Hey all,

I work in a coffee shop that is really hurting in the economy, and we are looking at ways to be more efficient with less waste. We only sell about 2 to 3 cups of decaf coffee all day-- but it always comes at different times of the day. I want to keep the coffee fresh, but I hate seeing $2 worth of coffee go down the drain every couple hours -- Have any of you stopped brewing your decaf in shuttles or airpots, and started brewing it by the cup instead? Were customers ok waiting a little longer?

I appreciate any thoughts or ideas!

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I haven't done it myself personally, but I have friends in shops who are, in general, going to cup at a time. I think that it might help if you just communicate how fresh their coffee will be and how much better the practice is in terms of sustainability rather than spinning it as a negative affect of the economy. Thos are just my thoughts.
Thanks Chris, thats really a great idea to put it in terms of sustainability -- because really in good or bad times, we should try to be as efficient as possible :)
Switched all non espresso coffee brewing to by the cup via 4 station pour over Thanksgiving Day '08. Majority of my customers not only don't mind the wait but appreciate having a choice of up to a dozen or so different coffees on demand and their cup always being fresh ground fresh brewed just for them. They also have the option of ordering an individual press pot. Prior to that when I brewed 48oz press pots held in airpots when a decaf coffee was ordered they got a decaf Americano.

Really depends on your shop and customers. If everything you do is quality focused the majority of your customers will understand the additional time needed to provide the highest quality cup possible. If on the other hand the majority of customers are primarily 7-11 mentality they'll take more educating and you may loose some to the wait.
in my prior coffee shop, we only served decaf as americanos. & yes, the customers had a positive response; fresh, & hot. isn't all that time consuming.
I can not remember the last time we brewed a pot of decafe. Though having a clover makes it pretty easy to brew quickly. Its rare that anyone complains about the hot fresh decafe they have to wait a minute for.
I finally got over Clover Envy when Charbucks bought them out. From a production standpoint you can brew 4 cups faster with a 4 station pour over than a Clover:-) And when using white porcelain Beehouse instead plastic Melitta cones the wow factor is almost equal. AND people know they can highly likely reproduce the same cup at home they get from my pour over station, which has greatly enchanced whole bean sales, versus $10k plus machines be they espresso or Clover.

But yes, I still wouldn't mind having a Clover:-)

Logan Demmy said:
I can not remember the last time we brewed a pot of decafe. Though having a clover makes it pretty easy to brew quickly. Its rare that anyone complains about the hot fresh decafe they have to wait a minute for.
You make some really good points here Mike.

miKe mcKoffee aka Mike McGinness said:
I finally got over Clover Envy when Charbucks bought them out. From a production standpoint you can brew 4 cups faster with a 4 station pour over than a Clover:-) And when using white porcelain Beehouse instead plastic Melitta cones the wow factor is almost equal. AND people know they can highly likely reproduce the same cup at home they get from my pour over station, which has greatly enchanced whole bean sales, versus $10k plus machines be they espresso or Clover.

But yes, I still wouldn't mind having a Clover:-)

Logan Demmy said:
I can not remember the last time we brewed a pot of decafe. Though having a clover makes it pretty easy to brew quickly. Its rare that anyone complains about the hot fresh decafe they have to wait a minute for.
Are you absolutely sure you sell only three cups of decaf a day max?

If so, have you considered eliminating decaf altogether? At three cups a day, it doesn't sound feasible or reasonable to keep it as part of your coffee program.
Thanks guys for all the great comments! We do only serve 3 cups a day, but the place has only been in business for 8 months, so I think it'd be best to hang on to all the customers we can.

I think I will start brewing them by the cup, and see how that turns out. Unfortunately there is a fully automatic machine there (I finally talked the owner into getting a semi) but until that happens, I'd hate to give people pretty crappy tasting americanos.
My shop hardly ever sells decaf, so I never brew it. I always give my customers the ultimatum between waiting 5min (hopefully) or getting their americano hot n' ready. Usually they get the americano, and end up liking that better anyway. In my opinion, it's all in the way you present it to them. "No we don't have that, but you know what would be even better....?" works for me.
we have always done decaf as americanos...no problem. If people really get upset about the $.25 extra then just charge them for a regular cup. Hopefully they like it so much that when they come back they will just order a decaf americano and be happy to pay the $.25.
Haven't brewed decaf in 2 years - Americano all the way.

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