Coffee. The mere mention of the word can conjure up visions of warm family gatherings, an intimate date night, a casual business meeting or a fun-filled laugh session with friends. And to think, all that fun fits into one cup o’ joe.
Since the average US consumer drinks 240 cups of coffee a year, we know that coffee has made its way into the mainstream. But, not all coffee houses should be just average or mainstream … you want to create a coffee house that is unique and modern, yet inviting and warm, not a place that only provides a jolt of caffeine but one that creates and experience.
In performing hospitality consulting, we spend a lot of time travelling and checking out concepts all over the country and the world. Through our travels, we’ve identified a variety of concepts that we think represent the future of coffee houses. We love Starbucks as much as the next person, but we are really inspired by brands like Intelligentsia, La Colombe, Blue Bottle and Farm to Cup who have taken the coffee experience – from bean to coffeehouse to customized coffee programs — to the next level.
For those brands, it’s not just about the beans, although that is very much part of it. These successful new generation coffee companies are committed to the beans and everything that goes into growing them. This attention translates to the bricks and mortar coffee shops these brands operate or sell to: there is as much attention to the materials used in the décor, the food they serve, the music that plays in the background and more.
So, how do you make the step to enhancing your coffee program? The first step is an easy one: Treat coffee like you would any other ingredient. Coffee beans are so versatile: they come from different places in the world, have different flavor profiles and will contribute a different brew so feel free to experiment and try different coffees until you find one that suits your needs.