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Postby Raf » Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:01 am

So where will your shop be, Marcy? And when are you opening? I'll try to be there. Be a great chance to see Joey again!
This week I am eagerly anticipating the first god shots from my La Spaziale machine....

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Postby stevenzaat » Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:58 pm

Marcy,

Off course I will be at the opening!

And as I stated before when we met, you don't have to taste all the differences or have the experience of a professional trader to have the best espresso bar. If you are passionate as you are and willing to learn I am 100% sure you will be in a very short time in the top 5 best coffee places. At this moment Victor to Go is regarded as one of the best espresso shops in the Netherlands. I visit the shop regularly (every week), but I still think that the coffee I brew at home is better. The beans at homes are fresher and lighter roasted than there (they are too oily, sorry Tisri). But as earlier discussed taste differs between people. There is not one best espresso blend. So continuously try to find different blends to serve different tastes

So just be sure you have the knowledge to buy the at the best bean suppliers, you don´t have to select the beans yourselve. This is somthing for the trade people as mentioned by Ivo. .
Have passion and hire passionate people who are committed to produce the espresso as it should be and you will play in the top the major league. Having Joey as a mentor will help because she already made it

So, Marcy, don´t bother about your taste buds or the lack of experience. And off course if the place is TMC proof you have a main advantage above other shops!

Best regards,

Steven
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Postby jumper » Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:08 pm

The beans at homes are fresher and lighter roasted than there (they are too oily, sorry Tisri).

they can't be much fresher than victor's he get's coffee every week (they are very dark but thats the way he want's it)
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Postby stevenzaat » Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:40 pm

Why not? I roast every 3 days and dark roasted beans loose their taste faster becuase they loose the oil which contains a lot of the taste. But maybe you are right and is it more dependent of the very dark roast. I only would like to give evidence that there is not one perfect blend and that it depend on the preference per person what is the perfect blend. So it is not an attack on Victor. If it had any of that suggestion I would like to apologize. I would not visit it every week, if I don't like their coffee.

Best regards,

Steven
Last edited by stevenzaat on Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Beanie » Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:02 pm

joey wrote:Hey, you can "rent" Rutger, but he is expensive!
.....
Marcy when you'll open, I'll be there on your first day, I promise ;-D

Joey


I guess I'll have to track down his family and hold them ransom!

Joey, hate to break the news to you... but you'll be here BEFORE my 1st day! I'm counting on you to slap me upside the head and knocking some sense into me before I open! I have no doubt you'll make me eat some of my own words!

Oh boy, the next reply is going to be a long one...
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Postby Beanie » Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:32 pm

ivdp wrote:"Know" what you are drinking? - Be knowledgeable about/at coffee tasting?
This is a very nice goal.

Despite the scoff I heard in the tone of the 1st sentence, I’ll take the 2nd as a compliment. Thanks, Ivo. Better to have a nice goal and work towards it rather than just serve what the general public is used to, no?

ivdp wrote:In the professional trade one would be regarded as knowledgeable only after several years of intensive daily cup testing - (I mean intensive, 2 sessions of 30 or more cups a day!). Even then, if you miss the talent to remember all the varieties and subtleties.


I am not and will not misrepresent myself to be a professional cupper, nor do I want to be one. I will never be an expert in all things coffee and it’s not my goal. Sometimes, in my experience, experts can intimidate the uninitiated into a blind following and that is certainly not the atmosphere I would like to create.

I don’t expect to remember a large number of coffee varieties or subtleties. I envision growing and experiencing this with my future guests, albeit at different levels. I expect that some of my guests will have far more experience and/or knowledge than me. I will learn from them, as I am learning from many here, and hope that they will be happy with my little operation and my intentions.

What I do expect and wholly believe I can achieve is “knowing” the products that I wish to serve. By knowing, I mean, being able to distinguish and describe them by sight, smell and/or taste in their different states from green to charred and everything in between.

Right now, I’m trying as many beans as I can and choosing based on my experience level now as I believe many of my future guests will be where I’m at now. I’ll be picking those that I enjoy and where I can easily distinguish the different notes, not the subtleties, so that they can too. Once I’ve chosen these products, I intend to keep tasting/drinking them until I feel I can’t pull out any more “subtleties/notes” out of them. These products I choose will be based on my ethical & taste preferences as well as experiences with the suppliers. I also realize that some of my preferences will not be to the liking of all & vice-versa, this is where I enlist the help of my “network” or circle of friends & forum members, coffee professionals, family, whatever. Even then, not all will be satisfied; but, “c’est la vie” and I need to do what I believe in. It would be nice to have something for everyone, but frankly, is that realistically even possible?

ivdp wrote:This is not to put someone off, but to look at things in perspective.
And be modest.

I'm sorry if I sounded as if I was a know-it-all to you. I thought I was consistent in claiming that I still had lots to learn. Now that you've had a chance to see my perspective, I hope you're not still shaking your head.

ivdp wrote:Why would an "approved by TMC" drink be good?
Because I value the opinions of this forum. I’ve learned a lot from TMC and it’s lead me to making drinks that taste better and look better (ok, according to me and my 50 or so guinea pigs). Because of the generosity of its members in helping me improve my coffee experience (like Joey for allowing me to see and experience a coffee house behind the scenes, Steven for demonstrating the Hottop, and all the other regulars who responded to my questions, provided guidance, recommendations, etc.) Because it helps me try new things I wouldn’t have previously that have led me down this exciting path. Because I believe that if I had attempted this without TMC, I’d contribute to the state of the coffee currently served in the majority of establishments in NL today.

ivdp wrote:Ivo
+the more we discuss the closer we get to the truth+

Sometimes the truth gets lost in all that blah blah. So enough blah blah from me. My truth (as she throws modesty out the window) is that if someone like me, who didn’t even drink hot drinks, much less coffee, can get this excited about this in such a short time, imagine what my enthusiasm can do for the experience of those who can’t get by the day without it. It'll be like crayola coming to town for those who loved to draw/colour but only had a 2HB pencil. And that folks, is kissing my own @$$… Damn! I didn’t know I was so flexible!!
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Postby Raf » Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:33 pm

You're creating quite some suspense, Marcy! When do you open, pretty please?
This week I am eagerly anticipating the first god shots from my La Spaziale machine....

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Postby Beanie » Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:40 pm

Raf,
According to planning, late October - mid-November, in ***.... so it's not too far away for you, is it? :) Of course, timing is dependent on location availability/readiness.

Want to see Joey sooner? GO to Vienna already!! It's just so nice there!

Steven,
Thanks for your support.

As we all agree, taste is subjective. The suppliers I choose will already have cupped their products, so I fully intend to choose the beans myself. For me, I need to believe in what I offer… hey, I’m bean_believer, after all ;) So, it will be according to my taste and those of whom I trust for a product I do not prefer; however, because I believe in those I trust, I can have faith in the products they prefer.

Steven, any time you want a change of career and have won the lottery big time, you are so very welcome to be a part of my barista team :wink:

Regarding Victor’s… that’s just my point – he’s selling what he prefers or believes in. Although it’s not your favourite, you can still appreciate it :)

Cheers,
M
Last edited by Beanie on Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ivdp » Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:50 pm

I never shook my head!

Your reaction is verymuch appreciated, certainly your statement that you will chose what you enjoy! This comes very close to my axioma: do not listen to others but find out yourselves.
Smiling now is allowed.

If you serve what you like best, you will be succesful, although it might take a while . . .
Never forget that the best selling products are not necessarily the best.

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Postby Beanie » Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:15 pm

Sorry, Raf. Didn't mean to :oops: Just trying to respond chronologically :)

Thank you, Ivo :)

I wanted to be serious in responding to your initial post as it sounded condescending to me. May have been deservedly so, so I just wanted to clarify my intentions, so as not to unintentionally insult any experts by minimalising the amount of time/experience required to be considered one, nor by implying that I could achieve such expert status in a short time, or ever, for that matter.

Yes, close, but not quite. I believe I should listen to others... but at the end of the day, I'm the only one who can work out what's best for me... just based on the input received :) That said, I look forward to suggestions, recommendations, advice from you, as one who has had significantly more experience than me. :)

Never forget that the best selling products are not necessarily the best."

Amen! to that. My possessions are not the best in the world... just the best for me at the time I purchased for my convenience, finances, tastes, pleasure, requirements and/or compromise.

Cheers,
Marcy
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Postby huub » Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:25 pm

science schmience.....
nice coffee makes people happy, that's all there is to it..
so open up that shop i'd say!
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Postby Joey » Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:04 pm

Wow, a lot added up int eh last days where I had no time to check this thread >phew<
I just want to add something to the discussion of Marcie and Ivo about coffee tasting/cupping or not and experience rumble from above:

Cupping is something roasters do, or people who buy coffee, or some coffeelovers for fun.
In a coffeeshop, honestly, why should I teach my customers to sniff and spit if they just wanna taste "a" difference in some coffee origins, as they never knew before that there ARE differences in taste (others then bitter or sour)

For example, my clients wanna drink their coffee and enjoy. So I give them samples as espressos. And to be honest, also I taste my coffees as espresso first, then all the other recipies and modifications (drip, French Press, Karlsbader, whatever...) because I have to know how the coffee tastes as my customers drink it. Cupping is fun, but that's not how my customers taste their coffee at home..... so in order to find out which coffee goes well with milk, or as drip, too, I have to make "he recipies"
Back to the shop - I offer coffee testings as follows:
5 totally different espressos and a lot of green tea inbetween, and some of my chocolate covered own coffee beans to nibble.
People love it. We sit together for about 1,5 hours and talk coffee. I give them hints how to make their coffee better at home, show them examples of greens, plants, maps, whereever the coffee theme leads us..... I sometimes take freaks behind the bar and let them play with the machine....
Of course these people are no experts, but they are so proud if they taste the differences....
I also let them sniff on the little aroma bottles before, just to get some important scents in their heads before we start.
The hardest thing for people is, to find the right picture in the head when they "know" a scent.
Mostly they can't describe a scent/flavor, although they taste something....

Anyway - I think Marcy didn't want to make an experts testing, just providing the possibility for people to "taste the differences" in one place.

Cheers
Joey :D
"Latte" is french for "you've paid too much for your coffee"
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Postby wang » Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:22 pm

Joey, you're right about under enthused staff. I got a job at the college co-op run cafe, and the staff are generally lazy with the entire coffee experience. Its annoying when they complain about the coffee taking 'too long' after I adjusted the grind as we were getting 5 second shots to around 25 seconds, and the lack of flushing and cleaning of the equipment as well as numerous little bad things they do.

At least it's a learning experience for me and I might get to work somewhere proper in future. I've only been working there for a small while, but when I know my stuff and get more settled in I'll get to whine at them at meetings (since it is a co-op) after all. The sight and smell of burnt milk is quite nauseating and probably doesn't bode well either since there's a cafe run by italians who have great coffee just down the road too :/
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Postby Joey » Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:16 pm

Oh poor Wang!!!!!
I can totally understand how you must feel! Horrible.
Keep on preaching and praying, you are on an important mission ;-)

BTW, I have heard something similar from a company owner who sells fully automatic espresso machines (schaerer) in Austria. He knows that an espresso should at least take 22 seconds to be made, but when he shows his machines at the fairs and potential customers see the coffee running for (only) 15 seconds, they are all like "hey, that has to go faster, we can't wait that long in our business!" Guess they must be from a gas station or ski hut. Whatever, that makes it easier for us who specialize on quality instead of quantity ;-)

Good luck with your venture!
You will see, customers will recognize that you are the guy who makes the best coffee and will want you to make it for them exclusivly ;-D
..and hopefully give you more tips, then the others will wake up!

Joey
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Postby wang » Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:26 pm

There's no tips jar in the place. It's a student run place anyway, for cheap but filling food and drink so we wouldn't get many even if we did have a jar. I wish I could've joined you in your bar but it's just too awkward for everyone involved if I only stay for a few months and can't speak Austrian! I could take a year off from college but I'd still be langauge-less!

We've got a fully automatic Elektra Moderna with two E61 (albeit hidden a little) groups from Matthew Algie. I don't think I can get them to improve on the roasted coffee freshness as the machine is part of a package deal where the machine is free as long as we buy our supplies from them.

It's handy as you can just press the single shot button to flush it and walk away to do other things, but its volumetric pump is set a bit high. Singles are about 60-70ml and doubles twice that, so when I'm pulling a shot I'll cut it early. I'll come in armed with measured shot glasses next week to test it properly. That and try to learn latte art so as I can really show myself as a competent barista. I can only occasionally get the very dense and uniform microfoam though. I did once do about 3 plumes of a rosetta, heheh. Not very pretty but tasty.
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