Are you planning to start a cafe? There will be a lots of questions you need to answer. What machines to get? [VBM Espresso Machines or Anfim grinders] Where to buy from? Buy new equipments or used equipments? Concerns about warranty, staffing, costing, menu etc. That will be dealt with in another post.
Let’s talk about the coffee itself. Especially the espresso. Is it something to pay attention to?
While openly, no café in the third wave settings will say they do not focus on espresso, it is entirely uncommon for any café to have espresso order exceeds 10%. Most would dipped below 3% as an estimate. And for that reason, many cafés under-prioritized the espresso making process. Some, totally don’t care about espresso at all.
In some café (eg: MyEspresso Cafe), the brewing of espresso is one of the top priority EVEN when orders of espresso is in the low percentage. A properly calibrated grinder paired with a capable espresso machine, a reliable digital scale and properly monitored brewing temperature are crucial to ensure a quality-approved espresso brewed for all coffee beverages. And let’s not kid ourselves, good coffee and espresso do not get brewed on their own (Unless you are on a Starship in the United Federation of Planets). A professionally trained Barista is a MUST.
[Captain Archer of the Federation Starship USS Enterprise ordering coffee. Wondered if Michael Burnhum have as good coffee on Star Trek: Discovery?]
Some favourite beverages: Americano, Chilled Latte, Iced-latte, Latte and Affogato are directly related to our properly calibrated espresso. But some would ask, “is it because of the location?”. Would that determine the requirements of customers? Would a café in Subang Jaya (USJ 21/11) or a café in Bangsar or a café in Cheras be different in customers’ expectation of the espresso?
Well, to a certain extent, yes. Demographic does have some roles to play. Some areas, customers do not like their coffee or espresso to be acidic. Some don’t like if their espresso is bitter but some actually likes them a bit on the bitter side. Some likes them fruity and some likes their espresso earthy. And some horror of horrors like them burnt and ashy. But mostly these are the influence of the bean itself and how they are roasted. Be happy that you do not need to please every preference nor should you. Regardless of the beans and roasting profile, proper calibration during brewing or extraction of espresso will bring out the best in them.