Drinking coffee is a culture, and as a barista or cafe owner you probably know that the modern coffee drinker is evolving. That is why you need to have a deeper understanding of what your customers like and if they are willing to try new blends or brewing methods.
Customers are no longer satisfied with just a quick caffeine fix. They have become more discerning in their preferences, they want to expand their coffee knowledge and with this, comes greater expectations on baristas and café owners to deliver coffee with more complex flavours.
Alternative brews, with their ability to highlight the unique characteristics of coffee, are able to cater to this customer want, and offer the added advantage of theatrics. Unlike espresso, where the mechanics are hidden behind a machine, alternative brewing offers a visual experience.
Although over 80% of all coffee is consumed with milk, it masks the ability to truly taste the unique flavours that coffee has to offer. Only when consumed black, either via a formal coffee cupping process, or simply using a filter brewing method, can coffee truly be tasted.
Customers can see the temperatures the barista measures, the grind settings and the brewing times, plus be awed by the appearance of some of the gadgets used.
Identifying your target market is one of the most important things to do as a café owner in order to keep up with the future of coffee. Modern cafe owners need to engage their customers, talk about the coffee and what different brewing methods are available in order for the customer to really appreciate how the coffee is roasted and brewed.
There are all different kinds of coffee drinkers out there. Which of these are your customers, and could they be persuaded to try alternative brewing methods?
The Coffee Snob
A coffee drinker who loathes the likes of large franchise cafes and takeaway coffee. You’ll only find them in a rustic little coffeehouse drinking locally roasted coffee. They drink it black, double shot!
The Frappuccino Drinker
These people want a milkshake, not a coffee. Pretend coffee drinkers are most likely under the legal drinking age and are trying to drink coffee without really having a coffee.
The Fancy Coffee Drinker
If someone can boldly walk up to your counter and correctly pronounces macchiato, they are serious. The fancy coffee drinker is someone who enjoys cappuccinos, macchiatos, lattes and mochaccinos, all with lots of froth and chocolate powder.
These coffee drinkers are your regulars; you will see them every morning before work and most likely popping in several times during day. Without caffeine in the morning they can’t function, and might even fall asleep in line waiting for their order.
They like drinking coffee, only the best, and will bend the ear of anyone with their knowledge of the best bean, and how to drink it. Brewed only in a French Press or some other fancy gadget with beans from Columbia. If it’s posh, the connoisseur will definitely give a new brewing method a go.
The Casual Coffee Drinker
This coffee drinker does not rely on a cup to get them revved up and ready for work. You might find you won’t see them at all during the week, yet when the weekend rolls in; you will find them enjoying a cup of java in a quiet sunny spot in your café. They will be by themselves with the weekend paper (or smart phone these days) relaxing, taking their time and enjoying every single drop.