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EssentialCoffee VENERABLE BEAN

Union Hand-Roasted specialises in

microlots of coffee for an ever-changing perspective

When it comes to putting together your speciality coffee menu where do you start? EC has picked the brains of some of the industry's leading coffee experts in an attempt to de-mystify the whole process and help you make the right choices

With the wealth of coffees out there, how on earth do you go about choosing the beans, blends or single origins that will keep your customers coming back for more? What type of coffee makes the best espresso? Should it be a different one for milky drinks? Should you include an ethical offer? Will the regular introduction of guest, or seasonal, coffees help maintain your customers' interest? What about the current trend towards filter brewed coffees? We asked our interviewee this month, Sadie Hopkins of

York Coffee Emporium (see page 36), what she thought a speciality coffee menu should include. "To reach the widest market, a good speciality menu should have the standard espresso based drinks, plus a range of speciality brewed coffees. This offers the widest range, and will appeal to the biggest market. "However, as a coffee lover, I really like menus which offer something different - such as the emerging trend for offering a range of only brewed coffee."

CHOOSING COFFEES Jeremy Torz, director and roastmaster at much respected Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, is all in favour of owner- operators getting very much 'hands on'. "Try and get familiar with - and taste - a lot of coffee. Ask yourself, does it taste clean, sweet? Does it have subtleties on the palate that will lead the customer to a richer experience? Bear in mind that you won't necessarily like everything you sell - you have to satisfy a range of requirements.” He continues: "You must understand the difference between subjective and objective: you have to be objective about the quality, and then you can be subjective about what you like - a lot of café owners have not tasted enough to be objective. "You need to have coffees that excite people. As an independent struggling against the might of the multiples 'good enough' is not good enough - look for a point of difference. The same argument goes for espresso or single origin filter."

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Essential Café 13

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