Before starting any business, understand and ideally enjoy your product. The specialty coffee industry has enjoyed stellar growth and received positive publicity. As a result, new coffee shop owners sometimes need to remember to study coffee!
What could be so tricky about coffee? It’s a bean; grind it, mix it with hot water, and brew a high-margin drink. Right? If so, wine is old grape juice in a bottle.
Some are surprised to learn that coffee is more complex than other food businesses. Wines, cheeses, oils, vinegar, and other specialty foods are arguably less complicated.
Coffee has a steep learning curve. Its flavor profiles are as unique and wonderful as the more than 65 countries and a hundred million people involved in its production. Beyond individual varieties, there are different processing methods, roasting, brewing, and more.
Even water. Water is over 98% of the coffee that you will serve. Coffee shop owners sometimes need to give more thought to their water source. One should always test the water source for best results and treat it accordingly.
Unbalanced water will alter the flavor of any coffee or tea and can damage valuable equipment. Once you learn about coffee, you will understand the elements that are part of the beverage and recognize issues like these.
As if starting a restaurant, strive to gain competency in coffee to master traditional beverages and abstract your own. Signature beverages can become a hallmark of your brand.
Study the Coffee Basics
Immersing in the local and regional coffee culture is a great way to study coffee. Attend conferences and sign up for online coffee training courses. Join the SCA Education program and complete industry-standard certificate programs.
Sample as much coffee in as many coffees and styles of roasting and preparation as you can. Don’t model a business solely on the offerings of a significant chain shop in your region. Small companies have a competitive advantage and the ability to do better. Study coffee and find your unique approach.
Check out the online coffee training courses offered by Boot Coffee Campus.