinks, add up everything that goes into making it. For example, for a...

Sustainable Coffee: What's In It For Your Coffee Shop?

Retailers can distinguish themselves by offering products that will ultimately affect their future.

If you own a coffee shop, you're in a great position to make an impact beyond your front door. More consumers than ever are voting with their dollar—buying products that align with their ideal(s) of how the world should be. These consumers are included to choose one coffee shop over another if they feel that shop shares their values—such as by carrying sustainable coffee(s). Thus when all else is equal,

Consider the issue of how coffee pricing versus affects coffee quality. (You thought...

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