Coffee for a hundred...?

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Coffee for a hundred...?

Postby Thiskey » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:03 pm

Evening all.

All being well, I'm having a fairly integral role (the groom) in a forthcoming wedding. We'll be doing some of the catering ourselves, and I'd love to have great coffee for everyone, maybe 110 people. The coffee is my job - I'm not to be let loose on anything else (very sensible).

Someone could "man the stall" so to speak, very unlikely to be a barista. Probably in a field but there will be a water supply. There may or may not be a cottage nearby for storage + washing up.

I'm mulling over cafetiere / french press vs filter vs espresso machine (the least likely option), etc. Each has its good and bad points.

Anyone ever catered for so many people, outside of a coffee shop? Can anyone suggest a suitable solution? Or am I bound to fail miserably and hand round mugs of instant?

Tom
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RE: Coffee for a hundred...?

Postby bruceb » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:39 pm

Firstly, congratulations on your upcoming marriage. :D

I personally don't see any way to serve that many people using a French press. I used to have a BIG Melitta filter that was insulated and a number of 5 Liter Thermos jugs. I served 70 people using that equipment and the whole trick is to use good, fresh, freshly ground beans. I used Kenyan because the acidity keeps the beverage light and bright, but that's a matter of taste.

The other trick is to have the water at the right temperature, perhaps 95°C when you pour it over. Without the big filter you could mix the coffee and water and filter through a clean, rinsed cloth in a large sieve. Keeping it all hot is going to be a bit of a problem. If you use Thermos jugs be sure to preheat them with boiling water for at lest 10 minutes before filling them with coffee.

If you have to resort to a commercial filter machine make sure the water is hot and most importantly, again, use good, fresh, freshly ground beans. Properly prepared filter coffee from good beans is excellent and is generally enjoyed by most guests.

Forget the espresso machine if you can't hire a well-trained and talented barista. Most people don't enjoy espresso as such and will want milk drinks and only a trained barista can pull that off for so many people.

Good luck and let us know how this works out (the coffee, I mean). :wink:
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RE: Coffee for a hundred...?

Postby Thiskey » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:50 pm

Bruce, thanks so much. Never heard of a Melitta filter - will look in to it.

Completely agree about espresso machine btw.

Right, on with the research. Will report back on completion... you'll have to hang on until September 2012 :-)

Thanks again.
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RE: Coffee for a hundred...?

Postby motoman » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:48 pm

Screw the coffee mate, I can have a fast car waiting outside the church just in case panic sets in.
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RE: Coffee for a hundred...?

Postby Thiskey » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:35 pm

Noted, ta!! :-) No church for us though...
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Postby Bombcup » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:37 pm

I had nice coffee at my wedding, just asked the catering manager how they prepare the coffee, then gave them a bag of preground fresh coffee which they brewed and served in airpots. It was real tasty.

I didn't ask them to do anything different to their normal service, if you make it a PITA for them you're much less likely to get a tasty coffee. Keep it simple.
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Postby Thiskey » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:32 pm

Thanks, that sounds like a good (and easy) solution.

I mis-read your post on first reading... "airports" instead of "airpots". Odd sort of venue I thought.
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Postby bruceb » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:52 pm

Thiskey wrote:I mis-read your post on first reading... "airports" instead of "airpots". Odd sort of venue I thought.


Might possibly be more effective than Moto's fast car. 8)
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I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Postby CakeBoy » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:41 pm

Congrats Thiskey ...... though I too would consider giving up the role in the proceedings in order to just make the coffee ;) :D
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