In a world where expert sommeliers can marry wine and dishes in perfect harmony, artisan coffee roasters have yet to be given the same matrimonial privileges.
It is amazing how some of the finest, Michelin-rated restaurants can serve the most exquisite dishes paired with the finest wines, but when it comes time to serve decadent desserts they are accompanied by an afterthought: the coffee.
The interest in artisan micro-roasting and small-batch coffee is on the rise, not only for patrons, but, more importantly, for restaurateurs, as not only is the ROI for serving premium coffee staggering; it is also an important element to the ever-evolving dining experience.
While 30 percent of the world’s Michelin-starred restaurants serve cheap coffee with costly crème brûlée, there’s a growing trend within the restaurant industry to reconsider this practice and stray from the norm. Coffee is often the last taste diners have upon leaving, but the pageantry of a great brew is often overlooked. Restaurants across the country can improve the coffee quality they serve customers, for today artisan coffee roasters can be found in every state and major city in America. Not only do these roasters provide fresh, diverse and exquisite coffee, but they also give restaurateurs the opportunity to support local, small-business owners, and in turn, make major profit.
Artisan roasting is expanding and evolving every day. The number of coffee-savvy sippers is growing and they collectively demand a better coffee experience. Consumers today are better educated about the production and location of food and the expectation of quality over quantity is growing.
The coffee story is powerful, whether it is focused on the origin, roasting process, or unique notes; these details are imperative selling points and often justify the uniqueness of premium coffees. For restaurants, using coffee as a tool can enhance customers’ overall experience and provide a competitive advantage. The roaster can bring new and exciting coffee experiences to customers, share exotic coffees from different regions of the world or provide coffees with distinct flavors full of smoothness and complexity.
Coffee seems to be evolving in a similar path as wine; through education consumers learned wines were not limited to pinots, chardonnays and merlots, and discovered unique blends developed throughout many regions by various grapes and processes. The types of beans, brewing methods and sources are integral components to the coffee-learning process and more consumers are finding interest in this delectable beverage.
The artisan roaster offers something a major coffee distributor cannot – freshly roasted coffee for surprisingly great prices, and local roasters are often willing to create a special blend for restaurants too. A freshly roasted, ground and brewed cup of coffee will delight customers and provide an experience they will want to repeat.
Consumers also like to have choices. A restaurant typically provides options for various appetizers, main dishes and desserts, and coffee should follow suit. Java drinkers often have a plethora of preferences beyond the brewing method, but variables like coffees’ strength, creams, sugars or unique add-ins must also be considered when making the perfect cup. Be creative, offer unique coffee pairings, experiment with coffee liqueurs or carry specialty coffees, like 100 percent origin Kona or Jamaican Blue Mountain. A simple card highlighting specialty coffee offerings complemented by a dessert menu will increase the total check amount. A cup of coffee can be brewed for pennies on the dollar, making it a significant moneymaker. This markup is substantial, yet for a mere $2 or $3, the customer does not feel like his or her wallet is impacted; rather, that his or her taste buds have been satisfied. This can make all the difference in dining.
Artisan roasts are taking over the java-brew world and kicking the bland coffee can out of the kitchen. The micro-roasting pilgrimage is about to take a major java jolt, and restaurants, especially fine-dining establishments, must be aware that this ever-growing trend for marrying delectable edibles and exceptional artisan roast guarantees a happily ever after.