I do everything I can to get to the coffee bar when it’s least crowded, that’s when the barista can provide the best customer service. He/she has the time to carefully extract your drink and thoughtfully address any questions you might have.
What I Expect At The Coffee Bar
1. Optimum Taste
- Coffee that illuminates rather than disguises the flavor of the beans.
- Fresh roasted beans, which are just ground and extracted for optimal taste.
- A barista who is willing to discard the first shot to get a better extraction.
2. Customer Service
- Staff that takes the time to offer drink suggestions and takes pleasure in explaining the drink to you.
- Cleanliness makes for a more pleasant experience and better tasting coffee. This means the cups I’m served with and the tools that are used to create them are clean.
- Residue left on equipment (eg portfilters, milk pitchers and pourover drippers) can affect future drinks. Good bars will continually be cleaning their equipment.
Coffee quality should be consistent at the same shop. A coffee drink prepared by one barista should taste no different prepared by another. Intelligentsia ensures this consistency by having an educator at each location to foster baristas use of the same techniques.
When Katsuyuki Tanaka of Bear Pond (Tokyo) lived in New York, he’d always order the same drink at Ninth Street Espresso, which achieved consistency, consistently, enabling him to spot variations in the roast. He attributes the refinement of his pallet to Ninth Street’s reliable quality.
Barista Wish List of Customer Behavior :
1. Order from the Menu. In other words: no substitutions! The shop wants you to enjoy their finest offerings. The menu is a list of these items. By asking for substitutions (eg, nonfat milk instead of what the bar customarily uses), you are asking the baristas to prepare something that may not be a standard house drink or something they were trained to prepare. If you are not sure which drink to order, ask. They can suggest something to your liking.
2. Drink it there. Consume it at the shop. That is when it tastes best. Also, drink it while it’s hot rather than nurse it over an hour.
3. Share the Love – If it’s a good cup, let them know, and tip.
4. Get off the Phone! – If you are there to experience the true pleasure that is coffee, then pitch your phone. Cell phones pollute rather than enhance the coffee moment. Want to take photos? Asking would be appreciated.