Become a Coffee Culture Expert
Coffee is a beverage with a culture. Because coffee has been grown throughout the world for hundreds of years, this incredible bean has accumulated a unique culture and history of its own. It is important for the owner of a coffee shop to understand this culture before marketing his or her coffee shop to the general public.
The Coffee Bean
Coffee beans are actually the seeds of a special berry that is grown in tropical climates. These seeds, when harvested, are bright green. It is only after roasting these beans at high temperatures for a long period of time that they develop their traditional dark brown color and delightful aroma. The longer the beans are roasted, the darker the roast is said to be. Some people prefer "breakfast blends," which are lighter and more aromatic, while others prefer dark, smoky roasts that are rich and often bitter. Surprisingly, one of the most expensive and flavorful types of coffee is known as Kopi Luwak, and this bean is actually harvested from the dung of feral cats that ingest coffee berries. There are many surprises that can be found through examining the culture of the coffee bean.
Your coffee shop must offer more to the cultured consumer than the famously American drip-style coffee. Most customers who will visit your coffee shop will request drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and espresso shots. Understanding the history and craftsmanship of these drinks will help you present your business as an authentic coffee shop where quality beverages can be enjoyed. When you invest in a high quality espresso machine, most of the work is taken care of for you. However, you may wish to further your education about European coffee beverages and preparation styles by attending workshops, watching online videos, and reading helpful and instructional texts.
Organic and Fair Trade Coffee
One coffee culture trend that is quickly gaining widespread notoriety is the appeal of coffee beans with labels such as organic or fair trade. These two labels are often used interchangeable to describe a "green" lifestyle or social consciousness, but they represent two very different descriptions. Organic coffee beans are beans that have been grown, cultivated, and harvested without the use of any pesticides or chemical hormones. Organic coffee beans must be certified by the USDA to qualify for an organic status.
Fair trade coffee is coffee that represents a social consciousness decision. Many coffee producers fail to fairly compensate their employees for the work that they do. Coffee that has a fair trade level is guaranteed to have been planted, harvested, and roasted by individuals who have received fair wages for their efforts. There are many customers who drink only fair trade coffee because they have been made aware of cruel and inhuman work circumstances used by many of the largest coffee manufacturers. Having fair trade coffee on hand will guarantee that you are able to please those customers. You can take your commitment to social consciousness one step further by investing in only fair trade coffee for your entire store.
Understanding coffee culture is an important first step in running a coffee shop. There are many intricacies to this remarkable beverage, and when customers know that you are an industry expert, they will respect your establishment.