Black Coffee

Forrest Gump

New member
May 8, 2008
11
0
I drink my coffee black but when i do people look at me as though i were an alien. Seems like according to them coffee is only good with lots of cream and sugar. How can i convince them otherwise?
 

DanD04325

New member
Apr 11, 2008
9
0
1. Health reasons - Adding cream essentially eliminates the antioxidant benefits of black coffee (may have something to do with the proteins in the milk binding to the antioxidants).
2. Give them good black coffee. A few of my friends used to load their coffee with milk and sugar until I introduced them to the brand "gimme coffee." From my experiences, good coffee should not require milk or sugar to cover up imperfections characteristic of bad coffee (bitterness, etc.).

Nonetheless, some people still do prefer to sweeten up good coffee due to personal preferences or routine. If you have added cream and sugar to your coffee throughout your entire life, I assume it will be difficult to change.
 

caffe biscotto

New member
Jan 18, 2008
704
0
MASS.
Have you considered the remote possibility that you may very well be an alien? :D

Although I prefer real coffee black, no cream or sugar, I do enjoy an occasional caffe latte or mocha. On my day off, when I know I won't be driving, I might even try a liquored down coffee drink.

Coffee is good so many ways, why think it's only good black man? Let them try real coffee for sure, but also let them enjoy some of the infinite possibilities that lie therein.

I could go on about the other, more exotic and entertaining uses of good coffee, but that would be better saved for another forum. :D
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
3,718
8
Boca Raton
I am too late...sigh..how did I know that caffe biscotto was going to jump on the alien comment? :p Dont worry about anyone else drink it how you like it!
 

MakoShark

New member
Nov 23, 2007
107
0
"The way life should be"
I like Coffee Black, like my aliens

I'm afraid I need to be faster on the draw! When I read the reference to aliens drinking black coffee, I instantly thought of the Alien Coffee Chronicles. And I was not surprised to see Caffe Biscotto jumping right in with the same idea. (to say nothing of his other possible uses for black coffee)

But lo and behold, Mr. Topher has made reference to alien coffee! This is very exciting. It's common to find such members as Caffe Biscotto and Davids Biscotti participating in this brand of Tom-Foolery. But when a Topher joins in, well that's significant.

Please Topher give us a first hand glimpse at what your Nike's are like, now that they're inhabited by millions of Centaurians.

MakoShark
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
0
Salt Lake City
Quality beans, properly roasted will never need cream or sugar, and it's an insult to everyone in the chain to add it.... Provided the roaster and brewer deliver in the cup what the farmer presented you with in their crop.

The phrase "...to cover up the bitterness" means low quality beans, improperly roasted beans, old stale beans... or a combination of any and all of the above.

Most people have never had good coffee because only a handful of shops/roasters in North America have it.

Bean quality. Correct roast level. Correct brewing.

It sounds so simple, yet less than 1 out of 10 shops do it.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
John P said:
Quality beans, properly roasted will never need cream or sugar, and it's an insult to everyone in the chain to add it.... Provided the roaster and brewer deliver in the cup what the farmer presented you with in their crop.

The phrase "...to cover up the bitterness" means low quality beans, improperly roasted beans, old stale beans... or a combination of any and all of the above.

Most people have never had good coffee because only a handful of shops/roasters in North America have it.

Bean quality. Correct roast level. Correct brewing.

It sounds so simple, yet less than 1 out of 10 shops do it.
Any idea how many of your customers went from cream and sugar to black? I'd surprised if I converted 5% of my customers.
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
0
Salt Lake City
ElPugDiablo wrote:
Any idea how many of your customers went from cream and sugar to black?

Coffee? 100%, I've had maybe a total of five people ever ask.
And the answer has always been "no".

Americano? About 65%-70% take it black.

We don't do standard "drip" coffee, nor have we ever.

Americano only first 18 months. Press coffee brewed fresh by the cup, for another year and a half, and siphon coffee, by the cup for the past four months or so.

It's easier to covert people if:
A) You don't leave any cream or sugar out.
B) You educate them by taste
C) It's not an option.

The LCD will always remain as such, but there are a huge number of people who can be converted by taste; sometimes they just need a little nudge.

I was going on thirty before I had my first eye opening cup of coffee.
And about the same age before I ever had fresh seafood. (wouldn't touch the stuff before)
I'm thirty-nine now. Change came instantly, and I've never looked back.
Most people will do the same given the opportunity.

That's your job. Present the opportunity for them to experience excellence, and give it to them. They will be fiercely loyal.
 

iampatches13

New member
May 16, 2008
19
0
Maine
A few years ago I too made the life changing exploration into black coffee. And I too will never turn back. But I do have to say that not all coffees will taste better black. It really depends on the roast and the temperature at which you''re drinking it. As far as the roast goes, you in uncharted waters if you''ve never had it black before as everyone''s going to have a different experience with it. There are just some roasts I don''t drink because they require cream and sweetener to taste good. Here in New England (not sure about elsewhere) iced coffee is all the rage, everyones drinking it and everyones selling it. Yet a number of the varieties taste awful because they aren''t being served at a temp that''s appropriate. Same coffee served hot is great black, when cold it NEEDS some help from the cows and the cane.

As far as turning people to the dark side goes:
Just getting them to taste it works wonders. I mean for customers as far as I am concerned you have to have cream and sweetener available, SOMEONE is going to want it and you''re just going to lose business without it. For them then, who cares if they are enjoying your stuff inappropriately, ignorance is often quite blissful I hear.

For those who look at you with wide eyes, maybe mouthing \"Oh My God!\" Just look at em and wink. \"Puts hair on your chest\". Often times I find the biggest thing hindering people from going black is the lack of opportunity, or proper motivation. That and fear of becoming an alien.
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
0
Salt Lake City
iampatches13,

It's not about having coffee "black". It's about having properly sourced and roasted coffee so that it has no need of anything else. Like good o-toro (fatty tuna) sashimi--properly sourced, properly cut, it's nothing short of astounding.

If you roast to highlight the varietal flavors of the coffee, and are sourcing quality micro-region, single estate/farm, or similar coffee, there never will be any need to add anything to it. It's the exploration of the natural flavors of the coffee that reveal what the farmer and all those in the coffee chain have worked so hard to produce.

Customers come to specific establishments because of their care for what they serve. It's not about serving the masses. It's about providing something exceptional that people will make a special trip to have. Excellence in customer service is not about doing what the customer expects, it's going beyond expectations to deliver something remarkable.
 

MakoShark

New member
Nov 23, 2007
107
0
"The way life should be"
coffee black

Dear John,

I am sure you are quite content and enriched in your pursuit of the perfect roasting compliment to the ideal coffee grown in exactly the right climate, altitude and ground, picked with care by loving grower/artisans.

And like you there are some in the public who share your appreciation of such fineness in life. I am among them.

But if you turn away from people such as iampatches13, I'm afraid you may not find the long term prosperity that you may seek in your business. I'm a little concerned with your tone with iampatches13, and how he might feel by being put in his place by you.

I would not call you a coffee snob, but he might. In a larger sense, you may be conveying this same feeling to others around you who you might choose not to return to your establishment.

Consider perhaps a more friendly approach. He seems to have recently found the flavor in his coffee that he was not aware of. He found it in drinking his coffee black. That's not an easy thing for many to do. He's enjoying his coffee, and discovering the multitude of flavors that exist. He's noticed temperature, and how it makes his coffee taste. He's proud of his insight.

I say, celebrate this discovery and encourage his development. Make him want more. In time he will discover all that you appreciate and more. You might enjoy sharing a cup with him someday, and debating the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen roast. That would be a great day.

Food for thought....or food for aliens!

MakoShark
 

caffe biscotto

New member
Jan 18, 2008
704
0
MASS.
Yeh, John P is a tough nut to crack. He's very disciplined and is more of a coffee purist than a coffee snob. I for one, have come to admire John's stern sense of business and the system of ethics he abides by.

Just as having forum members from various sectors of the coffee industry is what makes this forum so interesting, so is the fact that we all have our own style. I can vouch for John that he intended no harm and was simply trying to convey a message, that coffee (not just his coffee) can be deemed higher quality if it's good in its purest form, that being black.

Probably 90% of the coffee drinks I enjoy are now black, the other 10% are occasional lattes and the like.

So, there are those who will take the stance of trying to please everyone in their business approach and there are those, like John P, who choose to run more of a specialty shop. He may only please a small percentage of coffee drinkers, but they will be loyal to his shop.

I could go all organic with my products and lose many of my customers due to the increased prices, but the few I would retain and gain would be loyal to my products, therefore decreasing the overall "leaky bucket syndrome" of a business like mine.

So to John P, keep those comments coming. Hopefully members like MakoShark and myself will know where you're coming from and try to keep the peace amongst others who may become stirred up in the wake of your controversial, though enlightening, posts.
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
0
Salt Lake City
I am an enigma. 8)


I hardly think anyone is so thin skinned that they cannot see that we are critiquing each other's points of view rather than each other.

MakoShark,

(somehow I always think of this guy)
20070501%20Filmfest%20Tribute%20Mako.jpg


...

As a business model, we're on solid ground. For the long term viability of the smaller business, it is those that fail to evolve at a dynamic rate that will fall by the wayside. Much as I like the behemoth approach by Microsoft (Xbox 360) and Sony (Playstation 2 & 3); in terms of innovation, and niche market penetration, it is Nintendo for it's quirky innovation, and Apple, for its exclusivity and innovation that have the deepest penetration.

It's not about serving everyone something very good. It's about serving a growing number something exceptional.

From others who I look up to, as well as my own experience, customer loyalty is far greater with our model than the norm. When everyone knows that our goal is the best expression of coffee we can have, but we know there is always much to be learned-- and it is that seeking of improvement, and constant refinement that makes our customers loyal because we do what so many others fail to even attempt. I would rather serve 500 something truly exceptional, than serve 5000 something that's "pretty good".

What many miss is that they focus on trying to please the customer rather than giving the customer what they are paying for. Not only is it our obligation to provide the best coffee, espresso, and teas that we can, but to educate the customer, in the cup, and by answering questions, and providing information on what we do and why we do it.

You can go thousands of places and get a horrible espresso and a passable coffee. You can go to maybe a hundred places and get very good coffee and passable espresso. Or you can go to a handful of places and have something truly exceptional.

It's not about excluding. It's about raising expectations for what coffee and espresso should be. People choose to come here because of our expertise; why should we give them anything less?
 
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