Consistency is one of my favourite coffee-related terms and it also sounds great, isn’t it?
Consistency is the key and overlooking it, it’s a common mistake that most company does. It doesn’t matter if you are in the speciality business or the chain one.
I’m obviously a speciality coffee lover but what we (speciality coffee shop) should embrace is that consistency is a strong point of a chain; we can (quite often) disagree with the quality of the product they serve, but we are pretty sure that we are going to taste the same cup of coffee in any shop of that chain.
This is what the word “consistency” means.
A look at the coffee business
The company plays a crucial role to build a positive culture: a company sets its goal, invests in education, quality and passion. This is what a company needs to be focused and that’s the core business of a company.
The culture of a company is the result of the hiring process which will be then reflected on the business. Hiring passionate baristas and invest in their development is paramount to build a healthy culture; people do their best when their skills are valued and supported.
What is Consistency?
So, what about consistency? Consistency is maintaining a high standard in every single part of the day, especially at peak times. It’s everything a company needs to make regular customers.
It’s not just about hiring professional baristas but also invest in good equipment; a scale can help minimize the inconsistency of a grinder, especially when the grinding chamber is overheated.
I know it will surprise you, but there is so much variation between a shot and another one. Keeping the same dose leads to the ideal extraction. Using a good thermal stability machine helps maintain a constant water temperature that allows us to achieve the ideal extraction as well. Using the right amount of milk to steam helps minimize the wastage and steam it between 55 and 65 degrees helps to serve a milk beverage at its highest, without burning any proteins or fats. (steaming milk above 70 degrees make the coffee indigestible to us, leading to the formation of casein tannate).
Managing all these variables help in assessing and improving coffee consistency and making new customers. Somewhere out there, there will be some coffee shops that are serving cheaper joe of coffee, so providing a good service helps keep the customer returning. Remember that customers come to drink the same coffee they drank the day before as it’s what they expect when popping in.
So, they come to the shop and they are willing to pay for that quality we are getting used to them. We barista, we are not selling coffee but an experience. And from every experience, some expectations need to be fulfilled. And since we are still updating our knowledge along with the coffee industry, customers are doing the same and are becoming more pretentious.
A way to maintain a high standard is maintaining a recipe book. Every barista can keep him/her self-updated by checking the recipes and changing them. Do you forget about the ratio of your current espresso options? Check on the recipe book. Do you forget about what EK grinding setting you need for making that Ethiopia washed pour-over? Check it on the recipe book.
What really matters is the approach we take when we do things. We always need to ask ourselves why we are doing that thing instead of doing it in another way, and what are the consequences of every action we make. We are humble and passionate baristas, focused on cleaning, serving the best experience we can do. It is as we should drink all of the coffee we make. That’s the things that bring to consistency.
Oh, I was forgetting the most important thing: sharing is caring and…learning.
I am an Italian coffee lover that pushed for the love of this “amazing drug” decided to come to London to study about coffee and its different extraction procedures and tastes.