LOOK INTO YOUR CAFE – Geoff, one of our baristas, shares his thoughts on cafes.

There are many reasons why I find being a barista rewarding. The finesse involved. The attention to detail required. Over the years I’ve pursued many different techniques of making coffee and espresso based beverages. Every cafe has its’ own style and every barista has their own twist on that style. Almost everything was prone to change and not just in small ways. Quite disparate methods could be employed by cafes even within the same company, let alone between independent cafes with backgrounds ranging from the near, Vancouver or Seattle, to the far, New Zealand, France, or Hong Kong.

To get a well rounded experience, I tried to partake in as many styles as I could. However, not all of these cafes were always of the highest moral fiber. It is not so unheard of for employees to show up for work to find the cafe stripped of anything valuable and the owner disappeared. Many open cafes thinking that they can make a quick buck. After all, look how much business some of them do! And really how hard could it be? But these people invest not realizing that the axiom that you must spend money to make money applies to cafes possibly more than any other business. Without the deep pockets required to spend the first two years not turning a profit, the experience is often short and disheartening.

As a result, it can sometimes be hard to maintain a virtuous footing in such a competitive market. Beans and other ingredients necessary to a cafes existence can be obtained in fair and equitable fashion, but to do so adds a premium and many are unwilling to bear the cost.

So trust me, it pays to investigate a cafe’s habits before becoming a regular, if only for your own conscience. You’ll thank me later.

 

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