There are three aspects to your favorite espresso drink. Its cost, its quality and the speed in which it is delivered. Whether you like it or not, you can only select two of these aspects.
Espresso style coffee in not a fast food product. Of course, we are not saying espresso beverages cannot be served quickly. What we mean is that, some may have the belief, because espresso is brewed rapidly, 20-30 seconds, the preparation and delivery of an espresso drink should also be accomplished quickly. Unfortunately, to deliver a quality espresso beverage, a level of skilled preparation and individual attention is required, in which takes time on the baristas part.
Think about the last really bad cup of coffee you experienced. My guess is that you either paid a cheaper price for it or it was delivered quickly, with little personal attention placed on its preparation.
For a morning drive-thru or coffee bar to deliver quality espresso beverages at a speed demanded by the average commuter, they will need to operate and maintain appropriate equipment, as well as, staff baristas that are capable of meeting that demand. They will accomplish this through a higher cost in their beverages.
In today’s economy, many baristas are asked to perform additional tasks such as cross selling items, cashiering and customer service. In the end, the personal attention to the quality of your espresso beverage will be dependent on the skill of your barista. Which brings us to our series “The Best Espresso Machine”. Next week, we will continue by exploring the barista’s relationship to the espresso machine and equipment.
Decide what is important to you. We hope it is the quality of your beverage. Then select speed or price. If it is speed, be willing to pay a higher price for your drink in order to receive a quality, consistent beverage. If it is price, we hope you understand how much your barista appreciates your patience while they take the time to place personal attention to the quality of your beverage.
Either way, your satisfaction with your drink will come easier from the understanding that espresso style coffee was not originally created to be a fast food product for today’s accelerated consumer lifestyle.