Offering Americano instead of Drip

max21ge

New member
Apr 2, 2009
1
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Hi,

This is such a great source for info thank you to all of you who contribute!

I will be opening a coffee shop very soon and I'm considering offering Americano instead of drip coffee and just label it "regular coffee". Did any of you do something similar? Did it impact your business? Any upset customers?

Thank you for your comments

Max
 

crema123

New member
Mar 10, 2007
31
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Cook Islands
Would discourage you from taking this route. I think it's best to offer the drip coffee and see where that takes you. Most coffee shops do a significant amount of drip sales. Also it's a quick easy ticket; the line moves much faster than making an Americano for each drip customer. Also, there is no variety in the Americano unless you were to do multiple single origin Americanos (not practical, but could be cool); would encourage going towards vacuum / press instead if you're anti-brewer.
 

Dthomas

New member
Jun 1, 2009
2
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From my experience, I would not leave out a drip program. Many busy cafes use about 50% to 60% drip than around 30% to 40% espresso based drinks. As another member said, I would offer a press or vacuum option, with a single origin or special roast. Another option would the melitta style cone brew.
 

jmeiss

New member
Dec 5, 2005
65
0
Lenexa, Kansas
While an "Americano" is what you'll get in Europe when you ask for a cup of coffee, the culture here is different. A Mileto-style pour-over method is a good idea in addition to a number of drip coffees.

Depending on your flow, you could do decaf americano's for all those who want decaf coffee - could actually save you $$ on decaf.

We have a $1 12oz cup to go between 7a-10a M-F - they can walk in and go to where our drip coffee is located and drop in $1 in the jar - helps move the line along so that those who want just a cup of coffee don't have to wait for the "large 4shot skinny sugar-free blended mocha" people to get through with their order...
 

elizabethgypsy

New member
Oct 15, 2009
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I'm also curious on this subject - with a slightly different angle.

I'm considering using only coffee presses instead of drip - to me and the people I've interviewed, it seems like a nice alternative, plus a great way to encourage engaging the customers and getting to know them.

Thoughts?

Elizabeth
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
elizabethgypsy said:
I'm also curious on this subject - with a slightly different angle.

I'm considering using only coffee presses instead of drip - to me and the people I've interviewed, it seems like a nice alternative, plus a great way to encourage engaging the customers and getting to know them.

Thoughts?

Elizabeth

I would look into the clever coffee dripper.

www.sweetmarias.com/prod.single_cup.php
 

morrisn

New member
Mar 27, 2006
126
0
If you do not offer drip you have to be aware that you reduce your customer base, There are a lot of people who want to run in, grap their drip and go because they like it or have not been properly introduced to espresso based drinks. If you are in a large metropolitan area its probably OK, if you are in a smaller town reducing your customer base can really hurt you. You also have to look at pricing. For example in a 16 oz size we charge $ 1.90 for drip, $ 2.75 for an Americano and $ 3.75 for a Latte. If you are doing Pourovers or French Press you have to charge considerably more than the drip price because they are more labor intensive. People who are into their coffee will pay it, drip drinkers if they have the time to spare may not. I look at drip as a way to get those people converted to good coffee and potentially to convert them to espresso drinks. It also can help build your bulk bean sales. If you brew your Drip to SCAA Gold Cup standards and do not try to hold it to long your customers will immediately notice the difference, some will say it's too strong because they are not used to real coffee. After they have had it for a week or so they will become almost addicted to it and be very critical of coffee anywhere else. You will now see this customer more often and they will buy bulk beans because they want flavor at home too.
 

Tophie2

New member
Jul 6, 2008
157
0
St Augustine Fl
This particalar post has saved me alot of decafe down the drain. I give my customers a choice, I can brew a pot (1/2) or an americano for the same price ,99% will take the deal.
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
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Salt Lake City
A properly brewed Americano is an improvement upon, rather than a substitution for, standard drip. It's ground fresh and brewed fresh for the customer, and has more body and flavor than conventional drip.
Unfortunately, the majority of coffee shops cannot pull a proper espresso so their Americano is poor as well. But, like properly texturing milk, you need to understand all aspects, including right water temp or your "spot-on" espresso will turn into a bitter, rather than flavorful, Americano.

Offering Americano exclusively or any by the cup manual brewing (Melitta, Press, Eva Solo, Siphon, Chemex...) instead of drip will elevate everything in your operation -- provided you honestly believe in quality above ALL else. Customers can see right through pretenders, and in my experience, about 80-90% really aren't all about the quality they claim, and it shows. I believe that in today's market, any new shop offering anything but by the cup brewing is going the convenience route, and that's the wrong way to go. Excellence is NOT for the masses, you are creating a niche, and in that aspect if you keep it about the coffee you will be rewarded.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
I would have to disagree with John. Is manual brew better than drip machine? I have had less than a handful of coffee nirvana moments, and two of them are from machine dripped. First one was at Terroir's open house tasting a Kenyan brewed through Technivorm, another time was at Esselon when Scott Rao was running the place and had his Yirgacheffe through Fetco. Scott has since opened Myriade in Montreal where you can get espresso drinks, Clever single drip, French press, eva solo and Hario syphon but machine dripped is not offered. George Howell at Terroir on the other hand is still championing Technivorm, a drip machine. Another person, James Hoffmann, after he played with multiple manual brew devices, asked are we throwing away our drip machines too soon? I have had good drip, bad drip, good Clover, bad Clover, good syphon, bad syphon, good single drip, bad single drip. I have had horrible shots from La Marzocco and Synesso, and decent shots from supposedly lesser machine/grinder. I think it is the person behind the counter, not any particular piece of equipment. The way I see it, the advantage of individual brew coffee is it's brew to order, the danger of drip machine is leaving the coffee in the pot too long. That however, is a training issue that can be addressed.

I personally don't think offering Americano instead of drip is a good idea. Some coffees work better as drip, Terroir's masterfully done Kenyans for example would not work well when extract through espresso machine.
 

Tophie2

New member
Jul 6, 2008
157
0
St Augustine Fl
No doubt an americano is a far superior cup of coffee, most of my customers are fairly coffee illiterate, understanding that it is my job is to train and educate. So I have to come up with a reasonable response to "Whats americano?" without sounding like its espresso and water. (which it obviously is). I have a French roast decafe which is what I have exclusively for decafe drip, and its outstanding. Now, that said, yes I value what I consider the absolute quality of the cup. Because I have set the bar in this town,and quite high I may add, so hopefully this will pay dividends. Then again I may fail miserably, but I know since this post, I have saved at least 10# of decafe, with customers now asking for americanos.
 

John P

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

It's not specifically the Drip method -- and I agree, the Technivorm kicks ass -- but any coffee brewing methodology that's not by the cup, or made & served immediately (uhhh not counting "instant coffee" :( .) As I've said, most are pretenders rather than the real thing. I've had some of the worst espresso on a Synesso from a shop in Seattle only using locally roasted coffees. There's not much you can do with the guy who spends $1200 on their yanagi bocho (sashimi knife) and believes they're a sushi master 'cause they have the best equipment. The better the equipment, the better the methodology - the less room for error.

Coffee is also just ground coffee and water, so we say Americano is "A fresh ground double shot of espresso brewed directly into filtered water. It has a little more body and flavor than traditional coffee."
-- and it has less caffeine too.
 
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