EXTENDING COFFEE QUALITY WITH THERMAL COFFEE SERVERS
"This coffee tastes bad," the customer says. You don't quite understand how that can be. The beans were fresh-roasted yesterday. You ground the beans right before you brewed the coffee about an hour ago when you came in. You even had a cup yourself right after it was brewed, and it was fine!
How can the coffee taste this bad? You never get this complaint during the lunch rush, or at night when lots of people drink coffee during the entertainment. But you know that the first pot in the morning seems to draw these negative comments, and you have noticed that the 3 p.m. pick-me-up cup you get for yourself is not as good as your first cup of the day.
The problem is that the coffee was left in a decanter on a hot burner beyond the 20 minutes that it can be left on heat without spoiling taste and quality. You see, when any brewed coffee is left to sit on heat two things happen that start to affect taste immediately.
First, the water in the coffee begins to evaporate, increasing the concentration of coffee in the pot, making it taste stronger. Second, the oils of the coffee begin to break down and the original flavor characteristics of the coffee are altered. So when coffee is quickly consumed, it doesn't have the opportunity to sit on the burner for more than 20 minutes and the quality is not hurt. But in all retail food businesses there are slower periods when the products won't be sold that quickly.
What do you do? Some coffee store owners set up a timer, dump unused brew at 20 minutes, and re-brew. Some serve an older product and hope that the customer won't notice. Still others don't even know they have a problem! A time-saving product-conserving solution is to brew into a thermal airpot serving system.
This is a dispensing decanter that is insulated and allows the freshly brewed coffee to remain at servable temperature for up to three hours without any change in quality. The coffee is dispensed into the cup by either a vacuum pump out of the top of the airpot, or as a gravity pour out of the bottom. Either the customer or the server can use the airpot. And while we know there are many café operations that are reluctant to let the customers pump it themselves, there are two advantages to the self-serve method. First, customers like to have control over the personal details of their cup. Second, it is much more efficient to let the customer do it than to take the time to do it for them. For establishments that offer table service, insulated pouring thermal servers preserve the quality in the same way.
Whatever dispensing decanter you prefer, it is extremely important to brew your coffee directly into the server using an airpot brewer. When an airpot brewer is not used, and the coffee is transferred from a traditional pot into an airpot decanter, at least 30 degrees of serving temperature is lost.
Thermal beverage servers come in several styles, colors, and sizes. They are washable and benefit from regular cleaning with a solvent to dissolve coffee oil buildup that, left unattended, can ruin the taste and clarity of your coffee. Using fitted "jackets", you can customize your airpot server with your name and logo. If you elect to use thermal servers in your coffee business, you'll find the savings in time from brewing and rebrewing are impressive, and the loss of unused product and business due to unhappy customers is virtually eliminated.