May 5, 2017

The Journey of a Coffee Drinker

By Kevin Chilvers

I first met Cafe Culture Magazine Publisher Sean Edwards at Toby’s Estate, Chippendale. I was a relative newby to the cafe industry and ordered a cappuccino – Sean ordered a piccolo latte – I’d never heard of a piccolo latte at the time. It sounded a little bit special. I don’t think I’ve had a cappuccino since that day. Fifteen years on, I can now proudly boast that I am a piccolo and filter coffee lover. It took many years of palate development and adjustment to arrive at this point and to really appreciate what I’m drinking.

As coffee professionals, we are the leaders, which puts us in a position where we are also the trend setters and tasting coffee in ways which is well beyond what is currently mainstream. I see that many baristas chastise consumers for their coffee choices … However, understanding where the consumer is at on their coffee journey will enable the barista to guide the consumer and to not put up a road block, stalling the journey or potentially just sending them to frequent another café.

“I want a 12 oz latte with three sugars served at 75 degrees.”

Don’t chastise the 12 oz latte consumer who puts three sugars in each cup; don’t tell the soy consumer to have it black. Think more about what other options the consumer may appreciate at this stage on their coffee journey. The reward is fantastic for all involved.

Once the consumer starts to appreciate drinking piccolo style coffees, they are really tasting the coffee … It’s the equivalent of a menu explosion, and it’s time to start offering the full gamut of black coffees, including single origin tastings and dabbling in various brews, including long blacks, filter, espresso and cold drip.

Work with the consumer on a pace that works for them, and avoid stalling the coffee journey. When you feel they are ready to progress, be forward by offering your suggested brew. Maybe offer a taster of a cold drip or batch brew to complement the piccolo.

What is a piccolo latte:
• A small latte
• 4 oz coffee beverage
• Piccolo latte drinkers are serious coffee drinkers

No point giving an espresso to the 12 oz latte consumer, but once you’ve worked with the consumer enough and they are drinking piccolos, they’re coffee consumers.

As a business owner, this is where you need to make the choice:
• Do you offer everything that any customer who walks in the door wants or
• Do you take a stance that you only serve your coffees in set formats

I’ll leave that decision to you, as there is merit in both. In one way you open up your business to a larger target market and on the other hand, you restrict but focus on delivering the cellar door coffee experience.

Listen to your customers, excel in what you offer them, and work together in narrowing the gap between what you and your customers are drinking.

MPM Advertisment


Calling all baristas: share your opinions to win $1,000

Almond Breeze Barista Blend has launched the biggest ever research project into Australia’s buzzing barista and café scene and are looking for talented baristas from across the country to help them dig deeper by filling ...
by Cafe Culture Mag


$16 for a cup of coffee – Sasa Sestic explains why “it’s totally worth it”

Check out this article featured on today, which has World Barista Champion, Sasa Sestic, explaining the reasoning behind serving coffee at $16 a cup. “THERE’S a new Sydney cafe selling its top tier coffees f...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Cafe Review – Queen of Leads

Queen of Leeds 114 Oxford Street Leederville, WA This May 2018 the team behind Felix and Co. Specialty Coffee opened a sister café in Leederville called “Queen of Leeds”. Felix & Co.’s long-time Manager Anisa Hirte h...
by Cafe Culture Mag



What is PR?

Recently on an interstate trip I was reading Virgin’s inflight magazine and came across an interesting article on the benefits of public relations in our new business world. It inspired me to seek out its author – PR an...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Innovative Product – Smartpay

No Eftpos fees. Ka-ching! Want to add a surcharge to your Eftpos transactions but worried about keeping ACCC compliant? Smartpay can help. Their SmartCharge solution automatically calculates an appropriate surcharge for each tr...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Specialty Tea Shines in Melbourne Fine Food Expo

Taking out the title of the nation’s best tea maker during the hotly contested Australian leg of the World Tea Brewers Cup (WTBC), Danny will now travel to Shanghai to compete in the China WTBC finals. The WTBC  – ran for ...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Innovative Products – Halo Wipes

The BEST performing professional wet wipes. Halo Wipes are a new product that take the unique Halo formula and transform it into a hygienic, convenient wet wipe. Designed for on-the-spot and single use cleaning, Halo Wipes wipe...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Meningitis Centre Australia is looking for a café supporter

Meningitis Centre Australia is a not for profit organisation that raises awareness and educates people about meningococcal disease. The Centre is looking for a café supporter Australia wide that can help them generate interest...
by Cafe Culture Mag



The world’s leading almond milk brand, Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, has teamed up with one of Australia’s leading athletes, professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons, encouraging Australians to live a healthier, happier and more...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Browse and purchase past and current issues of Cafe Culture Magazine

Do you like to have an actual magazine in your hand ? Do you need to keep up to date with the Cafe Industry? Do you have to have something worthy of reading with your morning coffee? We have the answer to all your concerns… P...
by Cafe Culture Mag