Coffee has come a long way in recent years. The level of quality and options available to us has never been better. While this growth in specialty coffee is positive in nearly every way, it adds complexity to our daily trip to the coffee shop. The number of choices we have to make is increasing almost as fast as the number of syllables in the name of each coffee offered.
Complexity is inherent in quality, and while frustrating, is the reason coffee is so exciting. Better beans are available due to the rapid growth of craft roasters, improved transparency of the supply chain and a focus on improving processing at the farms. All this is turning a commodity into something special. Quality allows the nuances of different coffees to shine through, creating differentiation and multiplying our choices.
At the counter, these new and exciting choices can be overwhelming to even the experienced coffee lover. The current service styles were designed for a time when coffee was coffee. At most we had to decide between regular or decaf, and more recently “light” or “dark” roast. Now you approach the counter with the pressure of a long line behind you and need to decide quickly between three or more coffees described by a farm name, maybe a country and vague tasting notes that all sound similar.
So how do we adapt to offer these unique choices without the stress? I believe the answer starts with service. It is about creating an environment where conversation is encouraged and offering a selection of coffees and brew styles that allow baristas to tell the story of coffee. It is about lowering the barriers between the person preparing the drink and the person consuming it. At Slipstream, we will work hard to create this environment and help make your coffee journey free of resistance.