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Torani has over 85 flavoured syrups, offering lots of opportunities for creating a

signature drink or adding a seasonal twist (available from Cooper’s Coffee)

Cooper of Cooper's Coffee is well placed to offer advice on creating successful coffee menus. "We have found that a basic menu featuring around six standard espresso based drinks - and at least six speciality teas and infusions - is sufficient for the majority of coffee bars (and their customers)." For customers who wish to build up their menu and compete with the ever-changing menus offered by high street coffee chains, Cooper's advises that you do so with flavoured syrups and specials boards. This way you can refresh your offering and try out new drinks without confusing the customer with too much choice.

In answer to the question of which coffees make the best

espressos, Thierry Akroman, assistant coffee procurement manager at Cafédirect, has this to say: "Both origin and type of bean come into play when you are looking to create a great espresso. We use a blend of carefully selected Arabica and Robusta coffees. Whilst Arabica delivers the taste profile, the Robusta brings body, along with sweetness and the kick that you'd expect from a good espresso. The taste profile is dependent on the origin, so for example we use single origin Peruvian Arabica beans for our Organic Espresso which offers a rich, caramel flavour." And for milky coffees? "The milk serves to enhance the

flavour, so your choice of origin is key," says Thierry. Regardless of the drink, it is essential that your coffee is

fresh, says Gordon Muir, head of marketing at Matthew Algie. "This means not keeping beans for days in the hopper and only grinding a small amount at a time, otherwise all of the precious aroma will evaporate away leaving a stale drink. "The same principle of 'fresh is best' applies to filter coffee

Phil Mason, business development manager at

Edgcumbes, offers a few tips to get the best out of your coffee supplier: "You should see your suppliers as partners in your business, able to help you succeed. Work with suppliers who are pro-active and innovative in terms of product range and information. Make yourself unique by asking your coffee supplier to develop your own 'house' blend: your staff should understand and know about it, so they can talk about it to your customers. "And be prepared to test your assumptions. Many coffee shops fail to deliver what their customers actually want. Research, research, research!" With over 20 years' experience in the coffee industry David

Cooper's Coffee recognises the demand for ethically sound coffees

and espresso, and while most cafés are able to offer one espresso blend, more and more places are discovering with single cup brewed origin filter coffees they can offer a fabulous range of flavours to their customers. I have seen that 'wow' moment when people realise that there's a wide variety of flavour, body and aroma and not just one 'coffee' taste. If you can be the one to offer that experience to your customers, you've got them hooked by offering a wide variety of flavour, body and aroma that is 'ridiculously fresh'."

What's behind the single origin movement? Thierry says:

"This is a growing consumer trend throughout the food industry, with customers demanding traceability and wishing to know the provenance of the product they are buying. In selecting a single origin coffee I'd be looking for a product that delivers taste, quality and enables you to differentiate; a product that brings the origin to life and offers a contrast to other coffees in your range. For example, our Kilimanjaro coffee has such a unique flavour due to being grown in volcanic soil, contrasting vividly to Machu Picchu, growing in a specific microclimate on the steepest slopes in the Andes. There could also be a fantastic opportunity to enable your customers to decide which single origin they prefer, offering different limited editions and asking them to help you select the new edition." Which brings us neatly on to guest, or seasonal, coffees. Are these necessary and what are the criteria?


Says Thierry: "Guest and seasonal coffee alternatives can help stimulate engagement and thus encourage loyalty through innovation. Introducing a guest coffee can enable consumers to educate themselves on the differences between flavour profiles and experimenting with single origin coffees can be an excellent way of doing this." Jeremy adds: "If a customer is coming in three or four times

14 Essential Café Information about any advertisements appearing in this issue:

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