Keeping Current On Coffee
Coffee Houses, in their present form, began opening in earnest around 1990. Whether San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit or Ann Arbor, coffee houses offered espresso/cappuccino/latte, drip coffee, tea, and pastries, in a setting folks could gather, relax and enjoy. While the format remains, twenty years have brought a lot of competition, which in turn brings new ideas. Operators of coffee shops keep their eyes and ears open to the buzz, to what’s going on at the shops of their local peers, as well as national trends. We at Hashems want to encourage this competitive curiosity.
In October We went out to New York City for an annual event the National Coffee Association holds, called the Fall Educational Conference. As part of the agenda, we took a walking (with the help of the subway system) tour of a few West and East Village coffee shops. New York was slow to latch onto the coffee house phenomenon, but the places we went to represent the latest “wave”: more intense espressos; latte and macchiato art; individually brewed coffees, using very specific coffee types. We noticed a small sign by the register at one shop –they offer free coffee tastings every Saturday from 1:00 to 2:00.
Whether you’re traveling somewhere, or can poke around your local area, it’s necessary to stay on top of the latest trends. Trade journals such as Fresh Cup, Barista Magazine, Specialty Coffee Retailer, and others, also provide valuable info. And of course there’s always the World Wide Web…
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