For me, Filter is king.
I’d happily give up selling espresso and only serve filter coffee if it was financially viable. Sadly at this time, and certainly where I’m based, this is not possible.
For most customers a milk drink is always going to be their preferred drink. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, milk drinks can be delicious and comforting. They just don’t offer the same diversity and showcase the unique flavours of each coffee the way a good filter does. So for that reason I want to market filter to make it the more attractive option for my guests and get them drinking more of it.
My first few pop-ups were purely brew bars. I loved serving and explaining a wide variety of origins, processes and varietals but I barely managed to earn a wage. Plus I’d always have people stare at the filter options then order a cappuccino. Part of me always regrets caving in and buying an espresso machine.
The problem with brewing filter by hand of course is that it’s time-consuming, takes up a lot of bar space and requires a lot of training to get all staff consistent. From a business point-of-view it probably isn’t the most sensible investment. This makes offering hand-brewed filter coffee difficult, especially in small shops where you only have one or two people working at a time.
Batch brewers don’t have the same problems.
Depending on the model of brewer, you can make between 0.5-6 Litres with just a little more time and effort than making one americano.
“Is it 100% as good and consistent as a hand-brewed filter?” Probably not, maybe 90% as good.
I’m happy with that though since the massive time-saving means I can turn what would normally be the most expensive item in a coffee shop into the cheapest.
The big drop in price and time-to-serve batch in comparison to any other drink makes it a much more attractive option for customers, meaning many will switch to it. I want my guests to experience the incredible diversity of speciality coffee and find offering a cheaper batch brew the easiest way to do it.
A handy by-product of selling batch brew is staff have a lot less work to do and can concentrate on providing better service or preparing more higher margin food products. Win/Win for coffee shop and customer.
The biggest flaw of course is that when you batch brew you only have about an hour to sell it before the coffee goes stale. There is a simple solution to this however:
Serve batch in place of americanos. I guarantee it will taste better anyway.
Why americanos suck will be a post for another day.