Alternative coffee brews are now becoming the popular mainstream coffee style, but many café owners aren't trialling and perfecting these methods.
We spoke to World Barista Championship Finalist in 2014 and Director of Think Tank Coffee, Craig Simon to offer some practical insights and tips for navigating alternative ways of brewing coffee.
Q: Why do you think café owners aren't trialling alternative coffee brewing methods?
They may have visited a café in the past that is trialling these methods and noticed that it can take a lot of time with variable outcomes. Otherwise they simply don't know about it and what options are out there.
Q: So, why should new and existing café owners adopt alternative coffee brewing methods?
Firstly, it's an opportunity to engage with your customer to talk about the coffee. Secondly, coffee is moving away from a functional beverage towards an experience. It's how we do wine. We're looking for uniqueness, the art or craftsmanship of the coffee. We appreciate how it's roasted and how it's brewed.
Q: What would you say to someone who is considering an alternative brewing method?
Find a process that lets you do it quickly and easily. Batch brewing is a good one to get into. It's a bigger investment but I've noticed a couple of cafés on market that do a brilliant job and make great coffees. You can make 2 or 5 litres in one go. It turns up in 30 seconds and it tastes really good!
Q: Which new brewing method would you recommend is the best one to start trialling with and why?
Batch brewing. It's the easiest to perfect.
Q: What is the easiest new brewing method to perfect?
Full immersion brewing like Aeropress. It's easier to control the process. Try it out with Moccamaster.
Q: What's the hardest brewing method?
The hardest brewing method is Syphon. You need to be very particular and in control of it.
Q: What's your personal favourite new brewing method?
I travel with my Aeropress everywhere I go around the world.
Q: Is there a particular brewing method that tastes better? What influences this?
They all have variations in what you experience but the harder brewing methods are the ones that leave a bigger margin for error. If they are done well, I think they all taste good.
Q: What is your advice for someone who is getting started with alternative brewing methods?
You have to find out how the best are doing it and experience their service and products. You have to work out where you want to sit in the market. If you want to do a great job, you need to compete.
Some of the most successful restaurants have incredibly creative dishes with unique thoughtful presentation. Coffee is the same; you need skills behind the machine.
Make sure you know your competition. Be committed to what you're doing and be aware of what's going out there. There's no point competing with the big boys without all the bells and whistles.
Interested in a particular brewing method and want to give it a go?
Silver Chef is an incredibly convenient solution for someone who wants to trial, as our funding model gives you the freedom and flexibility to upgrade your equipment if it's not quite right or you can add more equipment as your business grows.
If you'd like to chat more about introducing alternative coffee brewing methods to your hospitality business, get in touch with us or call 1800 191 684.