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26 & 27 NOV 2019


5 Ways to Cause a Stir with Your Coffee

Restaurants are continuing to up their game when it comes to picking a coffee selection that successfully communicates their brand identity, but, in such a competitive market, just how easy is it to brew up a success? Big Hospitality have explored the ways in which you can differentiate yourselves from your competitors and drive sales.

1.Know your market and cater to it

When James Walter, the owner of Arabica Bar and Kitchen in London’s Borough Market, was devising his coffee offer, he had to account for the fact that the producer of London’s finest espresso, Monmouth Coffee, was just a stone’s throw away. Not one to be outdone, Walter was sure to stay clear of serving espresso, instead deciding to offer French press alongside Turkish coffee. According to Walters, Turkish coffee now makes up to about 50% of their sales.

Rather fittingly, in line with its name, the eatery only serves arabica coffee. Given that it can often be hard to get hold of, the beans are sourced from a number of Lebanese brands. The coffee is then brewed using an automated Turkish-made machine and is flavoured with cardamom and served either with or without sugar.

2. Make sure your coffee selection is in keeping with your brand identity

An increasing number of restaurants now offer coffee which works in cohesion with the theme of the restaurant to communicate the concept behind it.

True to its roots, Vietnamese chain Pho serves Kopi Luwak and pizza chain Franco Manca only serves espresso sourced from a specialist supplier in Verona. Offering only an espresso allows the chain to consistently produce high quality coffee, with all staff expected to attend a one-day coffee training course so they know how to produce it.

Similarly, Mexican chain Wahaca is also staying true to its heritage, sourcing its coffee from the region of Oaxaca, in Mexico. The coffee is exclusively sourced for them by Origin Coffee Roasters, who pride themselves on working directly with farmers to ensure high quality coffee is produced, which is fairly priced, to ensure a good livelihood for coffee farmers and their families.

3. Treat your coffee like you would your wine

Top quality restaurants have vastly improved their tea offerings in recent years and that could be said to be down to the fact that seasonal teas are now treated much in the same way as wines, with due care and attention.

Peruvian restaurateur Martin Morales is redefining the way coffee is served at his four London restaurants. He prides himself on using fresh peruvian ingredients, getting in fresh leaves for brewing.

Miguel Arbe Rey, who oversees the bars at Andina, Casita Andina and Ceviche, has explained that on one of their trips to Peru, the company got in touch with Eco-Inda, a small producer that sources fair trade and organic teas from various regions of Peru, enabling them to currently serve yacón leaves and Andean mint.

Coffee market analyst, Allegra Strategies has since predicted that good quality coffee and brewing techniques will become as important as a good wine list for top-end restaurants.

4. Antipodes for the win?

Coffee specialist Grind has fully embraced the antipodean style, channeling it via everything from its front-of-house style to the coffee itself.

Sam Trevethyen, head of coffee at Grand, has explained what is meant by ‘antipodean’, stating that antipodean coffee culture is about putting the focus back on coffee, which entails using smaller drinks, better quality materials and proper equipment and training. 

5.Train to stay ahead of the game

It’s safe to say that in order to achieve success, proper systems and training procedures are essential. Gareth Davies. The UCC Coffee UK & Ireland Head of Coffee Excellence strongly supports this notion, saying that a poor cup of coffee more often than not boils down different baristas not accurately following the coffee recipe.

According to Davies, it’s all down to the precision of the coffee-making process, as there are so many variables to contend with when it comes to making a top quality cuppa, from the temperature of the milk to the dosage and grind size and that perfecting these elements is vital when it comes to producing a tasty coffee.