You’ve created the café of your dreams, signed the lease and opened your doors. And then that first customer comes strolling in off the sidewalk, ready to give your brew a shot. What kind of experience is she going to have? Let’s hope the overall experience is enough to keep her coming back—maybe even enough to make her your first regular.
Coffee is known the great networking tool. It can sometimes seem as though the entire business world runs on coffee, from the caffeinated buzz in the office breakroom, to the popularity of the “coffee meeting.”
Americans love choice. As Joe Fox remarks in the hit film You’ve Got Mail, the whole purpose of today’s coffee shop, with its myriad of options in flavoring and preparation, is “so people can get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self.” We are what we drink, and many take comfort in just that. Thus, having an array of flavored options at your C-store is always a good investment.
If you are a local coffee shop looking to invest in a custom beverage program, it makes good sense to tailor your menu to your region. Each part of the country has its own idiosyncratic tastes and flavor palate (just think about how much more “sweet tea” Southerners drink than New Englanders) and a healthy knowledge of what the locals want can have a wonderful effect on sales.
Nothing makes for a productive workday quite like a hot cup of coffee. The only trouble is, the standards have changed—a workforce that was once content with instant coffee now has much higher standards. Your staff has tasted good coffee, they want the real thing, has superior knowledge about what makes a good cup of coffee, and they won’t be impressed with less. So how do you provide it? How do you create actual demand to get to the office early just to be able to start the day with the best coffee available?
The journey from high quality beans to a fantastic cup of coffee requires good equipment, storage and tools.
If you’re like most Americans, you’re drinking less soda than you used to. Soda sales have declined for 10 straight years as consumers make healthier choices. At the same time, many people have been choosing tea as their healthy drink of choice.
Coffee’s place at the top of the flavor heap (or at least near it) is tough to contest. Which makes it all the more ironic that every day, Americans throw away thousands of pounds of used—but still flavorful—coffee grounds.
Coffee and meat? Given coffee's ability to pair with just about any flavor in the culinary universe—fruit, chocolate, spices, herbs, nuts, even subtler flavors like cedar and smoke —it was only a matter of time before chefs began to experiment with the possibilities of coffee and meat.
As it turns out, the naturally acidic properties of coffee—much like those of red wine—pair deliciously with, and even accentuate, the savory tones of meat. And not just one kind of meat, either—great recipes for coffee-rubs or coffee marinated chicken, pork and beef are just a click away, lest the master grill chef feel limited in scope.
While hot coffee has been widely accepted in the U.S. for centuries, the notion of cold coffee — deliberately cold, that is — “iced coffee”—is a fairly recent phenomenon from a consumer standpoint. It’s a mystery that the trend has taken so long to gain a foothold—given the popularity of a tall glass of iced coffee on a hot summer day.
The universally accepted coffee culture has given rise to consumers knowing more about what’s in their cup. Just as a glass of wine boasts multiple flavors, subtle and strong, which trace back to the grapes from which it was made, a cup of coffee also contains textures and nuances of flavor that originates from its beans—their origin, their growth, and the manner and skill with which they were roasted.