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Coffee Types: Know Your Natural From Your Washed From Your Honey

Posted by Julie Beals on Mon, Aug, 01, 2016 @ 19:08 PM

by Lauren Mowery 

A great, basic tutorial on green coffee processing. Full article appears on forbes.com

Coffee is getting complicated. And I don’t mean understanding the difference between an American cappuccino (obnoxiously oversized like a bowl of fettuccine Alfredo from Cheesecake Factory) and the daintier original invented by the Italians (who are generally horrified by both our bastardization and willingness to drink one at any time of day.) But I digress.

Consider the term “green coffee.” Even the hue of standard commodity beans — the second most heavily traded commodity in the world after crude oil –- can be several shades removed. Referring to the color of beans before roasting, green coffee can range from dark raisin to dried chickpea, and the taste profiles, for those attuned to them, can also be wildly different.

This great variation in color derives from the processing and fermentation methods used in different regions, based on their weather conditions and resources. It should not come as a surprise to those with winemaking familiarity that this other carefully cultivated fruit also requires some application of chemistry. 

What is processing? For all its negative connotations in the food world, processing freshly picked cherries references the necessary steps taken, which includes some degree of fermentation (yeasts and bacteria break down the sugars found in the mucilage to produce acids and fruit notes), to remove the three layers around the seed in order to prepare it for shipping, and later, roasting. Those layers are first, the outer fruit or pulp, second, the sticky mucilage covering the seed, and third, the parchment, or thin layer covering the seed that is named for its resemblance to parchment paper when dry.

As consumer palates have become more sophisticated, specialty coffee producers have begun using processing methods as a creative tool. Whether accentuating fruit notes, highlighting or softening acidity, and fattening or lifting the body, this creates product differentiation. Think about wine for a minute. Grapes left longer on the vine develop more sugar, thus more alcohol and a bigger body, and riper fruits. Grapes picked earlier have higher acidity, less alcohol, a leaner profile, and tarter fruits. While not an exact comparison, the point is to show that, from a producer standpoint, coffee processing decisions, along with terroir (e.g., a cool, coastal site in Sonoma v. a warm valley site in Napa) and tree variety (e.g., Pinot Noir v. Cabernet Sauvignon), influence the sensory properties of the final drink.

While experimentation continues, the three predominant processing methods you’ll find on the market are dry or natural (labor intensive), washed or wet (water-intensive), and a newer hybrid called honey or semi-dry.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

 

So Many Coffeehouse Design Plans, So Little Time

Posted by Julie Beals on Tue, Jul, 19, 2016 @ 13:07 PM

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 for it, or other design mistakes that can be expensive to address after the fact.

Dimensions

Your floor plan must outline dimensions for new partitions, doors, cabinets and fixtures. This will, of course, assure that all equipment, furniture and fixture end up where they should, and fit into the space.

You also need to account for existing features, some of which may not be up to code and will need to be fixed. If your space was formerly used for food service the code violations may be grandfathered it—but don’t count on it. Check with city/county. Some features that commonly need upgrades are sprinkler systems, stairways (making them less steep and/or adding a ramp), bathrooms (requiring ADA standards). 

Electrical Plan 

Your electrical plan will show the location and configuration of all outlets (horizontal or vertical), and details on voltage, amperage, phase, hertz and whether any power sources require a dedicated circuit.

A small, basic coffee shop might get away with a 200-amp service, but typically 400 amps will be required if you’ll be using an electric water heater, high-temperature dishwasher or cooking equipment.

You may also need to adjust existing electrical for:

  • Reconfigured lighting
  • HVAC
  • Signage – business sign, open/closed, exits
  • Speaker and TV wires
  • Cash register and receipt printer
  • CAT5 wiring and WiFi

Plumbing Plan 

Your plumbing plan should show locations for all water sources, drains, water heater, water filtration system (with specifics on whether it’s a full system, reverse osmosis, or single filter), grease interceptor (if needed), bathroom fixtures, etc.

Some of your equipment will also need to be hooked up to a sink drain:

  • espresso machine
  • dipper wells
  • ice maker
  • soft drink dispenser

Keep in mind:

  • Many cities require a grease interceptor on the drain line from three-compartment sinks and automatic dishwashers, to keep grease from entering the public sewer system.
  • Most retail space does not come equipped with a water heater large enough to handle food-service needs.
  • Floor drains in the kitchen and behind the service counter will allow you to squeegee liquids away when spills occur, and when washing floors.
  • If you add new walls to the existing layout, you may need to have the fire sprinkler system reconfigured

Cabinets and Counters

For your cabinet maker to give you the most user-friendly storage spaces, be sure to let them know:

  • Leave room for water filters.
  • Which cabinets will need doors, and which ones should have drawers. Or get their advice on this.
  • Height of cabinets over any counters—to accommodate equipment that sits on the counters.
  • Open spaces that are needed in the counters to accommodate trash cans, knock boxes or cup dispensers. Check local codes to see if a sneeze guard is required.
  • Note: Home kitchen cabinets are typically 24 inches deep, but commercial cabinets should be 30 inches deep, or 33 inches if an under-counter refrigerator will be used.
  • Also make sure your counter tops are a minimum of 36” high and not the typical 42”—keeping in mind under-counter refrigeration heights.
  • And always allow a couple of inches beyond the dimensions of the equipment, so it can be easily inserted and removed.

Finally, the equipment itself

Make sure your equipment is up to standards set by your city or county. it will typically need to be NSF & UL approved, or have an equivalent foreign certification. The peole reviewing your plans may want to see manufacturer specifications that prove your equipment complies with their standards, before they approve your plans.

 

 

Tags: design, buildout

Tips From A Pro For Opening A Coffee Shop

Posted by Julie Beals on Tue, Jul, 05, 2016 @ 11:07 AM

Nicholas Cho, co-founder of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, has opened six coffee shops since 2002, in both the Washington D.C area and San Francisco. In a Serious Eats post from 2014, he dispelled some thoughts that bear repeating, about how to approach this business of coffee—if you want to consider yourself among those that serve true specialty coffee.

Even if you want to serve good coffee that's not necessarily on the bleeding edge of "specialty" while focusing more on amazing baked goods or the best sandwiches money can buy, Cho's words can be translated to those passions, too. It's all about really showing up and knowing your stuff and caring.

Cho offers a big-picture analysis of how to approach and immerse yourself in your craft including keeping track of trends, staying educated and building a culture that others will want to be a part of. These are all huge factors in success—about as important as the right location or even your cash flow. Not to sound metaphysical, but it's about energy flow. It matters.

Whether you're a full-on specialty coffee shop or one that sticks to the traditional aesthetic and palate of your town or region, make sure you're the best version of that model that you can be.

 

A Few Tips From A Pro For Opening A Coffee Shop

Posted by Julie Beals on Wed, Jun, 29, 2016 @ 20:06 PM

 

Nicholas Cho is co-founder of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters. He has opened six coffee shops since 2002, in Washington D.C. and San Francisco. In 2014 he dispelled some thoughts that bear repeating, about some of the things you need to consider carefully if you want to consider yourself among those that serve true specialty coffee.

Even if you want to serve good coffee that’s not necessarily on the cutting edge of “specialty” while focusing more on baked goods or great lunch items, Cho’s words can be applied to those passions, too. It’s all about really showing up and knowing your stuff and caring.

Cho's big-picture analysis on how to approach and immerse yourself in your craft include keeping track of trends, staying educated and building a culture that attracts like-minded employees and customers. These are all major factors in success—just about as important as the right location or even your cash flow. Not to sound metaphysical, but it’s about energy flow. It matters.

Whether you’re a spot-on specialty coffee shop or one that sticks to the traditional aesthetic and palate of your town or region, make sure you’re the best version of that model that you can be.

Tags: coffee

Coffeehouse Design: Know The Layout You Need

Posted by Julie Beals on Fri, Jun, 24, 2016 @ 10:06 AM

Before you sign a lease for your new café, you’ll need a solid plan for exactly how you’ll use the space—not to mention assuring your location is visible and the lease is amenable.

Your income may even rely heavily on the design of your space. Poor design will slow down the service process, resulting in longer lines of waiting customers and lost sales. You need to serve as many customers as possible during peak hours to keep them coming in, instead of looking elsewhere for a shorter line.

Design around your menu

Your menu will determine, in part, necessary square footage. The more you want to offer — lunch items, smoothies, baking, roasting—the more space you’ll need.

Typically, storage, prep, dishwashing, an office area and two ADA restrooms will consume about 400-500 square feet. If space for extensive food prep, baking, coffee roasting, or cooking will be required, this square footage may increase to 1,000 or more.

In the back of the house, at minimum, you will need room for:

  • water heater
  • water purification system
  • dry storage
  • back-up refrigerator and freezer
  • ice maker
  • office
  • 3-compartment sink + dish rack for
  • mop bucket sink
  • hand washing sink.
  • If you’re doing food prep you’ll also need:
  • food prep sink
  • prep table

If you’ll be baking:

  • oven + exhaust hood
  • sheet pan rack
  • large prep table
  • mixer + pans

Gelato, hot meals and coffee roasting will expand the square footage of the back of the house even more.

Design for quick service

Behind the counter you’ll need 200-300 square feet for:

  • cash register
  • brewing & espresso equipment
  • dipper well
  • under-counter refrigerator
  • pastry case
  • blenders
  • cups, glasses
  • silverware, napkins

 Possible add-ons:

  • panini grill
  • sandwich/salad prep
  • soup warmer
  • toaster

If you plan to serve premade lunch items (wraps, salads, sandwiches) an open-front, reach-in merchandising refrigerator should be considered. For ice cream or gelato a dipping cabinet and an additional dipper well will be needed.

Planning the most ergonomic layout possible for the above equipment will allow for quick customer service. Even though your business may be open 16 hours a day, up to 80% of your sales could occur between 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and around lunchtime.

Layout Tips

  • Brewed coffee near register so it can be swapped out from behind the counter
  • Knockbox and grinders to the right of espresso machine (sorry, lefties)
  • Ice machine or bin, blender and sink—so you don’t have to walk around to prepare a blended drink.
  • No shelving or refrigerator under espresso machine if you can help it; you don’t want to get in the barista’s way.
  • Retail and baked goods before register, for upselling and so people know what they want before their order is taken.
  • Separate your point of order from the point of product pick-up by at least six feet, to keep traffic flowing.
  • Condiments after the counter, far enough away that traffic doesn't stop but near enough that people can easily spot it.

Think of the grouping of equipment for different job functions as stations. Try to keep each station compact and in close proximity to each other, but with enough space between each so employees aren’t regularly bumping into each other.

Beyond the actual equipment, empty spaces on the counter can be used to store ingredients and smallwares, and to assemble menu items.

Seating

A 1,000-square-foot coffee bar serving beverages and pastries only will probably allow for seating 15 to 20 customers. If you plan to prepare and serve lunch items you’ll want seating for 35 to 50, which will require an additional 400 to 600 square feet.

If you have limited seating space and are not trying to encourage people to relax and stay for awhile, skip couches and stuffed chairs and stick with cafe tables and chairs. The more people you can seat, the greater your income potential.

The overall goal when designing your coffee shop is to fit in all the necessary equipment, fixtures, and storage in as small an area as possible, without sacrificing workability.

Design for traffic flow

In the customer area you’ll need optimal customer traffic flow, so no one gets confused as to where they’re supposed to be, and to avoid traffic jams at the counter and condiment area. This benefits customers who don’t want to look ignorant for standing in the wrong place, employees who don’t want to constantly tell people where they should be, and even helps bring in more customers. If someone walks in and sees a mob of 15 people milling around, they’re likely to look elsewhere for their coffee fix. But if they see five people in line, they’ll probably stick around.

The right design and layout will provide a smooth flow of customer traffic and efficient use of space, and even help you better present retail items, all while creating a comfortable environment for staff and customers.

 

Download The Coffee Market 2016 Report

Posted by Julie Beals on Fri, May, 20, 2016 @ 14:05 PM

Market Research Reports’ Coffee Market 2016 was just released, with analysis of the current state of coffee, worldwide.

The report includes an industry overview, technical data on coffee processing, a global market overview as well as a breakdown of regional markets such as the U.S., China, Europe, South America, Japan and Africa.

Major coffee brands analyzed include these, and more:

  • Lavazza
  • Melitta
  • Peet’s
  • Pura Vida
  • Reily
  • Starbucks
  • Eight O’ Clock Coffee
  • Tim Horton’s
  • Trader Joe’s

The report includes import/export, supply and consumption figures as well as revenue and gross margins by region. It also goes into upstream raw materials, equipment, production data, and downstream consumer analysis (consumption data):

Inquire Before purchasing the report hereOr get a sample here.

Tags: coffee, coffee industry

Variations In Pour Over Coffee

Posted by Julie Beals on Tue, May, 10, 2016 @ 18:05 PM

Of all the great minds we have to thank for centuries of coffee-technology advancement, a woman named Melitta Bentz of Dresden, Germany, may be near the top of the list. Her paper filter, created in 1908 out of disdain for washing cloth filters and scraping coffee sludge off the bottom of unfiltered coffee pots, resulted in an easy brew with a cleaner cup and a cleaner brewer.

Since the Melitta hit the scene, the array of manual brewers that have migrated—largely from Japan—to the bars of the cafes of the west have given us many a pour-over option.

This overview of the more commonly seen options runs from Very Cheap to Not Expensive, so why not give them a go?

Hario V60                        

Characteristics
Perfect cone shape with ridges on the inside, large center hole.

How It Works 
The V60 is popular among cafes, but unless you're the attentive type, it can be tricky to work with. The ridges along the walls of the cone keep water distributed evenly over the bed of coffee grounds, deterring "channeling," where water overextracts part of the coffee, leaving the rest of the coffee underextracted.

Brew Method

The Hario's large hole can lead to a fast brew, and thus requires patience and determination to make a good cup. After pre-infusing the grounds with just enough hot water to get them wet, and waiting 30-40 seconds, continue ppouring the rest of the water with a good kettle (such as the Takahiro or the Hario Buono) with small circular motions.

 

Bonmac

Characteristics

The ridges on the Bonmac cone help pace the flow of water through the coffee bed, so you don't even need a fine-tipped kettle to make a good cup. It’s an ideal cone for busy cafes, the office, or a lazy person’s home brew. 

How It Works
The size of the cone and the size of the hole at the bottom force the brew to take the right amount of time to extract the coffee—you can't get the water out of the hole any faster than it can go, so if your grind is right (similar in size to coarse sand), you get the right amount of coffee-to-water contact.  

Brew Method:
After preinfusing/blooming the coffee, pour the rest of the water over the grounds in stages, slowly filling it to the top and waiting for more room to pour, pouring more, waiting, pouring, until you reach about 12 ounces.

 

Chemex

Characteristics

The hourglass shape of the Chemex allows you to brew up to 10 servings at once. You can use the standard Chemex paper filters or an Able Kone (see below) as a filter.

How It Works

Chemex filters are 20-30% heavier (more absorbent) to remove undesirable sediment particles and oils in the coffee. The result is a clean cup that’s still quite flavorful. 

Brew Method

Make sure the filter is spread across the vent. If the filter collapses into the vent it will slow or stop the water flow. Use regular, medium or coarse grind coffee; finer grinds will slow filtration rate. After the bloom, pour water up to about ¼-inch from the top of glass. It will take 6 to 7 minutes to brew a full pot—or Chemex—of coffee.

 

Able Kone

Characteristics

This is actually a brewer, not a filter. It’s essentially a stainless steel cone with small holes in it. It is designed to fit neatly inside a Chemex, but you can brew it into anything that supports it. 

How It Works

The difference in taste between a Chemex paper filter and the Able Kone is pretty huge. The Chemex filter is rather heavy, resulting in a very clean cup. The Kone produces a thicker, chewier cup of coffee with more particles, oils and sediment. It’s actually a brew with a mouthfeel and texture similar to French Press. 

Brew Method

This one is time consuming. After pre-infusing the coffee, you essentially pour the water slowly over three minutes. Again, with a slow-pouring kettle like the Takahiro or the Hario Buono, it’s pretty easy. You just need patience and a little flair or theater to make it interesting.

 

All of the methods above can be hand poured or brewed using an installed automatic brewer such as the Marco SP9, Curtis Seraphim or PourSteady.

One of these machines could be a solid investment as more coffee shops trade in their French presses for pour-over coffee for its often cleaner flavor profile and brew-to-order status that puts it on par with espresso as something you can actually show the customer as its being made.

Cones are also easy to use, super-cheap, and makes a tasty, brewed-to-order cup. By changing grind, stirring speed, and brewing time, you can even make coffee to specific tastes.

 

 

Tags: coffee, pour over, coffee brewing

How Coffee Processing Affects Flavor

Posted by Julie Beals on Tue, Apr, 12, 2016 @ 09:04 AM

by Jim Sherfey

eater.com

As much as the best baristas in America can control a cup of coffee when the kettles are steaming and the scales are beeping, the fate of a bean is sealed far earlier, while still in its green state some thousands of miles aways.

A number of factors result in a bean's suggested notes of caramel, stone fruit, pine nut, and sesame. Coffee flavor profiles have to do with genetic cultivarsBourbon, Caturra, Castillo, and Gesha all carry distinct tastes. Elevation, also plays a role. Lower levels of oxygen in the air create a dense, more complex bean. But to tap into those flavors, coffee must first be transformed from its original state, as the seed of a fruit, into a roast-ready green bean. And how producers handle this transition has a lasting effect on the coffee.

The most common ways a farmer treats coffee cherries (the name of the plant's fruit) are called Natural Process, Washed or Wet Processed, and Honey Processed or Pulped Natural. Practices vary by country and region, and myriad permutations can take place on the journey from cherry to bean. Below, the three most popular ways green coffee beans are handled, and how those processes impact your cup.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

Tags: coffee, flavor

Cupping Notes: Learn to distinguish between coffee characteristics

Posted by Julie Beals on Sun, Mar, 20, 2016 @ 17:03 PM


Cupping Notes: Fragrances, Acid, Body, Flavor and Finish

Coffee_Cupping.jpg

As a follow up to our cupping guide, here's a handy guide for distinguishing between coffee characteristics — which, for the novice cupper, can sometimes seem like five ways to say the same thing.

Here are a few more tips for advancing your cupping skills by sorting out dry grounds from wet, and distinguishing aspects of acidity, body, flavor and finish.

Fragrance of dry coffee grounds

Do they smell fresh? Stale? Over roasted? Under roasted? This is a great place to find out, before water is added to the mix.

Examples:

Sweet   Spicy

Roasty   Nutty

Malty    Carbony

Stale     Fresh

Fragrance of Wet Grounds

When the grounds are wet, they emit aroma. Water mixing with the coffee and oxygen produce a more intense smell than with the dry grounds.

Examples

Smooth   Fresh

Lively     Creamy

Sharp

  

Acidity

Acidity can be a desirable attribute in coffee (when it’s lively and fresh), or an unwelcome o­ne (when it’s sour). But make no mistake: coffee devoid of acidity is flat an lifeless. Yet coffee with too much or the wrong type of acidity can be hard to swallow. If the acidity is unpleasant, pleasant, fresh, sour, or what have you – jot it down in your cupping notes.

Examples

Nippy     Neutral

Soft       Tangy

Tart       Rough

Mild       Delicate

Smooth   Winey

 

Body

This is a description of the richness and fullness of the feel of the coffee in your mouth.

Examples

Full   Rich

Fat    Thin

 

Flavor

This is the fun part. Is there chocolate? Fruit? How much depth do the flavors have?

Examples

Fruity        Winey

Buttery      Caramel

Chocolate  Blackcurrant

Woody       Grassy

Honey       Liquorice

Malty        Nutty

Spicy (and what kind of spice?)

 

Finish

After you’ve swallowed or spit out the coffee, what are you left with? Aftertaste is an important part of the cup. It’s what lingers, what you remember about the coffee.

Examples

Sweet   Smooth

Sour      Full

Bitter    Silky

Sharp    Burnt

Dry 





 




 

Tags: coffee, cupping, training

Three Ways Millennials Will Change Your Business

Posted by Julie Beals on Thu, Mar, 03, 2016 @ 12:03 PM

Dana Manciagli , Contributing Writer, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Last year, millennials surpassed Generation X in the workplace.

Today, in the U.S., one in three workers is a millennial, someone between the ages of 18 and 34.

They’re numerically the largest generation, standing strong at an estimated 80 million.

But beyond the numbers, the millennial mindset is changing traditional views of business, creating challenges and opportunities.

A 2015 Deloitte survey highlights the millennial attitude:

  • About 6 in 10 respondents said a sense of purpose is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer.
  • Nearly 64 percent believe businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society.
  • The 2014 survey showed that only 28 percent of millennials felt that their current organization is making full use of their skills.

Businesses need to focus on more than just profits and embrace new skill sets to tap into the strength of millennial leaders. While making a business and leadership shift will be challenging, it is necessary to remain relevant in the face of these new realities.

Jon Mertz, author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders, focuses on bringing generations together to guide and challenge millennials in the workplace. According to Mertz, while current generations need to provide a foundation, millennials will mold it in three key ways.

READ ABOUT THEM HERE.