Last week a friend from Canada asked me more information on the Filter Coffee Station at Caffenation.
He thought it was a great idea - thank you Bryan - and wanted to know more about it.
This was my reply :
Actually i was inspired to start this type of brewer station when drinking coffee at Stumptown at the Ace hotel in Portland 6 years ago.
We were staying in the hotel above the bar and when the-morning-coffee-cup-bell was ringing in my body i ran downstairs for a cup of Joe.
At the Stumptown bar, that's at the main floor of this great hotel, the typical queue was there, with all people waiting for their cappuccino or latte.
As me and Isabel prefer black coffee, i was happy to discover they had a private - as i was the only one interested at that moment - big thermos of fresh filter coffee waiting for me on the side of the counter.
My smile went even bigger when i saw a small basket (or bowl?) next to it saying 'help yourself $2 per cup'. i tossed 4 in that basket and filled up 2 large take away cups faster then the first person had their cap.
When opening up the Caffenation bar at the Mechelsesteenweg 4,5 years ago, i knew it was very spacious and i expected a lot of people willing to drink our filter coffee, so i installed this filter station.
It has lots of advantages :
Free Testing : my Barista's didn't really know what coffee's we were serving. We are always on the run and to brew a cup for yourself was rare in our first Caffenation. So when clients asked how a particular coffee was tasting they couldn't always help, which is not what we want as a specialized coffee company.
Now all Barista's come in the bar and the first thing they do is filling up a bit of filter to test the brew. If a client asks for flavors; they don't even have to look at the info card to describe the coffee.
Also the clients can take a little sip before fulling up. Most people look weird at me when i explain this, but professionals are mostly enthusiastic and do pre taste before buying.
Staff Costs :
Belgium is the most expensive for labour and this system saves us a lot of money.
Take Away Speed :
A take away filter coffee takes 30" and boom!! Very good for the 'always in a hurry' business (wo)man or someone who needs to catch the next tram.
I challenge every barista to offer their filter brews this constistent. I never met one, expect for him or her who can only do brewing and not other jobs in the bar. In our environment Barista's need to do 20 things at a time and the quality of the filter coffees is often shaky!!
So far for this system.
We use Bravilor Aurora for brewing. Very good system.
And their coffee containers are by far the best i ever tested. And that's very important.
Also the design is beter than these of the competition who look too plastic and dull to me, and often have a glass pipe in front in which the coffee looses a lot of heat!