Research on UK coffee chains, customers seem quite satisfied

Is it actually possible to find a good shot?

Moderators: CakeBoy, GreenBean, Gouezeri, bruceb

RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers seem qui

Postby Jasonscheltus » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:07 pm

tap wrote:this kind of action empties shelves of avocados


if i could marry this turn of phrase, i would.

Besides that... So far the consensus on this thread annoys me a little. Mostly our coffee customers show us that they will be satisfied with an ordinary (badly processed, or badly made, whatever) coffee. But mostly too, they will talk about and return to good coffee.

Today I was lucky enough to work on a coffee stall in a food market, in London. The queue was huge, there was for most of the day maybe 40 people waiting to order coffee. Clean, well processed, expensive coffee - sold and profit made despite the high staff levels.

bruceb wrote:Never try to teach a pig to sing. You won't succeed and you'll only irritate the pig


Do we have to explain anything?? There's no need to persuade people into drinking better coffee, we can just serve it, then wait. If someone sold me amazing pizza (thank you Franco Manca), and charged me the same as an average local pizza, would it make me think twice, and make the effort for the amazing pizza? Uh... you bet. And why not?

It's just plain old better value..And there's nothing bloody "specialty" about it.

Educating is so formal... Perhaps we could, um, politely suggest, or subversively sneak the good coffee in before they realise what's happening. They are English here, after all... (*cough, no offense)

What I want to get across is that there's no reason not to use this so called "high-end stuff"... You can get espresso coffee for £10/kilo, and for some for most cafes this lands at 10 pence per cup! With the other £1.90 you can pay for the rest of the product (takeaway cup, lid, milk, sugar, at most 15 pence)... It is poor value. And i think when people are offered a better valued alternative, they leap at it, especially when it tastes better too. But and still, generally, people don't see it because who in coffee offers a bargin? Almost no one.

(and that pisses me off)
User avatar
Jasonscheltus
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:03 pm

RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers seem qui

Postby bruceb » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:02 pm

I couldn't agree less. :twisted:

My experience over the years (here in Germany) is that the majority of people don't care, don't notice and are completely indifferent to the quality of coffee. They'll gladly pay exorbitant prices for it if you give them half a litre instead of a smaller cup, if you put vanilla, caramel or chocolate syrup in it or just give it a fanciful name like "The King's Coffee," but if you give them fresh, high-quality, well brewed coffee they will drink it and never notice that it tasted different than the dishwater they normally drink. The number of people that take a sip and say, "Wow! This is superb" is negligible.

Disclaimer: The title of this thread is "Resdarch on UK coffee chains..." and perhaps things are completely different in the UK.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5364
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers seem qui

Postby CakeBoy » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:22 pm

The following anecdote adds little to the conversation, but it just came to mind from reading this thread.

A visitor here once conplained that his wonderful full-flavoured Cachoeira based traditional sized cappuccino was ".. not bitter enough". He drank half way down, then asked "Can you please put another double shot in and let it run to get the flavour through." His 'improved' beverage eventually required three sugars before he could/would consume it. Apparently, at work, he got "real dark roasted coffee, with that burnt flavour". We realised that he had never actually tasted coffee, just the roast.
www.CakeBoy.co.uk
International muffin blagger

Iberital L'Anna 1 Gp Hand-Fill | Wega Orion 2 Gp | Bezzera 1 Gp | Rancilio Audrey PID | Spidem Trevi
Iberital MC2 Timed | Macap M4 DS & MXA DS | Mazzer SJ | Starbucks Barista Grinder (Dualit E60/Solis 166)
Pinhalense 2x500g Gas Batch/Sample Roaster | Gene Cafe | IMEX CR-100
Aerobie | eSantos | Zassenhaus | Bodum P/Over | Chemex | Hario Woodneck | Timer Filter
User avatar
CakeBoy
 
Posts: 9985
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:43 pm
Location: Oxfordshire, England

RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers seem qui

Postby bruceb » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:40 pm

Cakey, I would be thrilled if someone here even noticed the "strength" or flavour of the coffee to that extent. At work people press the "Big Cup" on the Saeco automat, let 250 ml hot water run through 7g of stale (if freshly ground) coffee and drink the stuff day in and day out. If there are any complaints about it they only pertain to the 250 ml. Most people would like to have a BIG MUG full, but they're too cheap to press the button twice.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5364
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers seem qui

Postby petikas » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:43 pm

Meh when I tell them at work that I don't drink Nescafe, I get blank stares. It doesn't compute for them.
PID Gaggia Classic/Mazzer Mini E
Reg Barber tamper/Grindenstein knockbox
petikas
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:50 pm
Location: Cyprus

RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers seem qui

Postby tap » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:28 pm

usually people here do notice the difference but then there is those who say it tastes weak compared to what they usually drink. not bitter and sour at all.. (i flannel filter at home)

the force of habit is frightening

and the force of market

and how often the cheapest ends up in the shopping trolley

and how much the cover weighs

and many other things

:?
lately mostly drinking coffee or tea
User avatar
tap
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:41 pm
Location: finland

Re: RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers seem

Postby Jasonscheltus » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:58 pm

bruceb wrote:I couldn't agree less. :twisted:

My experience over the years (here in Germany) is that the majority of people don't care, don't notice and are completely indifferent to the quality of coffee. They'll gladly pay exorbitant prices for it if you give them half a litre instead of a smaller cup, if you put vanilla, caramel or chocolate syrup in it or just give it a fanciful name like "The King's Coffee," but if you give them fresh, high-quality, well brewed coffee they will drink it and never notice that it tasted different than the dishwater they normally drink. The number of people that take a sip and say, "Wow! This is superb" is negligible.

Disclaimer: The title of this thread is "Resdarch on UK coffee chains..." and perhaps things are completely different in the UK.


you can disagree with me if you like.

these opinions i've formed come from working in cafes, serving people good coffee and talking to then. i don't mean to sound confrontational, but if your opinion is formed by watching your work colleagues head down to the cafeteria on their lunch break, then i'm not sure it's particularly relevant.

i just mean that if people at your work were presented with an accessible source of good coffee, perhaps they would choose that...do you know what i mean?
User avatar
Jasonscheltus
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:03 pm

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers

Postby bruceb » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:11 pm

For the last 10 years I've been holding lectures on coffee, have questioned the owners of cafés, have talked with "bariste" and held courses at local restaurants to try to teach both staff and consumers about good coffee, mostly about good espresso. If you go back through the archives here you'll find dozens of examples of the frustration and disappointment I've had with this little project and slowly, but surely I'm coming to the conclusion that it is for naught and I'm giving up.

Every café that serves me a bad espresso gets told about it and the same answer always comes back, namely, "The customers don't complain," "Our customers love it and come back." One owner of a local chain told me that he knew the coffee wasn't good, but it was too difficult to get his staff to improve on their techniques and he's doing a booming business as it is. And he is right. People drink 100 ml singles, cappuccinos that are gray and taste of nothing but poor quality milk, all kinds of syrup-adulterated atrocities and they keep coming back for more.

I used the example in my lab just because it is typical. I don't mind confrontational. I have enough experience and have done enough of my own "research" that I feel quite comfortable with my convictions. However, as I said, this applies to the part of Germany in which I live.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5364
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers

Postby Jasonscheltus » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:02 pm

that sounds kinda sad. If I were exposed to the same attitudes, then I would probably draw the same conclusions you have.

we're probably in different situations (i am a tad more footloose than most), but i'd move.

don't they have that coffee shop... Bonanza Coffee Heros in Berlin or so? I hear magical stories about one Se-Rok who set the thing up. Probably not your part of germany though...
User avatar
Jasonscheltus
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:03 pm

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, customers

Postby kingseven » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:07 pm

The Bonanza guys are in London next week btw!

I still retain a huge faith in the consumer and their ability to taste the difference, and choose better but am all too aware of how much needs to be in place to facilitate this.
http://www.jimseven.com

I'll never own too many items with which to enjoy coffee.
User avatar
kingseven
 
Posts: 2118
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:04 pm
Location: London

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Research on UK coffee chains, custom

Postby bruceb » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:46 am

Jasonscheltus wrote:that sounds kinda sad. If I were exposed to the same attitudes, then I would probably draw the same conclusions you have.

we're probably in different situations (i am a tad more footloose than most), but i'd move.

don't they have that coffee shop... Bonanza Coffee Heros in Berlin or so? I hear magical stories about one Se-Rok who set the thing up. Probably not your part of germany though...


You know, it really doesn't bother me that much anymore. I rarely go out to dinner as the food from my own kitchen is generally far better than what I can afford in a restaurant. As a consequence I don't need to order coffee after dinner and since I'm retired I stay home a lot and can make my own coffee, which quite honestly is the best I could desire. :wink:
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5364
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

Previous

Return to Places to drink coffee

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron