We let the crew at 90 Seconds loose at the WBC 2012 and asked them to produce 2 short videos for us.
When I visit coffee shops the first thing I look for is product, either hardware that is being used or offered for sale.
A small amount of shops will have a few items for sale next to the till, some will go further and have a small shelf or two, very few will have any decent amount of wall space turned over to retail product.
I think coffee shops are missing a large opportunity. If you think of the huge growth in speciality coffee and public growing awareness of good, tasty coffee. These people want/need to update and try new coffee brewing devices. A great place for them to learn about coffee and see new coffee making devices is their local coffee shop. Think about the devices we use to make coffee, Aeropress, Clever Dripper, V60, Espro Press, Chemex. There are no high street shops selling these. These products aren’t the type of products the people go shopping for. If you had never heard or seen a Clever Dripper your not going to go in to Argos and say the person behind the counter how much are your Clever drippers? People need to be shown these products, they need to be in a shop that offers coffee and coffee products, they need to be somewhere they feel they can ask the guy behind the bar for advice on brewing coffee, they need to be able to browse a coffee retail space and discover these products for themselves.
That’s where cafe owners need to take advantage of this opportunity, peoples appreciation of great coffee is growing and not only will they need great coffee they will want great, new brewing devices.
Anecdotally we have seen cafes that start offering brewing devices see their retail sales of beans double. If their brewing device needs filter papers guess where they come to get those, you!
Most cafe’s say they don’t have space to retail product, my response is find space! Look around, is there any wall that is bare, if there is put some shelves on it, can be floor to roof, near the toilet, anywhere! The products don’t have a use-by date, they mostly have pretty cool packaging but most of all it’s another revenue stream for you.
Here is a list of items cafe’s need/should be selling to customers:
1. Hand Grinders. You don’t want to be grinding a whole bag of coffee for your customer, it doesn’t do the coffee justice and it doesn’t do your customers taste buds justice.
2. Choice of coffee brewers. Think price, what would you think your customer would be happy to spend on a brewing device? Something around £20-£30 is a good price range and most brewers fall in that range.
3. Filter papers. Most brewers need filter papers. If they buy the device from you they are most likely to buy the filter papers along with their weekly bag of coffee.
Start with a select range of products, 4-5 is all you need to start, then add more as sales grow. Main thing, keep the shelves stacked with product! Empty shelves or products on their own look sad, lonely and uninviting. Have one if each product out of its box so customers can pick it up and discover it. Don’t wait until you have sold out of an item to order more, keep the shelves full, clearly label price and description.
Tempt customers into buying hardware if they already buy beans. Maybe have a deal on a bag of beans and a hand grinder. Maybe have a 10% off when they present a full coffee loyalty card.
Start looking at the numbers and see if retailing coffee products makes sense to you. Gross margin on most items is 20-50%, say you sell 10 hand grinders and 10 brewing devices a week, that’s about £550 in sales. Maybe pay the staff commission on the sales, get them involved and give them the opportunity to increase their pay. Or reward the staff member with highest product sales. Reward them in a way that makes them feel special (this another blog post coming!).
I see retailing coffee hardware as a massive opportunity that should seriously be looked into.
Burr change for Mazzer Conical
1: close gate to hopper & grind out any remaining beans.
2: use plunger to flush out as much ground coffee as possible. The hopper safety will need to be engaged, stubby flat screw driver does the trick
3: unplug grinder
4: check starting position of collar, then winded it right down (fine), till the blades touch, this will give you a reference when setting the new blades. Should be 1/4 to 1/2 a turn
5: remove collar (winding it out to coarse), clean thread with 3m scourer & lubricate.
6: remove top burr housing, scrap/clean with tea towel, pick out coffee build up out of Allen key heads, remove with 2.5 Allen key, clean, install new blade.
7: remove 4 leveling springs for top burr housing and clean out their recesses
8: removed 13mm bolt on shaft, 2 washers, and auger. Set a side cleaned as one unit. To lock the assembly to remove the bolt, position a med/lge screw driver though the exit chute and the bottom impeller.
9: remove bottom burr, key and impeller. Slightly jiggle side to side, if stubborn a tap with a hammer on the burr should loose it. Small tap!
10: clean bowl, exit chute and key way on shaft.
11: reassembly – impeller, key, burr, auger assembly, reverse the process to tighten the bolt, 4 springs, top burr holder, regulation ring. Place the regulation ring on and slowly wind to coarse to locate the thread to minimise cross threading.
12: wind down to the regulation ring till the two burrs are touching, and back off that 1/4 to 1/2 turn.
13: calibrate grind, job done!!
By Ben Brooker, Coffee Hit Tech
Most places serving coffee get their hot water for tea and Americano’s from their espresso machine. This is quiet convenient. But there are several problems with this method.
If your aim is to serve high quality delicious drinks, including Amerciano’s and tea, and of course thats your aim, then using the hot water from an espresso machine isn’t really the device to use. The water from a double boiler espresso, such as La Marzocco, comes from the steam boiler. A steam boiler typically operates at 120c to 130c. They are also on typically half full of water and the rest is steam pressure which allow you to steam milk. So although your steam boiler may have a capacity of 7 liters, its actual water capacity is about 4 liters. Its a similar story for heat exchange machines, but it has further effect on these machines in that it effects the brew temperature. As you draw hot water out fresh cold water enters, instantly effecting the pressure in the HX boiler and therefore steaming capability, hot water temperature and brew temperature.
The hot water coming out of a La Marzocco Linea’s hot water tap can be around 100c. We ran some tests on our showroom Linea, pulling water for tea. The temperature exiting the spout was 99.8c. We find an acceptable drinking temperature to be 60-65c. We then timed how long it took to reach 60-65c. After 16 minutes it had reached 63.5c. This seems like an eternity when you want your coffee in the morning! And even then it tastes burnt and bitter.
That is why so much steam and hiss occurs when you pull hot water for tea and Americano. And 100c water doesn’t do any favors to coffee or tea.
It also puts a great deal more work and strain on the various components of your espresso machine. The elements, solenoids, contactor’s and relays all work overtime if your pulling hot water constantly from your espresso machines. But above all your serving your customers poor quality drinks. It can take 30 minutes for an Amerciano to cool to acceptable drinking temperature. It also adds unpleasant acidity and a burnt taste.
More modern La Marzocco espresso machines have a mixing valve where a small box with a valve mixes cold water with the super heated water from the steam boiler giving a more desirable hot water temperature. While this is admirable it doesn’t reduce the added stress to the espresso machine and is not temperature stable at all. It tends to be cool at the beginning then heats up slowly.
A much better solution is a hot water tower. The latest model from Bunn has digital temperature control, solid state relay and is extremely temperature stable. Has a digital to display to let you know the temperature of the water. A hot water tower will give you as much hot water as you want, at the temperature you want.
Leave the espresso machine for espresso!!
If your to browse our site you will notice two products ranges have way more products than any other. One is tampers the other is milk pitchers. I’m constantly looking out for better, well designed pitchers and tampers. Almost an obsession!
Well I now have a new milk pitcher to add. Our Classic pitcher has been a huge success. Its cheap, has a nice spout and it works. Its been used by World Barista Champions and hundreds of professional Baristas the world over. Then we took it one step further and Teflon coated them and they are awesome! So why another pitcher then?!
There are a few things that niggled me with them and Baristas fed back on.
- The handle wasn’t welded on straight
- The handle didn’t line up straight with the spout
- Milk would get into where the handle joins the body
- The welding was poor
- Its ok
If you have one of our Classic pitchers you may not have ever noticed the above, but if you go grab yours and take a look you might see what the Baristas mean.
Also number 5 isn’t what we do at Coffee Hit, we want the best there is available!
So introducing our New Classic Pitcher! Ta da!
The New pitcher fixed all the above issues.
The Pitcher is approx 20% heavier, meaning better gauge stainless steel. It just feels better quality and were happy to have it in our range. We will still offer the old Classic as some customers might prefer it.
The New Classic pitcher will become our new Teflon pitcher as well. We also have some exciting work in progress on coloured pitchers for milk identification.
At this time of year we look forward to a break and to spend time with family and friends. Its often easy when we are busy to spend long hours away from family, this time of year allows us to close down for a few days and spend some quality time with our family.
Our last day for shipping is Thursday 22nd of December. We re-open again on the 3rd of January.
We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and an amazing 2012.
Here is the new products we have put on our site for this week:
- Espresso Parts Barismo Tamper - Lovely heavy tamper made of stainless steel and brass.
- Rattleware Teflon Pitchers - This time we Teflon coated our Rattleware pitchers. In all 3 sizes: 12oz, 20oz, 32oz.
- Genuine Aurelia Group Gaskets - We tried aftermarket gaskets but they just didn’t fit, usually they weren’t thick enough. So we went straight to the factory.
- d’Ancap - Ancap cups are pure class. To give you an example of the weight the Inker espresso cups weigh 127g and hold 78ml. Ancap espresso cup weighs 156g and holds 50ml. Great quality.
This will be a weekly post to quickly let you re-cap what new products we have added during the week. Hopefully you find the products interesting.
- Ilsa Deluxe Pitchers 300ml/500ml/750ml – These were a bit self indulgent. Id heard of these pitchers and had been warned of the price, but when I felt one for the first time I knew we had to buy some and stock them. If you can afford them they are soooo nice.
- Spare Cloths for Hario Woodneck Coffee Dripper (3 Cup) – Cloth filters make an amazing cup of coffee. They give a really clean cup of coffee but allow some of the oil from the bean through which adds really body depth of flavour to the cup. Downside is they are hard to maintain. So now you can buy them separately.
- Delta CTA Timer - If you have bought an Anfim Super Caimano with Digital Timer Mod from us in the last 3 years you will recognise this digital timer. Sometimes they do break, but mainly the buttons become unresponsive. Now Delta have a new mechanism for the buttons which makes them much less likely to stop functioning.
- 16oz Take Away Soup Container and Lid – As the weather turns cold customers want warm or hot things to eat and drink. These will hold soup, porridge. Any hot or cold item you want.
- Pullman Australian Oak Barista Tamper – These tampers are amazing to hold. Beautifully designed they fit like a glove. Make an amazing gift.
At Coffee Hit we love new innovative products that help our customers make their job easier. Allowing them to concentrate on making amazing coffee and providing fantastic service to their customers.
I’m going to list what new equipment I feel is necessary in today coffee bar environment:
- Pitcher Rinsers - Most coffee bars will have 2-4 milk pitchers around the espresso machine for steaming milk. On a busy bar making 200+ coffees a day thats a real workout for the pitchers. As the jugs get used they heat up and milk forms a crust on the inside and outside becoming unsightly and unclean. The heat makes it more difficult to steam lovely textured milk. This is because you have less time to texture the milk. Throw in orders for non-dairy milk such as soy and maintaining the cleanliness of your pitchers becomes really important. Pitcher rinsers quickly allow you to clean and freshen your pitchers. Installed next to your espresso machine it can also act as a drain for left over milk.
- Knock Chute – Getting rid of used coffee pucks is something you will do a lot of so its worth getting it right. The best solution we feel is to cut in a knock chute. Once cut in you place a regular bin underneath. This allows you to have a very large capacity for used coffee. Also by placing your grinder just behind the chute any stray grinds will fall into the bin. You can also sweep around the grinder and straight into the chute and your bin.
- Corner Tamping Mat - Best way to tamp your coffee in your portafilter is on the edge of your counter top. This keeps the spouts off your counter top and from picking up stray coffee grinds. It also keeps your portafilter steady while you tamp your coffee. The downside is can ruin the edge of your counter and mark or scratch your portafilter. The rubber corner mat fixes this. A must have coffee businesses.
- Mini Scales - These scales are perfect for weighing out grind dose when setting up your grinder and testing the dose weight throughout the day. Accurate to 0.1g they are perfect for weighing your espresso shot to get the correct brew ratio.
- Bar Towels - Espresso machines expel water and steam and the best tool to clean up spills is a bar towel. These a great for cleaning up spills and cleaning portafilters and filter baskets. A clean espresso machine and coffee area means better, more efficient workflow and ultimately better tasting coffee.