Since 1698, when the London coffee house cemented itself as the quintessential melting pot of political, philosophical and creative debate, independent businesses have competed to serve the best cup of ‘syrup of soot and essence of old shoes’.
Of course, ‘soot and old shoes’ will no longer satisfy the discerning palate of the 21st century coffee connoisseur. At The Gentlemen Baristas our first and primary aim has always been to showcase, at its best, the great wealth and variety of specialty coffee available today.
Making coffee can be a perplexing process. Working with an organic material, sensitive to minute changes in humidity or temperature means that the barista cannot simply set the machinery and let it run over and over, coffee after coffee. Remaining in control of the ideal extraction means being able to predict as far as possible how the coffee will react.
The product itself is, however, only part of the experience. Exceptional coffee is of course a must, but to drink a great brew in boring, uninspiring surroundings cheapens and deadens it. We are big believers that for someone to enjoy the coffee we must prepare them for that experience. The attention to detail starts as soon as they walk through the door right through to them leaving.
Deciding on the cup in which the coffee is served is one of the most important decisions you will make when opening any coffee outlet. Whether it be batch brew, pour over, espresso or cold brew, selecting the correct coffee for your offering can be the difference between customers coming back or staying away.
With competition greater than ever, there is an emphasis on the smaller details. Ultimately, you must decide, what makes you stand out from the crowd, what is going to make someone enter your shop?
DIRECT TRADE – As with food, people now want to know exactly where their coffee is from and direct trade means we deal direct with the farmers giving greater detail of origin. Not just traceability, it also means farmers get a fair price for the green beans as there’s no middle man.
INNOVATION – Alternative milks will continue to get better as more and more people move away from dairy. The likes of turmeric lattes are here to stay.
COFFEE & BOOZE – Coffee in cocktails is already a thing, but in 2018 we’ll see more breweries working with coffee roasters to produce coffee stouts / beers. Also, there is a rise in quality coffee liqueur and there will be lots of collaborations with that as well.
Ever had a turbo gin and tonic?
COFFEE AFTER FOOD – Restaurants now can’t get away with serving sub-standard coffee after a meal as customers expect a lot. In 2018 we’ll see lots of establishments spending more on the machinery, the beans, their crockery and the baristas they hire.