Wake Up and Smell the Profits with Coffee
Americans bestow nicknames upon their favorite things. Coffee, for instance, is known as “joe,” “java,” “brew,” “go juice” and “rocket fuel.” This article will ensure that you know jack about Joe.
Coffee took a rather circuitous route to becoming the economic behemoth that it is today, which is why the National Coffee Association (NCA) is here to help us navigate the complicated journey coffee has taken since the 15th century.
Legend has it that coffee was first consumed as a beverage in Ethiopia, after a farmer made a hot beverage of beans that made his goats energetic. Good news travels fast, and by the 16th century, coffee was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. One hundred years later, it was popular across the European continent. The British brought coffee to the New World, but it didn’t really catch fire until the infamous Boston Tea Party.
“We switched to a local coffee roaster. Now, we charge a set price ($4.50) for a French press full of dark roast/chicory or single-estate coffees. If another pot is requested, another charge is added to the bill. Otherwise, we are losing money.”
- Christian Pendleton, General Manager, Brennan's Restaurant, New Orleans
HUGE ECONOMIC IMPACT
According to the NCA, coffee is the most consumed beverage in the United States—even more than tap water. Coffee is the second most sought-after commodity in the world (Crude oil is first). Research conducted by Technomic for NCA states the total economic impact of coffee in 2015 was $225.2 billion. Kyra Auffermann, the spokesperson for the NCA, says this figure is likely higher today, yet demonstrates the staggering impact coffee has on our economy.
Are you in a dilemma about whether you should offer complimentary refills? Here’s a solution from Christian Pendleton, general manager of Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans, where coffee service is in abundance.
“Younger members of the staff recommended that we improve our coffee program beyond dark roast with chicory,” recalls Pendleton. “We switched to a local coffee roaster. Now, we charge a set price ($4.50) for a French press full of dark roast/chicory or single-estate coffees. If another pot is requested, another charge is added to the bill. Otherwise, we are losing money.”
If you opt to charge for refills, state this plainly on your menu to alleviate issues.
PERCOLATING COFFEE TRENDS
The extensive menu at Colectivo, a coffeehouse in Milwaukee, offers all three modern drinks, as well as cold brew horchata, cold brew almond honey au lait and all of the classics (espresso, macchiato, Americano, cappuccino, etc.).
Coarsely ground beans brewed in cold water, resulting in lower acidity, less bitterness, smoother taste and more delicate flavors.
Cold-brewed coffee to which a carbonated beverage (club soda, ginger ale) is added. Citrus, vanilla and other ingredients are used for flavor and variety.
Cold-brewed coffee infused with nitrogen, which causes microbubbles to rise to the top, resulting in a rich, velvety foam similar to the head on a glass of Guinness.