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Serving Coffee in the Best Order

When you receive a customer coffee order with various types of drinks, DO YOU HAVE A PLAN or idea on how to prepare them? Not only for efficiency but to make sure the customer gets them in a timely manner and also receives their coffee in the BEST condition possible? In this video Joel explains how the different types of COFFEE DEGRADE AT DIFFERENT RATES and how this should determine which order you prepare your coffee.

YouTube Video Transcript

Want to know a top trick that baristas use on a daily basis? Stick around and you'll find out.

 G’day everyone I’m Joel from Artisti Coffee Roasters and today I’m going to talk about THE ORDER THAT YOU SERVE YOUR DRINKS IN. There's three main things that I want to cover today. I'm going to talk about coffee degradation, the order that you serve your drinks in and how that affects your customers experience.

So, let's talk about degradation to start off with. So, earlier today I roped in a few staff members and we ran a little fun experiment in our espresso bar. We had a latte and a straight-up espresso made and each staff member tasted those drinks and made notes on. We then left the same drink sit for a five minute time period, came back we tasted those drinks and made more notes. So, broadly speaking everyone came up with pretty much the same conclusion. Everyone tasted those fresh drinks and the  feedback and the notes that were made on those were that they were nice, sweet, complex, well-balanced and positive things. 

Overwhelmingly the feedback after five minutes on those same drinks were that they were sort of flat, non-dimensional, not as sweet and definitely not as appealing. The interesting thing that came out of this was the feedback for the espresso after five minutes was far worse than what the latte was after five minutes. The latte although it didn't taste as good hadn't lost as much flavour and didn't get as many negative comments.

Now I suppose the big question that you need to be asking yourself is how does this affect what I do as a barista in a café? The main points that I want you to think about and take out of this is that  obviously if you can serve your coffee earlier or quicker, that is going to be a better flavoured coffee no questions asked. The other thing that you may not have thought about was the rate of degradation for each of the different drinks. The espresso degraded far quicker, lost its flavour and changed its flavour profile far more than what the latte did. You might ask why that is? Hey look there's a lot of I suppose factors that go into that and it can get quite complicated but generally drinks with milk and also a sweeter flavoured beverage is going to degrade slower than our straight-up espresso or our black more intense coffees.

So a way that you can actually apply that in cafe  service is to use a little rule that I always use when I'm serving drinks in in in the bar. I always start making my sweeter drinks in a group of orders before I make my more short black or intense drinks. Little example of that is, if I had an order of a piccolo an espresso, a mocha and a latte, the order that I would make those in, I would always make the Mocha first. This is your sweetest drink and is going to degrade slower than any of the other drinks. I then follow that up with a latte piccolo and finally do my espresso. This is really important to consider when you're making your coffee behind the coffee machine and is one of the things that makes a huge difference in your customer experience.

If the customers are receiving these drinks in the best condition that you can, accepting that there is always going to be a bit of time delay  between when you're making the drink and when the customers are receiving them. It's going to massively improve the flavour and the overall experience from that customer. So this little rule that I shared today works definitely for take away orders if they're all taken away together but also for most dine in orders. One thing to consider with dine in orders is the way that they're ran to the table.  Whether that's in groups or singularly and also the fact that when you're sitting down in a cafe you want to share you drink together so as a barista you just need to consider these things and think about how that customer is going to experience the drinks that you're making. There's a few little exceptions to this rule. One thing I will say in our espresso bar we offer a ‘Barista Breakfast’ which is an espresso, a batch brew and a milk drink. We don't want the one customer to drink their milk drink first, if we made that first, followed by a batch brew and an espresso because milk can cover your palate and I suppose mute some of the flavours that you're going to get out of a nice light roasted single origin. So, that's probably one example of an exception in this rule. When we make our barista breakfast in our espresso bar we always serve our espresso first so that can be enjoyed with a nice crisp clean pallet, followed by your batch brew and finished with your milk coffee.

The main thing that I want to really reiterate today is that you're thinking a little bit more about how your customers are drinking their drinks and not just order in, make coffee, order out. Thinking about grouping coffees together and thinking about how your customer is going to be experiencing those  drinks and maximizing the best flavour by minimizing your degradation through those coffees.

I hope you've got a lot out of this today and it's kind of just flipped a little switch in your head that'll make you think differently as a barista and hey I'd really like to know if there's anything that you think needs to be shared. Any secrets that you've learned in your experience that you feel are being withheld?

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Thanks for watching and stay tuned for more tips and tricks.

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