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February 08, 2010

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Barista Ben

I LOVE INTELLIGENTSIA.

Erm.

yeah friend of mine, who works at a small local coffee shop, uses the pour over method as well. They brew intelli. Quality coffee, had a chance to check out their LA roasting plant and it was fantastic! They even had a latte art competition, and I sure didn't feel like a Barista compared to them.

step21

How is pour-over an innovation or a good thing? Its the cheapest and oldest method of making coffee next to just pouring water and coffee grounds together in the same cup.

Jen

Step21-

It's cheap-and it works. People constantly say "we want bold all day, we want decaf!", but that percentage of people is so low that more than not, brewing even 1/4 batch of coffee is 100% wasteful. This gives us the opportunity to tell customers, oh you dont like french press? we can do a brewover, and you wont need to wait as long.

As long as it works, it's going to be brilliant.

latteteadah

It's the sort of thing people could do themselves at the office or at home. Water, filter, cup. Paying for true brewed is a different story.

I'm torn. I think it's still a kick in the face to true coffee drinkers to tell them that they're not worth the effort of brewing a full brew of bold or decaf. That's the difference between being truly about the coffee and just trying to serve the cattle herd, Jen. That's part of Starbuck's problem - they've focused too long on non-coffee that the bulk of their business isn't about coffee in its different forms. Think about it for a second.

Since when is it wasteful to brew a bold or a decaf in a COFFEE shop? If it is - can you really call yourself a coffee shop?

sbuxnewbie

I tried to explain pour-over months ago to some of the baristas I work with, and couldn't. No I bought a plastic pour cone at a local kitchen supply place, brought it and some melita filters to work, and showed a few folks how it works. Left the cone in my locker for a few months, and then last week when I saw the info on the portal, I again described how it works.

Had a customer come in for decaf just after noon, and I was about to brew a fresh pot for him when I decided to try the Pour over.

It was not only faster than the Bunn Digital Brewer, we had no waste, and I was able to give a demonstration to the other baristas of how everything should work, as well as to give them a better view of the post-pour filter than the photo on the portal had.

Now I just keep explaining that this was how Drip Coffee was made BEFORE automatic drip coffee makers existed.

I think I need to bring a stovetop espresso maker in, and explain how THAT works, now...

(sometimes, being a dinosaur isn't all bad...)

Christinschu

Hate to break it to you Latteadah, but you can brew coffee at home all on your own too. Dah!

Pour over brew is NO different than brewing it "truebrew" in the brewer except for the batch size. Other than that, it's the same exact thing! We cannot brew just one cup in our small brewers,

spence

I want to try this. Can I use a coffee filter in a funnel?

twitter.com/jtwilkins

"What kind of jump-start does Starbucks need to set the pace once again?"

You can be a trend setter when you brew the same coffee every day all day. That is fast food. God I hate Pikes, it turned me from a 3+ times a week customer to maybe twice a month.

I was one of the people who defended Starbucks as a real coffee shop, sorry not any longer.

Joe Nichols

For the record: Intelligentsia has absolutely NOT been doing pourover "for a long time!"

They just started doing Hario V60's a couple months ago or so. Until then, it's been all about Clover. They have offered Chemex coffee for a few months, maybe a year or so.

Who's done pour-over for a longer time?

Blue Bottle (San Francisco), Peregrine (Wash. DC), Ultimo (Phila.), Neptune (Seattle). Represent!

Susan

I agree with Latteteadah (cute name btw). It doesn't make sense to me that a coffee shop would not brew decaf coffee at all times. It seems like greed to me. God I love being annonymous, as I am a barista! mwahaha

Coffee Drinker

As has been noted, pouring hot water over coffee is an old method that existed before Starbucks. I wouldn't be surprised if it came from making coffee in a samovar or campfire coffee. It reminds me of making coffee like tea.

It makes a substandard cup of coffee because the wonderful aromatic steam that rises from the grounds once they meet the hot water is coffee flavor evaporating. The fact this is done in a wide cone allows the maximum amount of aroma and flavor to evaporate.

Coffee is best made in an enclosed system that doesn't allow it's essence to bless the ether.

I used to do the cone-drip mess at home. It's messy, inefficient, and exposes the ground to air much longer than brewing by drip; and then as mentioned even more of the coffee evaporating.

I won't ask for or accept this kind of coffee. I go to Starbucks for real, hot, fresh, aromatic coffee. It's the best there is when done right.

norman canter

Miami
Spent a great time at SB 44. Visited a few Starbucks too many times, early in the AM or late

Asked some of the employees what theydo with food at the end fo the day that they dont sell?

Amazed they throw it away

????????????????

just a shift

Only the super-perishable items (sandwiches, pastries with cream-based frosting) get thrown out. The rest are donated to approved organizations.

East Coast Barista

Just something else to slow down the line and make customers, who are already in a hurry, angry because they have to wait. I do not think it will go over well in our store.

Also, does anyone know the official company stance on bad weather and making, telling or asking partners to walk to work in blizzards or heavy East Coast snows?

Mark

Spence,

go to any supermarket and get a Melita cone for $10. and a box of filters. Use your favorite coffee, hot water and let it drip right into your mug or thermos.

Alton Brown showed this method.

me

Get your facts correct. In the early days Starbucks only brewed French Press and Pour Over. The company moved away from Pour Over because the demand for the coffee was overwhelming. Starbucks needed a faster brew method and turned to drip brewers.

Melody

@coffeedrinker - If it were true that you must have a closed system to make coffee, then a "cupping" would not be the standard industry-wide (not just Starbucks) to determine bean quality, analyze bean flavor, and determine best roast profile.

(For the heck of it, link in my name goes to an older blog entry of mine on a cupping at 15th Avenue Coffee).

Mark

Pour overs accentuate the small nuances of coffee. Since Starbucks over roasts their coffee, I dont think this is going to be successful. Why would you want to draw attention to carbonized, bitter coffee? If Starbucks will start offering a properly roasted coffee that shows off each coffees attributes instead of hiding them with carbon notes, I could see it being a success.

WNYExer

once again it will be a "to little, to late" scenario if starbucks actually decideds to do this. starbucks is the industry follower, with both indie shops and with other chains like caribou, so it's no wonder they are grasping at this. howard will come out...talk about the romance...then corporate middle managers will come up with a way to ruin it even more. he'll take credit for pushing this into the mainstream...motivated by a "great cup of coffee"...like pike place?!

howard and co. are pathetic.

spence

Mark, Thank you for directions on pour overs.

billie

it's for decaf and bold after the noon hour in the US and after 2 PM in canada. it makes sense. get over yourselves & roll with the changes, or move on! if you don't love it anymore, quit! geeeeeeeeez

Coffee Drinker

Thermoses and travel mugs often have vacuum seals to keep the coffee fresh. Exposure to air affects the taste. No doubt at cuppings part or the experience is the aroma. However, to mass produce and drink coffee by exposing as much of it's surface as possible to the air is the opposite of vacuum sealed, ziplocked, enclosed brewing. I like coffee aroma, that's why percolated coffee is so nice to brew--except that aroma is evaporating the coffee essence.

For me personally, using a Melita in a cone reminds me of when I live in Mexico or Central America in the 80s and that was the only way to obtain half-decent coffee in one's room. So for me to go to a Starbucks and have all that flavor and aroma so wonderfully captured in a cup, well it's coffee perfection, imo.

me myself and I

I wonder how they will screw this one up.

But so far, I really like the idea of having freshly brewed coffee available all day for everyone. And imagine, this way we will be able to actually offer all our coffees as brewed coffee. If you want a cup of Shade Grown Mexican, we then can just brew one cup for you. Fast and easy, without the waste of a full french press or a quarter batch.

I wonder how they guarantee the right proportions though. Are we going to get a new set of spoodles for the four sizes? Or does it only come in venti size?

I'm excited. It will bring back some of the often mentioned theater for the preparing process.

CamSpi

I hope there's at least some sort of video the baristas can watch to learn how to do the pour over method. I know its not the most difficult thing to do, but baristas should be trained on what they're doing, and that training should infuse the romance of a coffeehouse.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

What if your store brews enough to go through a half batch in 30 minutes? Does that mean you'll just have your floater at the pour over doing BOLD? Or wait, you don't have a floater so the bar person does it? Oh wait, lets just make them americano because it'll be faster?

ShiftMisto

i dont see the point in this.

i understand a french press.. but this is pointless. there is no benefit to pour over that isn't trumped by something else. except that now all of my customers who hate pike are going to have their coffee as a pour over which is probably near half of our coffee drinkers.

starbucks corporate.. WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE?! i try. i really really try, to get it. to support it. i like the koolaid, its tasty! but you're making it hard with your ridiculous re-inventions and meticulous micro-management. want to impress a customer? here's an idea - invent a new drink. a real new one. not just toffee and caramel mixed together. give us a new flavor. a decent pastry setup that doesn't look like a grocery store bakery. and ffs STOP MOVING MY BUTTONS!

and on the note of the pastry case.. is it nationwide or just our region that has to carry the exact same pastries in the exact same case locations as every other store, no exceptions? i know this loses customers becuase i was one of them. as a partner i would stop at another store becuase they carried something we didn't, probably once a week. they're not allowed to sell it anymore becuase it isn't on the roster. its starting to feel like everytwo weeks we get a new horrible idea to save the world. isn't anyone up there paying attention?!?

Mrs. Tillinghamshackles

If you're having to pour over enough coffee that it is effecting your speed and ability to get things done, then shouldn't your store be brewing bold and decaf past noon anyways?

crema_the_crop

Mrs. T hits it on the head. The whole point of this system is to drive home the fact that IF your store is struggling to keep up with the requests for pour-overs of decaf or bold picks, then you really need to rethink the times you go Pike-only.

I know at my store, my SM simply quits brewing decaf and bold around 11:30 because she's lazy. When I'm on, however, both go until 1pm and bold goes until at least 3pm. Why? Because I KNOW that there are customers coming in until those times requesting Bold and Decaf or half-caf by NAME.

The pour-over will enable us to quickly prepare a cup of whatever coffee the customer WANTS. The focus of the new promotional period is to ASK which coffee the customer wants. "Would you like Pike Place or [bold pick coffee name]?" ALL DAY EVERY DAY. No more "All I have is Pike's." (Pike's what?) No, you HAVE the ability to serve me a cup of whatever coffee I would like in 2-3 minutes. Same as an espresso beverage. And if stores find themselves constantly brewing pour-overs, it will become painfully obvious that a re-consideration of brew schedules is needed.

Also, regarding the Intelligentsia "they've been doing it forever" issue, I spoke with a barista at the Broadway location last month and he informed me that they were planning on experimenting with Hario pourover only (no mass-drip-brewed coffee) at one of their other locations due to mechanical difficulties with their Clovers.

StLouieDrip

When coffee will sit in a pot/urn for 30 (or more) minutes a closed system is supremely important. But for a single-serve cup that will be served immediately it's absolutely NOT necessary. In fact I brew only single cup pour overs at home, and it's superior to any I've ever had at sbux. I'd much prefer a filter over a cup served immediately, than PPR from an urn that hasn't been cleaned for the last 25-30 batches.

I also think sbux will screw up pour over, just like they do everything else.


ShiftMisto: i understand a french press.. but this is pointless. there is no benefit to pour over that isn't trumped by something else.

What trumps pour over? ...because I'm just not finding it at my sbux.

...except that now all of my customers who hate pike are going to have their coffee as a pour over which is probably near half of our coffee drinkers.

Then you should be brewing something other than PPR, obviously.


Mrs. Tillinghamshackles: If you're having to pour over enough coffee that it is effecting your speed and ability to get things done, then shouldn't your store be brewing bold and decaf past noon anyways?

Heh, I like the way you think.:-) But somehow I doubt that sbux will allow a whole batch of bold to be brewed if pour over orders escalate.

Because... it's just too logical... and sbux is not logical.

poopsmith

@coffedrinker: Thermoses and travel mugs are not vacuum sealed; the lids would be harder to remove if they were. The vacuum exists between the outer and inner wall for better insulation. They are insulated and have lids to keep in heat and the liquid they contain, not to prevent, as you suggest, the evaporation of some sort of coffee essence.

SCIENCE!! Link to How Stuff Works in my name.

Coffee Drinker

@poopsmith, I have had thermoses and travel mugs with buttons one pushed to suck the air out.

Starbucks makes a big deal about how they seal their coffee beans as well. Air makes coffee stale.

Okay, you don't see it this way. I do. No problema.

And to the person who mentioned brew systems that haven't been cleaned, I know what you mean. I've noticed some SBUX selling rancid tasting "fresh" brew. It's awful.

Killer Kona

Anyone else read the action item on the portal today that stated that signature hot chocolate and espresso truffles are being discontinued?? It was a happy day for our store as we make so much prep that it was thrilling to hear that we have one less thing to make, and throw away at the end of the day.

adam

Like others have said, a pour over can produce a great cup of coffee but it sure helps to have fresh beans. That's where Starbucks has a problem.

Get yourself a good grinder, an aeropress or pour over, buy some fresh beans (Whole Foods has a decent seletion)and you will be making coffee Starbucks won't be able to touch.

crema_the_crop

OK.

The "aroma" one finds in coffee originates from primarily two sources.

1. Essential oils
2. Dissolved solids/soluble materials.

When one "brews" coffee, you are in fact simply "washing" the ground particles of all their essential oils and soluble matter, which ends up in the "brew" (coffee).

Any conceptualization of escaping aromatics during the brew process due to visible "steam" or heat rising from the cone is false, since the boiling/evaporation points of said essential aromatic components are far and above the vaporization/boiling point of water.

The issue here should not be the assumed loss of aromatic quality due to openness of the brewing apparatus, but rather the temperature of the brewing water and the discrepancies between pre-established practices of pour-over brewing and the practice as set forth by Starbucks to its baristas.

If a tall coffee is pour-over brewed with stale 150ยบ water from the BUNN, the result will be a bland, dull swill. (No, not Pike Place Roast, I mean in the case of a Bold coffee brewed on request). How many people still receive soupy oatmeals because baristas fail to prime the hot water? This can lead to disaster if not driven home in the initial training.

Also, pour-over coffee (and all brewing, for that matter) responds best by performing an initial pre-wetting (called "blooming") of the grounds to prepare them for extraction. It's like the backswing in golf. You get a bigger bang for your buck.

I vehemently disagree with the procedure as outlined by Starbucks which skips not only the washing of the filter (small brews using paper filters can carry a distinctive paper taste not detectable in large-sized batches) but the blooming as a whole. Additionally, the directions state to pour "around the sides" of the coffee to ensure even saturation. Flow of water near the filter walls will result in a diluted brew due to the physical properties of the cone system; water flows out faster the higher up in the cone and the closer to the perimeter it is.

Barismo.com is a great resource for manual brewing methodology and science. Check it out of you're interested.


Melody

Wow thank you for the great information crema_the_crop! I had wondered how Starbucks would manage to shave down the many steps of a high-quality pour over. They're not going to recommend 150 water are they? And that's a shame that they're going to leave out the step of pre-washing the filter. (I mention that step on my site too).

In the end though, many Starbucks customers will not be able to tell a difference between a great pour over and a mediocre short-cut method pour over. If many customers cannot instantly figure out what is an instant coffee and what is a brewed coffee, these customers too might not recognize that there pour over is lacking.

Cafe Nervosa

Mrs. Tillinghamshackles- Exactly! I was going to post that, but you beat me to it... We brew Pike's Place and bold when we close at our store... We have one decaf customer come in around five, and that's pretty much it for us. Pour over decaf makes sense for our store.

ShiftMisto- Are you and your store manager aware that you can brew bold at your discretion? It's a decision to be made at the store level.

Killer Kona- I KNOW. I printed out the action item and showed it to people individually, saying, "Don't give it away." I wanted to see all their reactions. Today was a VERY happy day indeed!

Cranbliss

My store was one of the test stores for the pour-over method. Clearly they didn't care about our feedback-- the pour-over method sucks.

It's a pain because rather than just grinding the beans, putting it into the filter and pressing a button, you're measuring out the exact amount (it's in small scoops), grinding it, putting it into the filter above the cup, pouring hot water into a glass measuring cup, and then you SLOWLY POUR, and it takes 4-5 minutes for it to actually fill the cup. I believe they SAY it takes 90 seconds, but it's absolutely not the case.

The issue with it taking 4-5 minutes isn't really the customers, as they're used to waiting for their decaf/bold to brew anyways, but it's the fact that one person is taken away and is stuck standing over the coffee for 4-5 minutes. In a store with only 2 people on (as mine was), that's a LONG TIME to be lacking a register partner or a bar partner.

bayareabux

If it takes 4 minutes, you're doing something wrong. Try calibrating your grinder. A four minute pour over was made with much too finely ground coffee.

Also, in the national roll out, pour over coffee is going to be preground

ms barista

Cranbliss, my store was also a test store for the pour over. We used it mainly for decaf since we sell almost none after 2. I really think it's a better cup of coffee because it's fresh. Who wants a cup of brewed coffee that's been sitting in a metal pot for 30 minutes?

It never took me 4 minutes to make it. Maybe a little more than 90 seconds but no where near 4 minutes.

Shift Misto

Yes. we can brew bold. but if we brew bold, we dump dump dump pike. and that doesn't fly with store manager. and since we can't drop the nasty pike and brew IT on demand, its a no go. and customers have to suffer through pike unless they specifically ask for another coffee because somehow not dumping a pot of coffee is going to make up for the overloads of milk and creamer we dump out on a weekly basis because store manager also cannot count.
I just don't see the point in forcing us to brew pike all day and then making it a hassle to brew anything else. Its not what customers want, and its not smart for business.

"What trumps pour over? ...because I'm just not finding it at my sbux."
you think a filtered pour over is better than a french press? i suppose we can add in a little extra hot water to the cup to weaken it down for you..

StLouieDrip

Shift Misto, you're trying to take a jab at my preferred brewing method while you're brewing urn after urn, every 30 min, of PPR... THROUGH A PAPER FILTER?

Like I said before, sbux just ain't logical.

And coffee snobbery is always tiresome, but ESPECIALLY when the coffee snob works behind the counter at sbux.

But ultimately no brew method is better than another; it's only according to individual tastes. And I wasn't actually dissing french press, only pointing to FP at sbux as not being preferred to drip brew at sbux, for various reasons. But if you really think paper makes coffee weak and watery you've been badly misinformed.

As to brewing bold and dumping dumping dumping PPR... well, I will admit I kinda like that part. :-)

Geez, I've even had fantasies of bold always in the urns, and PPR only on demand, ha!... but then I just drove over to the indy where the owner has a preference for expertly dark-roasted coffee. OMG, fun times.

Ah, just remembered something else... many, many years ago I used to get bold coffee diluted by half with hot water. I felt like a coffee lightweight, but was always made to feel that it was perfectly acceptable, that some other customers also did the same thing, and that no one behind the counter thought less of me for requesting it that way. IOW I was made to feel completely welcome and at ease, with no evidence whatsoever of coffee snobbery. So I stuck around. It's really too bad things at sbux have changed so much.

Shift Misto

currently, starbucks boasts 70,000 drink combinations. really, 70,000. and none of those are good enough for you. somehow that makes me the snob?

definitely not you. who needs your special coffee for one. made just for you. ignore every other customer in the store for a moment and all of my short-handed full-accountability responsibilities, and let me make you a special cup of coffee because nothing else satisfies your need to have a special symbol that will make you look more superior and comfy-couch worthy than every other coffee drinker in the store. im sure they will ooh and ahh that they've never seen THAT before, and for a moment you will find people who aren't completely turned off by your immediate pretentious attitude to even hold casual chit chat with you. which honestly thank god, i'd rather you waste their time than mine, making awkward eye contact and creepy advances while you wait front-of-the-register for your special cup. although it probably is better to have you at the register, holding up the flow of traffic than in the drive thru doing the same.

none of this you would ever understand. You don't listen to b*tchy customers ever single day tell you why they are better than you because they are inside a starbucks. with a cup. and it makes them gosh darn fancy. perhaps a mirror would help. i'll provide the apron.

would you ever go to burger kind and order a whopper junior 3/4s of the meat (your cutting back) half light mayo half regular, 5 pickles, no onions, double cheese (that second slice is free, right? ya? cuz i already have cheese? the burger across the street doesn't charge me for cheese so you should either) only green lettuce and no bun. just wrap it in tomato.

no. you wouldn't. why? because its rude, and disrespectful, and shows how much of a greedy piggy you are.

but would you do the same at starbucks? OF COURSE! thats the goal. how difficult can i make a drink just to show off my own brand of unique snob. so thank you starbucks for finding one more time consuming way to exhaust your baristas and simultaneously create a new drink to modify all to hell. (i can't wait till they start mixing their own beans. thats gonna be a whole fat pile of awesome. and thank you customer from st Louis, for reaffirming the fact that all you care about is how nifty you can look with the newest fancy Starbucks drink, this time, made just for you.

snob.

me myself and I

Umm, Shift Misto, bad day much?

Starbucks actually encourages customization. That's what makes Starbucks different from other stores. And this is why a lot of people come to Starbucks, even at LEAN times. We even offer french presses on our menu, even though they are a pain to make during a rush but hardly ever anyone orders them anyway.

As a barista I do get your grudge over the whole overcustomization by some people that take themselves too important, but please don't get off at perfectly reasonable customers. It's not their fault we are getting stretched too thin to do all the extras required with a smile. But Starbucks is still aiming to be a coffee house. Even though we all know it is more like a fast food joint, it still says Starbucks Coffee outside on our doors. So if people want their coffee in a certain way, they should get it. I'm sure St.LouieDrip is not one of those customers asking for the impossible during a 20 people line up. (S)he would rather go next door to the indie in this case. But if we are not careful, St.LouieDrip won't come back at all. And this would be one cheerleader for coffee less in our stores. Which would bring us one step closer to being just a fast food joint.

And after all, this site is dedicated to Starbucks and coffee. We have way too much bitching and not enough coffee conversations on here. We should try to change that. And sometimes just accept other people prefer different kinds and styles of coffee.

Shift Misto

would like to add that today I had the fun of going through the pour-over instruction guide, and i couldn't help but think of you, Louie, and I almost laughed out loud. ..you do realize pour over is also through a paper filter? its actually the exact same process, and grind, as the common household cone shaped coffee maker.

two baristas and I tasted brewed PPR vs pour over PPR. Not a difference, and thats my black apron opinion. still doesn't hold a candle to french press.

StLouieDrip

It took me a couple of days to get back to this...

Shift Misto, ... um... wow.

I won't try to address all that ridiculous nonsense you spouted about me, but I would like to point out that the "common household cone shaped coffee maker" is so popular and well-regarded (even by some coffee purists) because it works so well, is simple and easy, is cheap, and genuinely brews a very lovely cuppa. My small cone and mug combo was $6. My 8-cup glass carafe with its cone cost about $12. Both are manual pour over. It so happens I've been brewing this way for decades. Sometimes I just grab the cone from the carafe and sit it atop the mug. It works. And I'm not really trying to argue with you, just offering another point of view for those who haven't tried or don't know about the manual cone filter. It's really just like an automatic drip brewer, but without the electricity. Some people prefer manual over the automatic because manual gives more control over how well the grounds are saturated. I happen to use a spoon to stir the grounds as I pour, (as per Kenneth Davids at www.coffeereview.com). For those who don't want the paper there are also mesh versions of the cone, in stainless steel or gold. That way you can go paperless, and get more of the coffee oils and essence similar to a french press. BTW, I'd recommend that pour-overs and french presses be used for something other than PPR. bleh.

Me myself and I, thanks very much for the kind regards. FWIW your description of me nails it. I was a well-behaved, much-loved, (and now much-missed), sbux drip regular. Sbux was a very hard habit to break, but PPR, and no bold in the evening, finally pushed me towards the indy. I know I should be glad pour-overs are FINALLY in the works at sbux. In fact it's exactly what I had hoped for back in '08. And it's also the reason I still cruise through this site, to keep current on whether sbux will ever take better care of its bold custies. But now that pour-overs are being tested, somehow I remain skeptical, and unimpressed. But if pour-overs do make it to STL, I'll definitely try it. Fortunately I'm usually seeking my coffee after the morning rush. Sbux locations are more convenient, but now that I've found more of the indies I will never totally them give up.

I also had a question I forgot to ask earlier. For those of you who are testing this, do the pour-overs come in only one size? I can't imagine trying to effectively manage pour-overs for all the various sizes.

Melody

When I was first writing about the pour over (link in this post goes to my blog), I knew less about what Starbucks was going to implement than now.

From what I am hearing, the new "pour over" will be for the Tall and Grande sizes only. I'm hearing the grounds will be pre-ground (within the past 24 hours), and that it will be ONLY for the bold pick of the day, or decaf, during non-peak hours. All those "rules" are a little disappointing. In particular, I'd like to see it as means to get people trying new coffee varieties and encourage excitement over coffee, and I see that as less viable if you can have ONE coffee. Starbucks used to be all about having an amazing coffee menu (well, there isn't even a whole bean menu anymore). I can understand the reasons why there are size limitations.

Depsite all that, I still think this is a great move: Maybe Starbucks will see the opportunity here and expand and grow it. Think of all the cool pour over related merchandise that could go in the stores. Antiquey beautiful hot water pourer? And I would not turn up my nose at the pour over brew method: I'm really convinced you can get a fine cup of coffee out of it, and 99% of all customers won't be able to tell, or even aware, that the beans were pre-ground. It detracts from the experience of the cup that the customer doesn't get to see and smell THEIR beans being ground, but it doesn't really make it less of a good cup of coffee.

I've heard that stores can start using the pour over as soon as they get them? Are people now using them? What do you think?

me myself and I

At least here in Canada we were told how to prepare all four sizes, so no limitations in size here.
We were told though, it is not recommended to use this brewing method if we would have to make more than two cups this way within 30 minutes. It is a bit more labour intensive than brewing in the Bunn. And it kind of makes sense. Because if there is traffic for this kind of coffee, we could just use the Bunn brewer on a quarter batch like we do today.
But then again, in Canada we have bold all day and will only use this method on decaf or special requests.

Enlightened Coffee Sage

You heard wrong, Melody. We're doing all sizes; or, at least, the measurements they sent us included sizes and measurements for a venti.

And if a regular brings me some beans, I'm not opposed to grinding up a little batch for them to do in the pour-over. Then, when someone else orders a bold, I can offer them a choice. "Would you prefer the Casi Cielo or the Yukon?" We don't get enough coffee connoseurs who would request certain beans for that to turn into a problem (or so I hope). If we end up with too many bags of coffee over there, I'll just explain the situation.


We ran into a problem with the pour-over yesterday, though; an unusual number of people came in and ordered decaf or bold. And while the new system works great when your bold / decaf drinkers are few and far between (like ours usually are), when they start coming en masse...well, it backfires.

"Well, if you get that many people ordering bold / decaf, brew up a pot then!" The only problem there is that we normally only get a few decaf / bold customers, and this was just a random fluke. There's no telling if brewing up an urn is worth it, particularly since it takes a little longer to do the urn.

It's not a perfect system, but I like it so far. It's a step back in the direction of "coffee bar" and away from "fast food."

(Oh, and by the way, the pour-over tastes fine. The problem I suspect most people have been having is that they're using the same grind for the pour-over as they have been for the urns. It's too course for the pour-over, and it comes out tasting awful. You've gotta use a finer grind.)

Java_Jen

Melody.

Come to my store whenever you want. I'll brew/press/pour over any coffee you like. bold pick. decaf. pike place. my favorite. your favorite. his favorite. her favorite. a custom blend. anything your heart desires. you love coffee, i love making coffee.

and that's why i work for this company.

StLouieDrip

Ahh, big smile for Java_Jen, YEAH! :-)

Melody, I agree it would be great to have lots of coffee options, but after what I've seen in the last 2 years I'm not surprised pour-over is limited to just one bold and decaf, (well, unless you go to Java_Jen's store, ha!). And I suppose decaf will have to be PPR? Or what about a bold decaf?

Another question, will there be signage, ads, and promotion? Will pour-over get pushed very hard like Via? (um, probably not is my guess.) How will sbux tell the customers about pour-over?

Enlightened Coffee Sage, I had once thought of bringing in my own beans, and even my own cone and paper filter, asking for a mug and some hot water, then doing my own pour over in the lobby. But it was just a ridiculous fantasy, and a clue that it was definitely time to move on.

Well, it's nice to know there are a few of you still out there. Those few I knew about worked at a store that got closed, bah. But maybe I'll eventually find where those types are hanging out these days.

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