So I know that this has been topic of discussion before, however:

I'm looking for any opinions on single origin espresso.  As far as how many shops actually serve single origins, all the time.

My shop has been experimenting with different origins, I'm just wondering what other peoples customers may think...

I believe some of our customers would truly appreciate it, but with the amount of customers who are so used to a blend, would I be taking away anything from them?

 

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Ethiopian Yirgacheffe has been my go-to SO for over a year now. You basically can never go wrong with that for pulling some really great shots of espresso!
I'd only do it if there was an extra grinder kicking around. It's possible to make (almost) any single origin coffee taste ok as espresso, and some offer truly fantastic results. But it takes an awful lot of skill. You and your best baristas may be able to pull it off, but what about your most recent newly-minted barista?

That said, adding a third grinder is a great idea where single origins and other interesting espressos live is a great idea. It opens up all sorts of possibilities. Get a nice one and you can take it to competition with you.
Absolutely. That is the exact situation we are in at our shop. Well said.

James Liu said:
I'd only do it if there was an extra grinder kicking around. It's possible to make (almost) any single origin coffee taste ok as espresso, and some offer truly fantastic results. But it takes an awful lot of skill. You and your best baristas may be able to pull it off, but what about your most recent newly-minted barista?

That said, adding a third grinder is a great idea where single origins and other interesting espressos live is a great idea. It opens up all sorts of possibilities. Get a nice one and you can take it to competition with you.
There's very little that gets me more excited than a shot of S.O. done properly. That being said, even rather reputable coffee companies have butchered their single origin espresso program by treating it with less consideration than their espresso blends. Do it right!

I worked for a company that thoughtlessly used a Ditting KR grinder for their S.O. espresso, and it was a joke. A proper dedicated espresso grinder is essential! Minimize your waste through precise adjustments while flirting with all the flavor you can find, it's the only way to go.
Jeff, do you roast this yourself? I've heard that Yirg makes a great espresso at a lighter roast. Just wondering what you think.

Jeff Jaworski said:
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe has been my go-to SO for over a year now. You basically can never go wrong with that for pulling some really great shots of espresso!
No, I don't roast myself. I used to live just a block down from a roaster in Dallas and I must have went through at least a pound of every bean they offered. My favorites ended up being obviously the Yirg and Rwanda Bourbon, though I'd still prefer the Yirgacheffe to that. I have pics of shots pulled of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe somewhere in some thread on this site. And actually this week I'm going through Verve Coffee Roasters WBC offering of it. So far so good, although it's a little bit more darkly roasted than I'm used to and I'm still kind of dialing it in(just cracked the bag open yesterday... still pulls an excellent shot of course;)

Good espresso blends can pull beautiful shots with fairly minimal effort imo. SO's have always provided a bit more of a challenge, though when you figure each one out they tend to be overwhelmingly strong in terms of their caffeine's effects.

Have fun!

Bill Nostrom said:
Jeff, do you roast this yourself? I've heard that Yirg makes a great espresso at a lighter roast. Just wondering what you think.

Jeff Jaworski said:
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe has been my go-to SO for over a year now. You basically can never go wrong with that for pulling some really great shots of espresso!
Versalab and serve many different single origins as espresso.
Yeah serving SO espresso since we opened 3 weeks ago and getting alot of good feedback from our customers about our drinks and the flavor of our espresso.
I may not offer any help here but I am kind of in the same boat... I want to know people's experiences with serving it. I myself plan on serving it in my cafe (that opens in about a month) but I am unsure how I am going to approach it with the customer. I will be dedicating a new super Jolly to it so it will have it's very own home. I once had to go in to a Peet's while in California and they had a S.O Sumatra... being pulled out of a Swift grinder. Made me sad for the bean.

The problem with offering it (in my opinion) is that the mass majority of people dont do to well with lots of options. They want to get in and out with as little hassle as possible. So I plan on serving it but it will be a mater of 'knowing my audience' and understanding who will appreciate it. Mr.White Mocha is not going to give rats ass about it but my more refined characters will.

I will trust my roaster to guide me through the offerings they have wont feel the need to go through 100 origins to get the 'right one'. A Yirgacheffe is a favorite for me (except two years ago... I think.... it was a bit too much for me that season) and there are a lot of specialty drinks I could make with one of those but it is nice to get the not so common ones in every now and then.

Then there is having to typically charge them more for it. I dont like that... so.. I like the idea of offering it... and I am going to! Buuut.... there are still some things I have to work out!

Theres my two pennies!
At our cafes, we have been offering a "featured espresso" for about 6 months. So far it has always been S.O. but I will entertain using a blend if it were different enough than our usual. We try to only push it on drinks where the guest will notice a different espresso. Basically cap or smaller. The feedback has been positive overall, although I think it has been key to continue offering our regular espresso blend as well. We purchased Mini's (one for each store) to use for grinding the feature, and although the grind time is much slower than all our other mazzers, the dosing is the most annoying part. Wost "mazzer spray" of any of their grinders. Probably would just get a super jolly next time around.

Well said Ricky about keeping the order simple. No need to give out my well sourced Rwanda if it's just going to be drowned in chocolate sauce and sugar.
At my cafe, we only ask people if they want the featured espresso (often a single) if they order an espresso. If they've never been there before, we almost always suggest they get our every day espresso first, to get an idea of what we're about.

Other than that, if people want single origin in a drink, it's up to them to ask.
Hi Matthew
I usually have 15-20 SO's, 1-2 blends, and one decaf available everyday. Use the blend if no requests are made but notice that customers are enjoying the option to try out the beans from different countries. We have a world map with all the SO's pinpointed and a blackboard with them all listed.
Needless to say, we grind per cup so you need a grinder that doesn't have a lot of grinds left in the chute. Presently using a Compact K10 without the hopper. Have a Macap Conical for the decaf.
We roast on site with a Diedrich so we have lots of control on the freshness of our beans. Seems to work well for us. Good luck in your business. Hope this helps.

Jon

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