Hey BX'ers, i've been thinking about this for a while and would like some of your input.
I was thinking trying to get more pour over bars in coffee shops in my area, and maybe making some money along the way.  The idea is to take my V60 set up and demo it for coffee shop owners and talk about the pros of having a pour over bar (its unique, the coffee is more fresh, its a spectacle etc.) If they are interested i would then take care of buying all of the equipment, making a pour over bar (out of copper piping) and training their baristas to pour.

My question to you all is, has having a pour over bar helped your business?  Is this idea worth pursuing?  How would you react to someone approaching you with an idea like this?

Any input would be great.

Thanks,

Alex

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I'll have to agree somewhat on the negative side. I don't think you'd be totally unsuccessful if you were persistent, but my guess would be that not enough owners would be open to the idea to make it worth your while. Some people can handle the salesman role, I'm not really into it. If you build custom made brew bars though, have you thought of figuring out how to market to people who are already looking for a brew bar? Maybe online? I mean those stainless steel ones are crazy expensive... and ugly. If you offer a custom copper one at a competitive price, seems like there could be a market for it.
Challenge is sounds like the focus is on changing how local coffee shops in the OP's area run their businesses not on marketing pour-overs per se'. It's not like making coffee via manual pour over is anything new or unique, been around for many decades.

Ok example, we're not (currently) doing any Aeropress brewing. Some kid walks in with his Aeropress and tries explaining to us why it's god's gift to coffee and why we should use them and buy them from him. Would we be receptive? I highly doubt it. We're also not doing Turkish brewing yet, same scenario.

OTOH if it was a regular customer who's had our Beehouse pour-over, Vario pour-over, Clever, Chemex, Yama Vac, Royal Balance Vac and multiple types of espresso beverages asked if we ever considered adding Aeopress or Turkish to our offerings we'd be open to dialog. We've actually talked about sometime in the future doing a Turkish coffee ceremony from pan roast to brew. Also talked about bringing in a couple Aeropresses to play with.

Not the same thing as someone walking in cold telling you how to brew better coffee, which is tantamount to telling the shop they don't know how to brew good coffee (which may or may not be true...) Just be careful how you approach shops.

I was thinking trying to get more pour over bars in coffee shops in my area, and maybe making some money along the way.

christopher myers said:
I'll have to agree somewhat on the negative side. I don't think you'd be totally unsuccessful if you were persistent, but my guess would be that not enough owners would be open to the idea to make it worth your while. Some people can handle the salesman role, I'm not really into it. If you build custom made brew bars though, have you thought of figuring out how to market to people who are already looking for a brew bar? Maybe online? I mean those stainless steel ones are crazy expensive... and ugly. If you offer a custom copper one at a competitive price, seems like there could be a market for it.
Good one!
I believe totally worth it. We make around 150-200 pour over per day.
The people who orders, they know it will take a while (around 2mins). But since they taste the different,
they will come back and become more loyal. That is what i see everyday. They really like it.
Maybe in the begining, you may have to explain more about why it is takes longer than usual.
Like side on table restaurant and KFC...let them know it will worth to wait.

Good luck!
I've been doing a fair amount of pourover, and my frustration is how slow it is. Its nice knowing you won't waste beans, but we tend not to anyway.. I haven't fully committed to it yet. Its nice to offer it though!
Same here. I communicate with my roasters on the regular, and this something I would like to learn about from them. If my roaster supports it, I'm more likely to consider buying the equipment and following through.



Oscar Nyman said:
I would be interested if my roaster or machine/equipment supplier would introduce me to any new concept/brew method that was interesting, produce great coffee and could generate some more revenue but I would be very sceptic if a random guy would walk in and do the same.

I think most interested quality coffeeshop owners could pull this off themselves if they haven't done it already, if they don't know what pourover is, it indicates that they are not that interested in coffee and they will probably never be successful running the operations and the up-selling of the slightly more expensive drinks
I actually just saw Jay Caragay from Spro in Baltimore giving a talk about this very subject.

His main point, which I completely agree with, is that pour-overs allow your customers to see barista's actually applying a craft to your coffee, not simply pressing a button. When customers start to understand that coffee can be a craft beverage, they become engaged with the coffee. Engaged customers want to learn more, ask questions, their knowledge base goes up and before long they are demanding well made drinks.

I think a pour-over bar is a great way to help build a customer base in your area. Whether or not this translates into increased sales, I can't really speak to.
As far as selling goes, I would be most enticed by a salesman that included me in the process. For example, if someone comes up to me and tries to simply sell something to me, I'm usually not interested; but if I'm approached with the idea of collaboration, perhaps I would be more interested in working with you and giving you some money.

Different ways of collaboration could be evaluating options for drippers, learning to bend copper and design of brew bar, looking into different pour-over methods, and of course learning new knowledge/customer base/etc regarding this new found pour-over method.
Like others previously, I tend to think that many of the places that will implement correctly and are interested already have done it. Note that I said many, not all.

You would probably not convince someone that wasn't aware or interested in manual brewing to be interested.

I imagine you're best bet is finding shops that are interested and just haven't found the time to make it happen. Or really would like to but just aren't quite sure how. Or bought something else and aren't quite happy with it. Or can't bring themselves to drop hundreds of dollars on a formed piece of stainless steel that cost 15 bucks to fabricate (sorry guys, but seriously?).

If, instead of walking in with the idea of selling them on the idea of a pourover bar, you walked in with half a dozen each of the most popular brewer choices in the car... as well as a couple of custom-fabricated drip racks, a few kettles of varying pricepoints, some operating tipsheets, plus various accessories... you might have something there. Face it, there are lots of choices, and the prospect of buying one of each on the internet and trying them all in our spare time isn't terribly attractive.

Sell the stuff, not the concept. If they're not aware or interested, just smile, drop a card, and walk away.

Brewbars are fast becoming standard issue. Anyone paying attention already knows they need one. Being your areas one-stop manual brewbar shop might not be a bad plan.

Come to think of it, I may do something similar... In my spare time, of course. (AHHHHH!!!! Sometimes I even amuse myself :)
Thank you everyone for your comments, my roaster introduced the pour over concept to us and we are now researching the idea for our (small rural) area. Can anyone give us a lead on where to best purchase the products necessary for a pour over station and personal pour over equipment, etc.

i'm a big fan of the hario V60. You can pick these up pretty cheap. As for a brew bar i would make your own, its way cheaper (the manufactured ones are so ridiculously marked up i wouldn't buy it just on principal. you can get a good deal on v60s on amazon (if you do a package deal and get a Hario bunno kettle packaged with some filters and a v60 you can save some money) otherwise support the guys down at sweet marias! good luck with you pourover bar! let me know how it goes!

by the way...thanks everyone for chiming in! I just got a job at a shop, and the owner is going to give pourovers a try!
Lee Ann Jeffer said:
Thank you everyone for your comments, my roaster introduced the pour over concept to us and we are now researching the idea for our (small rural) area. Can anyone give us a lead on where to best purchase the products necessary for a pour over station and personal pour over equipment, etc.


Lee Ann Jeffer said:
Thank you everyone for your comments, my roaster introduced the pour over concept to us and we are now researching the idea for our (small rural) area. Can anyone give us a lead on where to best purchase the products necessary for a pour over station and personal pour over equipment, etc.
From what I've found commercial pour-over trays are hideously expensive, seriously like $300+ dollars. If I were to do anything but ceramic single cup (that rests on the coffee cup) I'd totally have some fun and make my own. Or find someone to do it cheap, its zero technology.. just takes a handy person.

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