I'm flying solo tonight, so I'm on a mild blog frenzy.
I started my blog by praising an awesome experience at Starbucks. Progenitor AND enfant terrible of the speciality coffee world.
I'm now going to slate them. I'm in a really high profile store in the Capitol city of one of Europe's most visited countries. I'm relaxing in a comfy chair, enduring their shock and awe suicide jazz bombardment and drinking a "flat white."
Starbucks espresso is OK when it's done properly (no better than OK mind) mine is under extracted, bitter and weak. Coupled with the flat, limp, flaccid lukewarm excuse for milk, I'm left with what can only be described as weapons grade coffee.
Will it stop me popping into the green apron again? No. My local is OK, and the wife likes it. Plus the sheer ubiquity of the brand smothers my choices.
I still hunt out indies, but late night in the city centre they're few and far between.
The point of this rambling tirade is this: as an indie you have one chance to win the customer. As a massive brand, chances are the customer (however fussy) will forgive you.
As an indie you owe it to every link in the chain, from the farmer's wife who potted the plant to the roaster who popped the bean to yourself, the operator, to make sure that coffee sings. The power you have is incredible and through one flick of the dosing chamber, one press of the tamper you can destroy even the best beans.
When you do that, you lose your seat at the table and your trepidatious first-time customer dismisses you as another crap cafe. For Peet's sake don't let that happen!
Precision and excellence is the path to great coffee.
Complacency and apathy are the way to the Dark Side.
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