Can pour-over coffee really make a difference in a coffee shop setting? Obviously the pour-over is trending as a way to truly experience the most subtle attributes of the coffee, but what does this do to the workflow of a shop? If a shop already has an espresso machine, an automatic drip machine, pastries and smoothies, might this only complicate things?
“I am pro pour-over,” said Alex Jeans, the resident barista at Stockton Graham & Co. “Coffee is just as culinary as anything else and pour-overs showcase the finer attributes of the coffee.” In addition to consulting with coffee shops on pour over programs he works with wholesale coffee accounts out of our Raleigh, N.C. coffee roasting facility.
There are many compelling reasons to turn towards the handcrafted pour-over coffee method if you are a coffee shop owner. Let’s take a look at four reasons why it is advantageous.
1. Coffee is an experience, and even more of an experience when done by the handcrafted method of pour-over. No other method of brewing coffee has the potential to extract better flavor if done well. This is perhaps the signature mark of pour-over coffee. In fact, this is what pour-over coffee is all about – enjoying the full experience of quality, single origin coffee. The pour-over method enhances the tasting profile of the coffee you want to feature like no other method will. You and your customers may have to wait a little longer, but it’s guaranteed to be fresh since it will be ground and brewed to order.
2. Serving handcrafted pour-over coffee in your coffee shop will make you industry savvy. The third wave movement of coffee, which treats coffee like a fine wine or craft beer, embraces this manual way of making coffee. It has also made quite the comeback because of coffee aficionados. With the handcrafted pour-over method, making coffee becomes an exact science and an opportunity for your staff to shine. Not only will they be able to explain the process of the pour-over as they make it, they will also be able to teach the customer the steps involved, the equipment needed and knowledge about the coffee.
3. During the window of time it takes to make a pour-over coffee, your barista can suggest the customer to try the pour-over method at home. This is a great marketing opportunity to sell high-ticket items in a generally low-ticket item establishment. Selling whole beans is a desired sale in a coffee shop where your average ticket might be four dollars. Serving pour-overs will increase your opportunity to sell not only whole beans, but having the equipment for sale in your coffee shop could also work to your advantage, bolstering your bottom line with expensive tickets items.
4. Hand crafted pour-over coffee is the freshest way to serve coffee taking approximately five minutes start to finish.
Manual, single-cup brewing equals greater control over flavor outcome. For coffee flavor connoisseurs, the primary advantage of the pour-over method is that it gives the barista more control over every variable. From dose to coffee grind to water temperature and distribution, nothing can top brewing coffee by hand, one cup at a time.
This is a significant difference when compared to the automatic drip machine where coffee might sit for up to two hours before serving. Automatic coffee is generally pre-ground, which certainly saves time, but results in a less flavorful brew. After a short 20 minutes, ground coffee will lose flavor, and after two weeks, it begins to go stale. Customers will naturally be enthusiastic about freshness and they can taste the difference of the pour-over method.
As a coffee shop owner, you know your customers best and will have to decide if it makes sense. Will they be willing to wait? Will they be willing to pay the premium price it may cost for the labor intensity of the made to order cup? Certainly there will be logistics to consider when choosing to do handcrafted pour-over coffee, but ultimately, the choice is yours.
“I don’t know that it makes sense for everyone,” Jeans said when referring to having pour-overs in a coffee shop. “It shouldn’t be an afterthought. It is a commitment and you have to be willing to commit. Not everyone wants to put that kind of time or labor into it. It has to make sense for you and you have to be willing to invest in it.”
For more information on implementing a pour-over method in your coffee shop, contact a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.