How to introduce one size cappuccino on the menu and to the customer.

So starting in October we are rolling out the whole no menu board thing with only a small printed menu framed and posted in an inconspicuous place. On this menu we are going to offer only one size cappuccino (8oz paper cup, or 6oz ceramic cap cup) with the larger sizes (12 and 16oz) as lattes.

We do have regular customers that come in, walk up, and order large caps (currently 16 oz) every day. Obviously we dont want to loose these customers, and we dont want to come off as snobby jack asses. However, we really want this to work, and we really want people to understand why we are doing this.

I know that some of you guys have done this already. How do we interact with the customer without coming across as "the snobby barista" yet still getting people to understand that a "cappuccino" is a very specific thing. Any advise would be immensely appreciated .

Thanx,
Andy

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wouldn't it theoretically be possible to make a 16 oz. real cappuccino if you put 5-6 shots in it? i mean, no one's going to sell that, but if you kept the thirds ratio it would still kinda be a cappuccino no matter how big it got, right?

the problem is that most people make a 16 oz. "cappuccino" with 2-3 shots (2-3oz.) of espresso, then ~10 oz. of liquid steamed milk and 2-3 oz. of microfoam (obviously not separated if you're a decent barista). the ratio is what throws it off, not the size, right?
No. A cappuccino is a specifically sized drink. It is not a drink of thirds. (that was a myth intended to keep its size honest, I believe) Don't make me find the Italian website stating the law..

Jared Rutledge said:
wouldn't it theoretically be possible to make a 16 oz. real cappuccino if you put 5-6 shots in it? i mean, no one's going to sell that, but if you kept the thirds ratio it would still kinda be a cappuccino no matter how big it got, right?

the problem is that most people make a 16 oz. "cappuccino" with 2-3 shots (2-3oz.) of espresso, then ~10 oz. of liquid steamed milk and 2-3 oz. of microfoam (obviously not separated if you're a decent barista). the ratio is what throws it off, not the size, right?
I think that this argument has played out before in discussion. To say without a doubt that a cap has no reference to proportion is quite a bold statement. How do you feel about single capps?

Jason Haeger said:
No. A cappuccino is a specifically sized drink. It is not a drink of thirds. (that was a myth intended to keep its size honest, I believe) Don't make me find the Italian website stating the law..

I feel just fine about them. I think that saying that it IS about proportions when the law makes no such claim is even bolder.

Logan Demmy said:
I think that this argument has played out before in discussion. To say without a doubt that a cap has no reference to proportion is quite a bold statement. How do you feel about single capps?

Jason Haeger said:
No. A cappuccino is a specifically sized drink. It is not a drink of thirds. (that was a myth intended to keep its size honest, I believe) Don't make me find the Italian website stating the law..

Whew... I'm ducking out of this one for a minute or two, haha...

-bry
No arguments here, it just seems odd to sight a law from Italy. I was kind of unaware that a trade craft was subject to a foreign country's law. Coffee is an art form open to personal interpretations, governed by (in my opinion) guidelines at best.

Jason Haeger said:
I feel just fine about them. I think that saying that it IS about proportions when the law makes no such claim is even bolder.

Logan Demmy said:
I think that this argument has played out before in discussion. To say without a doubt that a cap has no reference to proportion is quite a bold statement. How do you feel about single capps?

Jason Haeger said:
No. A cappuccino is a specifically sized drink. It is not a drink of thirds. (that was a myth intended to keep its size honest, I believe) Don't make me find the Italian website stating the law..

In general, I'm inclined to agree with you. But when citing a specific drink with a specific recipe from a specific country that happens to have a law about said specific recipe in an attempt to keep their culture protected from such thinking, I do not.

Clearly, you can call whatever drink you want a cappuccino. The Italians (you know, the same people who invented the drink) only recognize one specific recipe at one specific size with no mentions of proportions to be, in actuality, a cappuccino. You may disagree, but it is what it is.

Logan Demmy said:
No arguments here, it just seems odd to sight a law from Italy. I was kind of unaware that a trade craft was subject to a foreign country's law. Coffee is an art form open to personal interpretations, governed by (in my opinion) guidelines at best.

Jason Haeger said:
I feel just fine about them. I think that saying that it IS about proportions when the law makes no such claim is even bolder.

Logan Demmy said:
I think that this argument has played out before in discussion. To say without a doubt that a cap has no reference to proportion is quite a bold statement. How do you feel about single capps?

Jason Haeger said:
No. A cappuccino is a specifically sized drink. It is not a drink of thirds. (that was a myth intended to keep its size honest, I believe) Don't make me find the Italian website stating the law..

Clearly there are several approaches here, and agree that there's obviously lots of personal choice involved here. There are, however, choices that match up better with what you intend to accomplish.

If you intend to serve an authentic cappuccino, it makes the most sense to make that as authentic as possible. I've yet to see good documentation to back up the "rule of thirds", but have seen plenty to back up the 5.5oz single. Agreed with Jason on the though of using the Italian definition.

If you deviate from this strict definition, it ought to be for a logical reason. Serving a "double capp" as your standard item comes to mind. Yes, it is a deviation from standard... but for good reason. Maybe even put it on the menu that way, as a "double cappuccino".

On the larger size... I think its fair to say that Sbx and the like have worked hard to define an "American mass-market cappuccino" - double in a 12 oz or something like that. So it is reasonable to expect that a new customer might walk in looking for that beast. Offering one is certainly your option, but you should do so understanding what the drink IS and what it ISN'T. The options you choose should ultimately mesh up with what you are trying to accomplish as a coffee shop.

On the "scalable capp" question, I've switched positions and am now "against" the idea. Your customer is probably looking for one or the other - someone that really loves espresso would probably prefer the traditional beverage, the more mass-market customer should be encouraged to try the "real thing", but it is a different beverage than they were expecting. I'm not sure it makes sense to offer a quad 12oz as a cappuccino, since that's probably not what either the traditional or "American mass-market cappuccino" lover is looking for. Although there are some guys out there that really want two 6oz capps in the same to-go cup... so a "doubled capp".

In our shop, we've found it makes sense for us to offer both, side-by-side on the menu. It drives the conversation and lets them choose the beverage they prefer. I now sell slightly more of the 6oz traditional double capps, and we have not lost "Cappuccino George", who has gotten a 16 oz "triple cappuccino" from us every day for the past year. But that's just how we've chosen to do it.

Bryan, to try to respond to your question about losing customers... what Jay was saying is that they eliminated ALL 16oz beverages... so it wasn't just a name change.

This thread is past due, btw. How long has it been since the last?
I actually haven't seen this thread pop up yet, but I do go through up and down stages of bX addiction (currently on my longest standing "up":0)

We have a menu labeled "Traditionals" and one labeled "American" (I really wanted to call it Americanized, but it got shot down). On the American menu we actually label the 'latte macchiato' as "Macchiato- 'Their' Style." It's fantastic, mainly because almost everybody gets it. It's also fantastic because we sell far more Traditional Macc's than fake ones.

-bry
I love it. That's awesome.

Bryan Wray said:
I actually haven't seen this thread pop up yet, but I do go through up and down stages of bX addiction (currently on my longest standing "up":0)

We have a menu labeled "Traditionals" and one labeled "American" (I really wanted to call it Americanized, but it got shot down). On the American menu we actually label the 'latte macchiato' as "Macchiato- 'Their' Style." It's fantastic, mainly because almost everybody gets it. It's also fantastic because we sell far more Traditional Macc's than fake ones.

-bry
nice, i started a poo-storm with that comment. i'm not advocating 16 oz. capps, probably won't even have that size cup in my shop. i think the italians are in agreement with the WBC in that a cappuccino is a single shot of espresso in a 5-6 oz. cup, but on BX i seem to read people advocating the thirds ratio or double in a six ounce cup a lot, like brady's post above.

the pertinent question is single or a double in a 5-6 oz. cup. that would change the taste significantly.
huge kudos to you for doing this! I think the easiest way to explain it is that you are making a traditional or "european" style cappuccino. I don't think you are being snobby so long as you use the transaction as a learning experience and not a lecturing experience. You could always offer a side by side sample of an 6oz capp with a 16 oz capp so customers can taste the difference for themselves.

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