It is fascinating to hear stories from new customers when you work in a coffee shop. Some tell us about how they used to love another place until coffee started being inconsistent, or until the Barista changed, or until they stopped making their flat whites extra hot, or until someone served them a bitter cup, or until they changed their soy brand, to mention but a few reasons for their urge to switch out.

Now, when asking them if they fed that back to the staff when it happened, most would say they did not. They just decided to vote with their feet.

Making good coffee consistently is an art form that requires full control of a number of variables such as temperature, timing, dosing, bean quality, milk consistency, proper grinding, correct bean storage and skilled Baristas. On top of that, when beans are roasted on site, many other variables come into play such as weather, airflow, humidity, etc. For example, occasionally – even after putting proper controls in place- it is inevitable for one single bean that was over or under roasted, to make its way through the grinder and end up in the cup. It can make the coffee bitter or taste grassy, or sour. It is beyond control to prevent it from happening and in most cases is just a matter of time.

An invitation to all our customers: if that happens to you, just let us know and we will amend it straight away. Give us a chance to fix it and make you the perfect cup before you go elsewhere. Now, if it happens all the time, definitely we deserve to see you go.

The Colombian Coffee Co.: Real stories, real people, honest marketing.

 

The concept of honest Marketing goes beyond publicity. The idea of being sincere and transparent in the way we communicate with our customers should become the driver behind doing business in the coffee industry, an industry where there is no room for misleading communication, overpromising or efforts aimed at selling products or services that are not a reflection of the truth.

Let us all – coffee shop owners, green coffee brokers, roasters, traders and all coffee people – strive to ensure that the image we create in the mind of our customers about our products and services matches the reality of the products and services we deliver. Let’s call specialty coffee only those beans that have been graded as such, let’s call ourselves roasters only when we actually roast our beans, let’s acknowledge that it is alright to make mistakes and apologise, let’s not be afraid of admitting that we are working towards getting better at what we do. It has been proven that atoning for mistakes in a sincere way when doing business, results in better consumer engagement than not making any mistakes at all.

For example, here at The Colombian Coffee Co. I make most of our food every day at 5:00 am before opening. I have never done that before but I know what nice good tastes like; I put enough effort behind sourcing good quality ingredients and making everything as if I were going to eat it myself at home with my wife. The result is not always consistent, and let’s face it, my sandwiches look as if they were made by a child! However, they are very tasty and are already starting to become popular. People come in asking for a couple of tasty ugly buns. Fair enough.

♦ The Colombian Coffee Co.: Real stories, real people, honest marketing ♦

I am really bad at making babychinos. I find it hard to stretch all that milk to the right texture without creating an explosion of froth around the counter, to then scoop two inches of foam in a tiny cup, sprinkle chocolate on top and because I’m bad at it I waste a lot of milk down the drain. Not surprisingly, I made a bad babychino a couple of weeks ago at the shop and hot milk went through the cup getting the baby’s mouth burnt. Fortunately it was not too bad, but the baby (whom I am very fond of as she is a total sweetheart) started crying and it was awful. It was specially sad as the family are some of our regular customers and we really do appreciate their support. I could not apologise enough for the mistake and even took babychinos temporarily off the menu while I worked on improving my skills. Now they are much better and do make most babies happy but I’m still wasting a lot of milk!

The Colombian Coffee Co.: Real stories, real people, honest marketing.

Colombian Coffee Beans