Very few things are more frustrating than ordering a drink or a meal and you love it but then when you go back to the same place and order the same drink or meal, it comes out different. Consistency is much more obvious for brick and mortar coffee shops but unlike serving coffee from a fixed place where the same people may stop by every day for their daily dose of caffeine (the frequency of order from the same customer is not as spaced out as with a catering customer), coffee catering is mobile and you may end up serving different people every day so why does consistency matter? It matters because with coffee catering you may still serve repeat clients. Think about a situation where you were hired by a company to serve a group of 50 employees who are out in a resort or a hotel for their annual conference or new products launch. In this case, you will be serving the same customers every day and so consistency will matter. A client (company) who will hire you once and receive a mixed feedback will probably not be a repeat client.
This brings us to an important question, how can you achieve consistency in the coffee catering business (some of these concepts apply to brick and mortar as well)? I have narrowed the answer down to two main factors: 1) People and 2) Equipments and Supplies. In the table below, I summarized qualities required in every category to achieve consistency.
|How to Achieve a Consistent Cup|
|People||Equipment and Supplies|
|Training to all baristas so no matter who’s working, the result is still the same.||Weight-based grinders or seprate scale to weigh grounded coffee|
|Passion about the craft. This will make it easier for the barista to do what’s right.||Weigh shots the shots (don’t eyeball or go with volume)|
|Patience to learn, grow and be able to repeat the inputs to achieve the same output (consistency)||Espresso machines with brew temperature control (PID)|
|Use the same coffee from proven roasters who have a good tracking record in being as consistent as possible with their roast profile|