Brewing in a small cafe...

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Brewing in a small cafe...

Postby joe_foster » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:36 pm

I work for an Artisan food producer in London (, we have recently been offered the chance to run a small cafe in a public library and I'm looking for some advice! Our food is very high quality however we know very little about brewing coffee and obviously it would be a shame to sell great food and terrible coffee. As the cafe is in a library it is viewed by the council as a public service i.e. prices cannot be too high so at this time we think an espresso machine would not be financially viable, until we have 'tested the water' we were thinking about the manual drip filter method. Any ideas, tips or advice on which method we should use and how to approach it?
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RE: Brewing in a small cafe...

Postby Jasonscheltus » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:40 pm

Make sure you can use a grinder there. Sometimes they're loud.

If you can use a good grinder, and can afford a good water filter, then i reckon you're well on your way.
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RE: Brewing in a small cafe...

Postby kingseven » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:08 pm

Brewing great coffee can be done very cheaply and very easily.

Aside from Jason's wise suggestions about a grinder and water filter (great coffee absolutely requires both) then find ways to make your brew method more consistent. I like using scales for my pourover brews, or my french presses.

Frankly it would be refreshing to see someone not doing espresso, but doing really great brewed coffee!

I'll never own too many items with which to enjoy coffee.
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RE: Brewing in a small cafe...

Postby anette » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:43 pm

For quick, clean and manageable pourover you have several options, like these classic drip coffee stations:



Buy them ready made or build your own! Stainless steel, wood, glass, perspex... go nuts!

or the simplest way:

I'm partial to the trusty french press myself as I loathe the taste of paper, but if I had to go the paper filter route it would be with a Chemex.

A waterboiler on a filter or a few fast boil kettles and you're off!
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RE: Brewing in a small cafe...

Postby Bombcup » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:50 pm

I have never seen a cone with that cutout before. Genius. I like an elegant solution.
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RE: Brewing in a small cafe...

Postby SlowRain » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:07 am

Has anyone here ever used an AeroPress in a commercial situation? I know there is a guy in the US who brews with one at a farmers' market. Different situation and different customers, I know, but what are the drawbacks (other than prestige)? I would think the finer grind and overall quicker brewing time would help with turnover, plus it will definitely help with that pricing constraint. I've often thought the AeroPress would be great for a little, on-the-go, coffee setup (although, I do realize your setup would be a permanent establishment).
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RE: Brewing in a small cafe...

Postby Gouezeri » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:12 am

Seem to remember discussing this with Baz a while back, instead of using french press.... this should be on the forum somewhere... can't remember why he was anti.
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RE: Brewing in a small cafe...

Postby joe_foster » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:02 am

Thanks very much everyone thats been really helpful, any ideas where I could buy a ready made drip station? Will let you know how it goes!
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Postby Eschatologist » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:27 am

Check your inbox :)
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Postby Gwilym » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:51 pm

a handy advantage of drip stations (ta Bob) is the grinds are easily disposed of.
Though it is harder than it looks to make.

Must third the comment on having a good water filter and grinder and add that unbleached filters can taste terrible
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Postby jon » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:22 pm

You could drop by Monmouth coffee in London? They seem to manage to turn over lots of drip coffee, which always comes out tasting good - might be worth asking/seeing what they're doing, to see if you get any ideas...

As well as brewing the coffee well, worth making sure you get good, fresh beans :D
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Postby staz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:00 am

The cafe at our local council run swimming pool has a large super auto machine. The coffee isn't THAT bad really and for 70p you'll get a double in a warmed espresso cup with a saucer and a biscuit.
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Postby Beanie » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:57 pm

For these kinds of filter brew... is it also advisable to rinse the filter paper first?
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