Sunday, December 9, 2012

How to Judge a/your Specialty Coffee Bar?

These days we see a lot of lists and competitions for best espresso bar.
 I actually wanted to write this article long ago and not after winning the Allegra award for best bar in the Benelux.
 I know it's all relative, but this list is maybe a help for people who want to start or upgrade their Specialty Coffee Bar or for others who want to judge a bar. Let's be your own judge and see how you score on a scale of 60.
I always said that quality is only half the ride. In this scoring sheet it counts for half the points. The other points are for 'all' the rest. Of course sometimes you can't separate one from the other, so we have to stay flexible.

Espresso Taste /10 points
Cappuccino Taste /10 points
Filter/Press Coffee Taste /10 points

General Atmosphere /7 points
Design Interior /7 points (I know these 2 things come together very often)

Service (order and/or delivery at the table) /1 point
Pour in (like latte art or slow brews) at the table /1 point
+1 choice for espresso /1 point
Possibility to buy beans (whole or ground-on demand) /1 point
7/7 opening /1 point
The offer of 1 or more 'Signature Drinks' /1 point
Outside Sitting /1 point
Acceptable Price Setting (say maximum €3 for a 6oz cap) /1 point
Offer of more then one 'milk' variety (Soy or rice or non fat or...) /1 point
Offer of Decaf based drinks /1 point
Free Wifi /1 point
Airco /1 point
More than one news paper for clients /1 point
Bathroom facilities /1 point
Acceptable Speed of service(difficult to judge, I admit) /1 point
High quality take away cups (with anti heat sleeves) and trays /1 point

Of course it's impossible to judge a bar with 1 score and of course we can keep on discussing all these things and I also think we have to do that. Don't forget : Always in a friendly atmosphere and with the final intention to create a better coffee world.

To avoid all mis understandings : I'm not saying Caffenation scores 60 on 60. Not at all! I'm my own worst judge ever, believe me. But every day again we try harder and don't forget; it's in the details you make the difference! It's with marginal gains Bradley Wiggings won the Tour de France and it's with the same mentality your bar may win the next award for best 'coffee bar'. 

(Unfortunately I can't allow any more comments on this blog - because of spam reasons, but hopefully we meet very soon, or mail me with all kinds of comments or questions or stuff I've forgotten to mention).

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