I’d say we’re at a point in the industry, where any barista or coffee business owner who is paying attention, has obtained some sort of pour-over or manual coffee device. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I walked into a coffee bar and didn’t see a v60, chemex, Kone, or kalitta behind the bar.
It’s exciting to see that everyone has bounced back from our ‘dark ages’ of the Clover, and the belief that it took automation to make great coffee. I mean, I think it is safe to say that the 10k price tag on the Clover machine scared many businesses away from the idea of single serve coffee.
Specifically in the Northwest of the United States, it seems that everyone is implementing pour-over in some manner or fashion. But often times, I think the wrong message is being broadcast, and coffee enthusiasts are getting the wrong idea.
It’s never been about pour-over coffee. It’s not about the V60, the Wave, the Kone, or any one brewing method. It’s about coffee that is made to order, gives customers more options, and it’s about creating a stage for which you can showcase your coffees.
I’m saying this simply because I’m seeing so many pour-over programs that are lacking execution. Or worse, business that put manual coffee on the menu, next to their Fetco, only to see their brew methods sit and collect dust.
In some ways, it feels like many of these businesses are simply trying to keep up with the cool club.
The absolute worst situations I’ve come across are the folks who offer chemex, offer V60, or offer a melitta option, but have no means of getting water at a proper temperature… Maybe they pull off the coffee brewer, maybe the espresso machine… It’s like the get ‘it’ but they miss the mark.
So, what am I getting at? I guess my point is, don’t do something if you’re not going to do it well. Commit to the things you believe in. Why throw a V60 option on your menu if you’re yet to brew one that you even enjoy over your Fetco?
And if you’re going to commit to manually brewing coffee, remember why it’s a great option over batch brewed coffee. Commit to the right equipment. I mean, even a $99 induction burner can change your world with manual coffee.
Above all else, forget about the method. Showcase the coffee. Pick coffees that actually shine in the chosen brewing method… and just get people excited about the personalized experience they get to have.