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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Coffee Shops

A little project looking at how coffee shops market themselves. What goes on the shop front? How is coffee marketed actually on the building? More tellingly though, what do coffee customers notice about the shop fronts? How much of an effect does the shop decor have on people’s decision to go there?

This is a work in progress – I would love to get people to send me a picture of their favourite coffee shop and give me a short sentence about why they like it. I will update this page as I receive more pictures. If you’d like to contribute, I’d be eternally grateful. Please email your pics to drcoffee@live.co.uk. I won’t publish anyone’s names if you don’t want me to, just say in your email if you want to stay anonymous.

Here’s a few I’ve received so far. Analysis will follow!

Esquires, Durham: "Spiced Apple punch = nom nom. They also have free newspapers!" - Richard, Durham

Gusto Italiano, Sheffield. "There are two reasons why I go here: the coffee and the service. Both very good." - (Ol, Sheffield)

Beckett's, Skinner Street, Whitby. "We looked everywhere for a coffee shop that delivered a proper espresso - bingo! The service was friendly with smiles and faultless." (J.C., Whitby)

Afternoon Tease, Parkgate, Darlington. "I like the tea, hot chocolate, and soup, and the fantastically friendly atmosphere combined with their love of books and writing." (Chelle, Hartlepool) "It frakkin' ROCKS!!" (Dave, Darlington)

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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Green Coffee Prices since June.

yfrog Fullsize – e53.png

Eep.
Thanks to Pumphreys for posting this!

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Plans for 2011

First of all, I hope my dear reader(s) had a good Christmas and happy new year to all!
Second, apologies for the state of this post. I am trying to type it on my phone, that is, my brand new nokia E90. I know that this phone is at least 3 years old now, but it is still the best phone Nokia have ever made and I love it, and darling hubby has bought me a new one for christmas to replace the one that died a nasty death last summer. We are currently driving back from Shrewsbury to Darlington, Miranda is wailing, i am bored but it is dark and I can barely see the keyboard to type, and WordPress Mobile in all its infinite wisdom has rendered the New Post screen a whole 4cm wide for no fathomable reason.
But i digress.

I had a nice message from Simon at Pollards coffee roasters, saying “2011 will be the year of Afternoon Tease”. It kinda has to be really, but also it should be the year I really become an actual doctor of coffee. This means finishing the thesis, which in turn, means a helluva lot of work over the next few months. Intense planning is required.

One possible plan for the thesis is to build up a reputation in Afternoon Tease for good coffee to the extent the Coffee Geeks or glitterati or whatever they should be named; the barista champions, and gourmets and so on start visiting from afar. I could run off a few copies of the thesis with a vanity publisher and try and flog them in the cafe – I’d just need some major geeks and/or academics to come in because I’m sure no one else would be remotely interested!

In this spirit of all good research, I have adapted Gwilym Davies’  (Flat-cap-wearing 2009 World Barista champion, part of the aforementioned coffee glitteratti) idea of the ‘Disloyalty card’ – encouraging people to try out other *good* coffee venues in London on his list, just to get people experiencing excellent coffee. Darlington, in my opinion, does not have enough good coffee venues for this to work here, so instead I am introducing a Coffee Adventurer card – to get people to try drinks they wouldn’t normally have. I am going to do a Tea one too. After the customer tries all the different drinks, they get their favourite free. A bit like Bingo!

I feel pretty strongly that the thesis should not be the be-all and end-all of this PhD. I have absorbed so much, often trivial, information about coffee that it seems a waste (geddit?) not to use this knowledge. Some is being employed in the day to day running of the cafe (embodied knowledge) but I want to expand on that. I think, with a bit more practice, I could do barista training in the cafe. (knowledge sharing?) I know a few people (who I’ve met through my research) who do very well out of teaching people how to make coffee… May need to improve my latte art though.

A long term project is also to roast my own in there. Despite all my efforts, roasting is still the area of coffee I know least about. Off the top of my head, I’ve met and interviewed at least ten roasters, and I’ve seen it done all over the world. However, it is the sort of thing that can go wrong very easily and expensively, and no amount of sweet-talking “helpless-student” begging has resulted in me being let loose to play on the machines. This I see as a distinct deficiency; I need to learn. I was offered a very, very small shiny coffee roasting machine to borrow when we opened the cafe, just enough to fill the place with that fantastic aroma in the mornings. I had to turn it down at the time because we had no air vents to let smoke out of the back! But with a bit of forethought and the potential use of the empty rooms above the cafe, and some ducting, I reckon I could set it all up there eventually and roast my own Miranda blend!

Speaking of Miranda, the final plan, which is both long time and on-going is to set up her own little Penny University within Afternoon Tease. If all this goes well, Miri will effectively grow up in the place, and we were planning on home-schooling her for at least a year. In the cafe, she has Aunty Jo to teach her singing and writing, Aunty Tattoo.Jo to teach her to dance, me to teach her barista skills (needing a basic level of physics and chemistry to understand how the espresso machine works), cooking and baking, we can do coffee origin trips for geography and learning Spanish, she can learn IT through updating our website, her Daddy can teach her enough maths to do my accounts(!) and maybe even some physics and technology if we get the roasting machine up and running! Sorted. she’ll be fine. obviously.

Now all I’ve got to is get going with it all! Oh, and make some money in the process.

Happy 2011 peoples!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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My Year of Blogging

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2010. That’s about 26 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 28 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 82 posts. There were 39 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 20mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was August 6th with 120 views. The most popular post that day was Penny Universities.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, doctorcoffee.biz, home-barista.com, search.conduit.com, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for costa rica, nescafe green blend, caffe nero mission statement, nescafe green coffee, and nescafe green.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Penny Universities August 2010
5 comments

2

Nescafe’s “Green Blend” February 2010
1 comment

3

Making sense of the Roaster/Retailer relationships: Caffe Nero July 2009
5 comments

4

The Great Coffee Taste Test April 2010
2 comments

5

Fuelling Up on Defective Coffee – the potential use of coffee oil in biodiesel production January 2009
4 comments

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2011 in Uncategorized