Is it conceivable to drop drip brewing in favor of single origin americanos? What are the draw backs to this over other cup at a time brewing systems?

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I think yes in some cases. We did that with our decaf in the afternoon since there was such erratic demand and so much waste. It met with some success, but probably did result in a bit of falloff in decaf customers.

The flavor is comparable, perhaps a little less nuanced. Try it and taste them side-by-side. I give a slight edge to the freshly-dripped cup, but that advantage fades pretty quickly as the drip sits.

The biggest drawback I see in our shop is customer perception. Despite a bit of customer ed - pitching it as an upgrade, custom made to order, whatever, people don't seem to respond as well to it. I think its perceived by some as being fussier or fancier... not necessarily a good thing for the drip guys. Plus people can be put off by the crema on top. Aside from that I've done blind side-by-side tastings with a few customers, and they mostly preferred the americano.

The other drawback is the time aspect. I think you'd be hard pressed to keep up in a high-demand time period. Unless you are only serving a 12oz max americano you'll probably be pulling more than a double per drink (we do a double 8z, triple 12z, quad 16z, quint 20z... though some go with one shot less as they are accustomed to a slightly less assertive cup). I find that the double 16z that so many shops do tastes more like the cup than the coffee!

My 2 cents. I'll gather some more thoughts from others at the shop that work more afternoons.
Well... It is taste almost the same...
but I think and would like to know...
whatever I order.. this is what I wanna get!
this is the way I serve...
what you order thats what you get...
Meir said:
Well... It is taste almost the same...

Huh???? No way! An americano is an espresso-based drink, probably made with beans that were roasted for espresso, while a drip brew would probably use different beans with a much lighter roast. The taste is so so so so different. I would very much like to see more single-origin DRIP. This would taste so much nicer than a watered-down espresso.
right there with Arno, the lighter roast would allow a more definitive experience of any coffee through drip/press
also i feel that espresso brewing is designed around the short shot - that's how that brewing method tastes best and the drip is designed around a longer drink. Why bother with americano?
We serve no drip coffee in our shops. Only Espresso Americano. We don't have too many regular drip customers, though. In taste tests, most of our customers couldn't tell the differnce. Probably because most of them are not coffee aficcionados, just coffee drinkers and addicts.

In most shops, this may not be practical, HOWEVER, it may be beneficial for you to try to convert as many drip drinkes into Americano drinkers as possible, since the americano has a higher profit margin, and in many cases is a fresher cup. And almost no waste.
Arno Kamphuis said:
Meir said:
Well... It is taste almost the same...

Huh???? No way! An americano is an espresso-based drink, probably made with beans that were roasted for espresso, while a drip brew would probably use different beans with a much lighter roast. The taste is so so so so different. I would very much like to see more single-origin DRIP. This would taste so much nicer than a watered-down espresso.

I don't know...I think Meir is correct. If you take a nice SO espresso and make a proper americano with it, the taste will be very similar to a drip made with those same beans at the same roast. The big problem is that most americanos aren't made very well.

That said, I think there are far better cup-at-a-time methods, and agree that many beans are not good as espresso, especially when roasted for optimum flavor in a french press or drip. You have to find that perfect balance of roast and bean that makes both good espresso and good drip.

To answer the original posters question, I guess you could, but why? You'd be really limiting your options and sacrificing some flavor. Americanos can be good drinks, but french press, chemex, etc would be better choices.
We've never entertained the idea of drip coffee. So for us it's always been everything by the cup. In my experience, a properly brewed Americano yields better body and better flavors than traditional drip. Now one could argue that X coffee as COFFEE will be better than the SO espresso. And I would agree... but I would not use the standard drip brewing method. Perhaps a proper Melitta/pour-over, press, siphon, maybe a Chemex for those who are so inclined. I believe everything should be brewed by the cup, and the fantastic coffees that are out there deserve far better than "standard auto-brew drip".

For us, it's not about vast numbers through the door. It's definitely not about a fast caffeine delivery system in the early morning hours. It's about providing something exceptional with each cup.
I tried a Harrar Americano for the first time this morning... really tasty, but I'd much rather have the spro straight.
Mmmm... I miss Harrar!

Benza Lance said:
I tried a Harrar Americano for the first time this morning... really tasty, but I'd much rather have the spro straight.
Chris Hooton said:
Mmmm... I miss Harrar!

Benza Lance said:
I tried a Harrar Americano for the first time this morning... really tasty, but I'd much rather have the spro straight.

Me too.
I would be very sad to see drip coffee disappear from the menu. I never order Americanos; if I want espresso I want it straight or with perfect milk. If I want coffee, I want a french press or a Clover. Watering down espresso is not the same thing!
january vawter said:
Treating brewed coffee as an afterthought makes me sad.

There are so many incredible beans out there that extract beautifully when brewed as coffee. Guess I'm just spoiled; brewing coffee by the cup and working with a roaster that has amazing SO beans. Our customers love it, especially the decaf customers.

But I guess this is just part of the move away from coffee shops to espresso bars.

I wouldn't say that the move is away from coffee shops or brewed coffee. It seems to me like the move is away from giant batches of auto drip held for hours and TO the brewed-by-the-cup methods you're talking about. I don't think that's such a bad thing.

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