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Basic questions: ask here
« on: 23/08/2012, 08:03 AM »
You may be new to the world of espresso, or may have a question that you think seems too basic... no problem;

We have some of the best brains in the Australian coffee world here - it may take a day or two, but usually you'll find there'll be no problem having someone help out!

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« Reply #1 on: 27/08/2012, 08:57 PM »
Hello everyone Iam happy to start.
1/ A flat white some of my customers like some or no froth so when is a flat white not a latte.
2/During exstraction I have a nice flow then some times it speeds up near the end would like to know why thanks.
3/ If somebody asks for a large long black in a mug should I give them the third shot or are they just after a larger amount with more water.
4/ We are having a shortage of skim our milk surplier is changing some equipment and we will only have lite, 
What is the fat content of lite compared to skim.thanks
5/ Should there be a change in taste or quality from decaf beans.
 Sorry if some of these things sound a bit dumb but I am interested to know Iam a coffee maker not a barista  but I love to make people coffee and I do care about what our customers like and the product we serve. :-X :)

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« Reply #2 on: 27/08/2012, 09:58 PM »
Hello everyone Iam happy to start.
1/ A flat white some of my customers like some or no froth so when is a flat white not a latte.
2/During exstraction I have a nice flow then some times it speeds up near the end would like to know why thanks.
3/ If somebody asks for a large long black in a mug should I give them the third shot or are they just after a larger amount with more water.
4/ We are having a shortage of skim our milk surplier is changing some equipment and we will only have lite, 
What is the fat content of lite compared to skim.thanks
5/ Should there be a change in taste or quality from decaf beans.
 Sorry if some of these things sound a bit dumb but I am interested to know Iam a coffee maker not a barista  but I love to make people coffee and I do care about what our customers like and the product we serve. :-X :)

Quick & basic replies

1/ Just ignore them, nod your head and smile graciously. Did'nt you know there are 1001 ways to make coffee. The various combinations of customer preferences (and I use the word preferences, instead of order/specification) will do your head in.

2/ As the puck becomes more moist and the oils have extracted, there is less resistance. Think of a ground particle as containing outer layers that are stripped away during extraction. My advice is to tighten the shot so that the beginning of the extraction is a real struggle, giving way to a flow after say 10+ seconds.

3/Who knows - see #1 above. Some people yes, others no. Generally, you will fill up with more hot water rather than running additional shots. Keep the shots to the standard, else you will reach the point where blonding = bitterness. It really depends upon your basket size (dosage) and the type of coffee you are using. 3 shots seems excessive.

4/ Ask your supplier or better still check the NIP on the carton/container, e.g. does it say Total Fat = 1.2g per 100ml ?.

5/ Absolutely - many roasters struggle to create consistent batches of decaf as it is roasted a lot less frequently and requires a dramatically different roast profile. The other factor is of course that few roasters actually forward contract quantities of decaf and buy it "spot", thus they get what they can at the time. Looking further into the situation, you will also discover that most cafe owners do not *manage* their decaf with the same care as say for instance their house blend. What I will say is that many cafe owners seem to **find** a pack of decaf that was hiding in their storage shelf for 3 - 6 months. Last December, I was at a reasonably big cafe and happened to notice the decaf bag was not one of mine. After enquiring, they said yes it was from the previous supplier, they were using up the stock.....it was only 16 months old. Was very tempted to take some home for my weber.......yum, char-grilled steak. And finally, many cafes use pre-ground decaf as they don't have a 2nd grinder or the space.......opened packs don't last long.






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« Reply #3 on: 27/08/2012, 10:21 PM »
Good info there Jeff.  :thumb:

ps, hows that assessing ground coffee thread coming along  :rofl:

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« Reply #4 on: 28/08/2012, 07:46 AM »


ps, hows that assessing ground coffee thread coming along  :rofl:

That one cost a couple of $M + blood + sweat + many, many tears - it's not something you just give away. ;D

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« Reply #5 on: 28/08/2012, 08:18 AM »
Hello everyone Iam happy to start.
1/ A flat white some of my customers like some or no froth so when is a flat white not a latte.
2/During exstraction I have a nice flow then some times it speeds up near the end would like to know why thanks.
3/ If somebody asks for a large long black in a mug should I give them the third shot or are they just after a larger amount with more water.
4/ We are having a shortage of skim our milk surplier is changing some equipment and we will only have lite, 
What is the fat content of lite compared to skim.thanks
5/ Should there be a change in taste or quality from decaf beans.
 Sorry if some of these things sound a bit dumb but I am interested to know Iam a coffee maker not a barista  but I love to make people coffee and I do care about what our customers like and the product we serve. :-X :)

Like you have a menu for food a simple menu for coffee isn't a bad idea. I have snipped the description bit of mine I use below. While not stipulated precisely for a flat white it does make it clear regarding the foam on top, generally 2-3mm is about all I would finish with. This list if nothing else stimulates a bit of a discussion between the customers and with the staff which is a good thing in my book and makes it a little clear what to expect.

Re the Long Black my standard method is 4oz of hot water with a double on top (around 90% of consumers) and the rest just a full 8oz. Much longer than I can't think I have ever been asked to make one.

Skim or 1% will take a little getting used to as well if you have been using 2% in the past. Generally I have avoided it and just run 2 and 4% milk. Mouthfeel and flavour of 1% is wrong.

As Jeff mentions on decaff it is done wrong at most places due to a lack of turnover or grinders. During outside daylight jobs on a cart decaff would be under 10/1000 cups for me so for the last few years I haven't even carried it due to the 1kg order quantity. I guess as I roast some of my own I could have done a batch but it is still a money loser for me and ties up one of the four grinders I run. Do it well or don't and offer a good hot chocolate as an alternate :)

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« Reply #6 on: 28/08/2012, 08:53 PM »
Thankyou very much for your replies. We have now been in business for one year and I am really enjoying making coffee. Our roaster paid us a visit today, his coffee is good consistent product, it may not be the cheapest but is popular with our customers. 

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« Reply #7 on: 13/11/2012, 02:55 PM »
My pressure meter isn't reaching optimum level and I've noticed that the coffee is a bit weaker than it used to be.  I'm reluctant to make the grind finer as I've heard that it can clog up the portafilter and potentially cause damage.  Is this correct?

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« Reply #8 on: 13/11/2012, 03:05 PM »
My pressure meter isn't reaching optimum level and I've noticed that the coffee is a bit weaker than it used to be.  I'm reluctant to make the grind finer as I've heard that it can clog up the portafilter and potentially cause damage.  Is this correct?

It would help to know the machine you are using
However if your machine has an OPV ( over pressure valve ) that will syphon any over pressure from choking the shot

KK
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« Reply #9 on: 13/11/2012, 05:04 PM »
Its a Sunbeam Cafe Series 'Twin Thermoblock' - see attached the dark green area is ideal, so its only just short of ideal.

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« Reply #10 on: 13/11/2012, 05:30 PM »
Whack the dual floor double basket in ( no coffee) and run the machine - see where the guage sits. This is the sweet spot - barring any other underlying problems with the gauge itself.

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« Reply #11 on: 13/11/2012, 06:05 PM »
Meter reads the same whether the basket is empty or full.  i cleaned the machine recently with Cafetto cleaner and poenty of clean water flushes afterwards.

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« Reply #12 on: 13/11/2012, 07:51 PM »
So did the gauge used to read differently to where it is now ? If you put the blind in and choke the machine does the gauge go past where it is now ? If not, I suspect you have a issue there somewhere. Shoot AM a PM for further advice as he is the man.

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« Reply #13 on: 13/11/2012, 11:09 PM »
My pressure meter isn't reaching optimum level and I've noticed that the coffee is a bit weaker than it used to be.  I'm reluctant to make the grind finer as I've heard that it can clog up the portafilter and potentially cause damage.  Is this correct?

fining the grind shouldnt effect the coffee unless it is so fine that it chokes the shot - in which case you knock the puck out, pop the empty filter handle back in the machine and run some hot water through it - whilst jiggling the handle back and forth to clear any remaining grind out of the grouphead, and to keep your filter basket nice and clean (a rinse off of the filter basket and a wipe out with a clean dry cloth is advised as well)

then reset your grind a bit coarser and repeat until you get a shot that you're happy with - remember 30ml from 30 sec is the golden (but not only) rule that many look for in a good extrtaction

I wouldnt worry about the pressure meter if the machine is still making good coffee

but if you've tried adjusting the grind and this deosnt work, try some different freshly roasted beans - if its still not working then a clean and descale of your machine, including a backwash with chemicals may be in order

Cheers and I hope this helps,

Pat
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« Reply #14 on: 15/11/2012, 04:17 PM »
Thanks Pat, useful info . . . but . . I found out what the problem was and it has nothing to do with the grind !!

My wife found an old half empty bag of beans lurking at the back of the larder and put them into the grinder without telling me - no wonder the brew seemed a bit wishy washy !!  I only found out when I told her I'd posted a query on a coffee forum and she said, 'Oh you needn't have done that, that'll be the old beans i put in the grinder'.

Thanks my lovely !!  But this forum seems a good find anyway.

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« Reply #15 on: 26/04/2014, 11:12 AM »
Hi everyone,
I'm new to the world of coffee and I've been looking at cafe businesses for a couple of weeks.
My questions is about the accounting side of the business. Please help me out.

The cash flow is $12,000 a week, rent is $2,081 + gst + outgoings
There is only one staff member the and owner also works full time. Anyway I'm going to do the calculations below if I make a mistake please correct me.

calculation is per week.

Rent: $2,081
Gst: $1,200
Staff: @ $21/hr = $840
Super: $75
Coffe: 22kg @ $25/kg = $550
Milk: $100
Other: $350

Total $5,296

$12,000-$5,296=
Net profit = $6,704

Is this correct? Please help

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« Reply #16 on: 26/04/2014, 12:31 PM »
Hi everyone,
I'm new to the world of coffee and I've been looking at cafe businesses for a couple of weeks.
My questions is about the accounting side of the business. Please help me out.

The cash flow is $12,000 a week, rent is $2,081 + gst + outgoings
There is only one staff member the and owner also works full time. Anyway I'm going to do the calculations below if I make a mistake please correct me.

calculation is per week.

Rent: $2,081
Gst: $1,200
Staff: @ $21/hr = $840
Super: $75
Coffe: 22kg @ $25/kg = $550
Milk: $100
Other: $350

Total $5,296

$12,000-$5,296=
Net profit = $6,704

Is this correct? Please help


What does other consist of ?

Don't forget to calculate
Insurance for shop can be over $2000 per year
Compulsory Staff accident insurance - usually a % of gross wage ( some states and awards it's compulsory )
Workers comp - is compulsory and calculated as a % of gross wage
Long service leave  - some industries have a compulsory fund just like super

There are a few more regular outgoings but varies with different setups

KK


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« Reply #17 on: 26/04/2014, 12:34 PM »
Is it only coffee or is there any food involved as well?

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« Reply #18 on: 26/04/2014, 01:08 PM »
Thanks a lot guys the feedback is great, I didn't even know of Compulsory Staff accident insurance and the others.
How much is Workers comp if not exactly roughly how much is it for a cafe this size? And Compulsory Staff accident insurance and Long service leave?

The cafe also sells cakes. And that's about it.

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« Reply #19 on: 26/04/2014, 01:21 PM »
Yep... Looking good with KKs additions factored in.  Now also add maintenance (recurrent) and purchase/replacement of equipment and plant (fridges etc) (capital).
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« Reply #20 on: 26/04/2014, 01:23 PM »
I think there are some pretty big holes in those numbers - for both revenue and costs.

For a place doing 22kg of coffee a week, $100 of milk will not go very far - maybe a day and a half !.

I often see and hear owners talk about XX kgs of coffee per week, but in 70% of cases, this number is always inflated - sometimes by more than 50% !. Ensure you spend a lot of time there on the busiest day to validate.

Even doing 22kg, at a standard rate of 60 cups per kilo @ $4 a cup, that's just $5.3K in revenue per week, or around half the stated weekly turnover.

Obviously, there must be some food takings as well, or other beverages, etc. Of course, if you can get 75 cups per kilo (not always easy to achieve) that number goes up a little bit, but still well short of the stated revenue.

$2K/week in rent - you may find this will rise by at least 3 - 5% per year via the standard agreements and if it's been 5 years since a market review, then it could jump 10 - 15% (or even higher) in a single year. Outgoings are typically up to 20% of rent, depending on the situation, e.g. body corp, landlords building insurances, rates, utilities, regulatory requirements (ESM), etc.

Remember, there are other costs a cafe incurs with preparing cups of coffee beside just beans - crockery, utensils, furniture, equipment, etc.

Many retail lease agreements have clauses that allow a percentage of the sales to be factored into the monthly lease payments at certain levels.

Some landlords also have clauses that obligate you to periodic renovations, e.g. once every 24 - 36 months, etc - check very carefully as these costs can run into very big numbers as the landlord has right to dictate aspects of the design, materials and finishes (I have a cafe that is going through this nightmare at the moment - the reno is costing almost double the original estimate).

Don't forget to count the non-trading days over a year into your weekly figures.

It may be quite challenging to rely upon a single staff member - who does the work when they are sick or on holidays. It's best to factor 1.4 as the staff costs - hospitality has extreme labor volatility.

The most important consideration you need to factor is COMPETITION.

The coffee landscape changes daily - new places are opening or modifying their offer all the time, so if you rely upon a percentage of your business from regulars you will face many periods each year where sales will drop anywhere from 20 - 40% for a short time (weeks) as customers try something new. Always budget around 75% of last year's sales as your forecast and use this number in your projections.

Look at worst case scenarios before you commit. Work on 66% of sales and 120% of rent+labour.





 

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« Reply #21 on: 26/04/2014, 04:33 PM »
Hi Cafe Cafe

having owned 3 cafes myself there is no way I would take over a place that had rent of $2081 per week with those sort of takings

The thing you have to consider is that revenue can fluctuate sometimes for unforeseeable reasons and that's a hell of a lot of money to come up with monthly

you have to be able to do your financial projections for all foreseeable circumstances, including running at a financial loss for the first 12 or even 24 months until you start to turn a profit

Im not necessarily saying that this is going to happen - but you do need to build this possible outcome into your financial forecasting, and with those kind of overheads I'd personally be seeing a big red warning sign

Additionally you should run the figures by an accountant first and or get some independant financial advice to make sure that the numbers stack up

And what happens if a competitor opens up near by? What's that going do do to your trade?

All these things need to be taken into consideration as well as the cost of amenities like electricity, gas, and water - which in my experience can get very pricey very quickly if you're not on top of your overheads

Best,
Pat
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« Reply #22 on: 28/04/2014, 10:38 AM »
Why is he selling if his cash flow is really what he says?
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« Reply #23 on: 02/02/2016, 06:58 PM »
Hi there
I have just joined coffee forum.  Great to have to option.  I did leave a hello message and mentioned my interests there.  Now I see this section so will ask my question here too.

I have had a La Pavoni lever machine for 20 years and would like to move to a 2 group machine.  I live in Vietnam now and plan to open a coffee shop here where we live, (right smack bang on the beach).  I reckon this is a good enough excuse to buy a new machine. 

While Viet drip-brewed coffee (cafe phin) is the huge preference I there is interest in western coffee and if all else fails as an excuse, then I'd be pretty happy :) http://coffeeforum.org.au/Smileys/LightB/smiley.gif :)

Where can I read up on comparisons for 2 group lever machines?  I am stumbling upon more and more lever machines and at some point it'll all be too much.  My preference at present is La Pavoni but I hope to challenge or confirm  my familiar thoughts through a bit of research. 

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Cheers
BP



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« Reply #24 on: 03/02/2016, 09:17 AM »
Hi there and welcome.

Honestly, I don't think you are going to find any reviews or comparisons of any current or recently current commercial models. Most people in cafe situations only have the experience of 1 (their current machine) and don't have anything else to compare it with until they upgrade to a new one. Then they only have a comparison of a worn out older machine, and a new one either of same brand or of different brand or model. The comparison is not valid, and when going from one machine to another you become accustomed to the new one and leave the old one behind.

Also, cafe people don't really write reviews....they work in a cafe, and the machine is a work horse, it gets used, it gets worn out, it gets upgraded. In a busy situation it should realistically be upgraded every 2 years, usually because by that time things are starting to need rectifying and will eventuate in down time when you should be selling coffee instead of repairing something... In business, the machine is a work horse, not an object of desire and the result in the cup depends on operator expertise not black magic inside the box  ;). Think of taxis...they are a workhorse and drive according to the nut behind the wheel !

Where you may find reviews is in special interest internet forums, where domestic use end users buy worn out / older cafe use machines, restore them, and write about it. They are usually older (often prehistoric in commercial use terms) models that you would never ever put back into a commercial situation and are not available to buy except usually in used, clapped out condition, so any review is irrelevant to a cafe owner looking for a machine.

After that:
I think you need to be quite pragmatic in your approach when looking for equipment to be used in a business venture....in my opinion there is no room for emotive decisions, and if possible a new machine is best.

That is: You have said words to the effect that there are a number of lever machines around.....I would reply....not really in terms of for business use. If you have been reading the forums yes, there are a number of levers around but they have sprung up in the recent past, from all and sundry, to cater to the enormous amount of discussion in retail end situations.   The amount of discussion in these topics makes it look like there is a lot of genuine interest in the market place for such, when the reality is not so (from my own personal experience). An equipment vendor can fill its showroom with lever machines because it seems from surfing the net they will walk out the door in bucket loads, while the reality is there is only a very small percentage of people that will buy...99.9% of individual posters to lever discussions on the web will never buy one despite they make it look like the interest in lever  machines is absolutely mammoth.....to put it another way, it isn't, and it is more the domain of special interest "equipment-o-philes" in home use situations rather than in business. That is, it mostly just talk.

In terms of buying a lever (or any machine) for business....I would advise you to find out what manufacturers are represented in your area, and make enquiries with them as to whether they offer a lever model. Buy one from a reputable brand name / importer that seems as though it can offer you after sales support should it be required.

In light of what I mentioned above, be realistic...if your locality is one where a small pocket of "lever interest" has resulted in these machines being locally available well and good, but its also very possible that no one may be importing lever machines to the area. Some dealers will have lever machines in the manufacturer catalogue but wont have any on the floor, and you may have to order one. Most manufacturers will only build lever machines on order, so you may have to wait the required time for it to be built and exported to the local dealer to sell on to you.

I hesitate to give brand names because it's better for someone in your situation to find out what brands are locally (to you) represented, first. Besides.....if you choose a reputable / well known professional use equipment manufacturer, then the machine will do its job if you know how to drive it. Ideally, if you have good name equipment then its actually not about the equipment...its about the coffee.

Hope that helps as a starting point, and good luck in your venture.
 
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