coffee-forum.net
Promoting coffee discussion.

Main
Date: 30 Sep 2006 23:26:59
From: Simpson
Subject: Saxby's coffee, or thin schedule of reinforcement
People wonder why we never go to American cafes... My wife and I went to
a newly opened cafe close to our produce ket today. She had enjoyed
freshly roasted Kenya AA this morning at home but was wanting a little
pick-me-up. I predicted Bad Things Would Happen. Sure enough, first off,
the PBTC couldn't pronounce their coffee of the day (Tanzanian peaberry)
and didn't even remember what it was but had to turn and read it, badly,
off of the board. Then, noticing they had two LaCimbali autos and
thinking of my buddy Al, I asked if I could have a double espresso. The
two PBTCs just stared blankly at me. I explained I wanted two shots of
espresso in the same cup. The male PBTC asked, "Medium or large?" I just
stared blankly back and like the clever guy I am, said the same thing
again, only louder and slower,
"two..shots..of..espresso..in..the..same..cup..please."

The girl PBTC immediately diagnosed a receptive aphasia on my part.
Realizing that my ability to understand speech wasn't working and hoping
that perhaps my visual centers might still be intact, she held up a
medium paper cup and shook it slightly to get my feeble attention,
raised her eyebrow in a clear interrogative, then lowered the medium cup
out of sight and raised a large cup and shook it gently, too. Finally,
just to make sure she raised the medium cup again and asked,
"This..size..or..the..big..one?"

The chasm was too great. I declined to order and we paid for the
tarzananian pooberry and left.

Say you are the sort of person who buys scratch tickets; if you keep
buying but never winning you eventually quit buying. Different people
have different failure thresholds at which they stop the behavior, but
we all have a point where we just quit. In the case of American coffee
sellers, that means I will never spontaneously try a Gimme, a Murky or a
Riley's unless I have some specific information from a trusted source
that suggests I should. I won't try them because I just NEVER try coffee
out, and the Saxby's story says why. If the coffee at home is good and
the coffee out is invariably bad, then pretty soon you start drinking
Coke or Pepsi when you are out, and that is exactly what ket share
data seems to show IIRC. I wonder if there is enough SCAA energy in the
world to fix that sort of 'chicken or egg' problem.

Ted "Just make mine a Pepsi, please" Simpson
--
email me at:
tee en jay ess eye em pee ess oh en one-the-number (at) cee oh em cee a
ess tee (dot) en ee tee

ANY other email addie will probably mean I spam-killed your message
unread, by accident, really.




 
Date: 01 Oct 2006 06:34:46
From:
Subject: Re: Saxby's coffee, or thin schedule of reinforcement
On Sat, 30 Sep 2006 23:26:59 -0400, Simpson <nospam@nospam.spam >
wrote:

>People wonder why we never go to American cafes...
snipped
>Ted "Just make mine a Pepsi, please" Simpson

Agreed. I only order Pepsi when we are away.

with aloha,
Cea
--smithfarms.com
farmers of pure kona
roast beans to kona to email


 
Date: 01 Oct 2006 05:39:45
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Saxby's coffee, or thin schedule of reinforcement
On Sat, 30 Sep 2006 23:26:59 -0400, Simpson <nospam@nospam.spam >
wrote:

>Say you are the sort of person who buys scratch tickets; if you keep
>buying but never winning you eventually quit buying. Different people
>have different failure thresholds at which they stop the behavior, but
>we all have a point where we just quit. In the case of American coffee
>sellers, that means I will never spontaneously try a Gimme, a Murky or a
>Riley's unless I have some specific information from a trusted source
>that suggests I should. I won't try them because I just NEVER try coffee
>out, and the Saxby's story says why. If the coffee at home is good and
>the coffee out is invariably bad, then pretty soon you start drinking
>Coke or Pepsi when you are out, and that is exactly what ket share
>data seems to show IIRC. I wonder if there is enough SCAA energy in the
>world to fix that sort of 'chicken or egg' problem.
>
>Ted "Just make mine a Pepsi, please" Simpson

When it comes to a coffee shop with an appealing look or even just an
appealing website, I'm Charlie Brown staring at Lucy's football. My
curiousity gets the best of me, and I just have to give it a try, no
matter how many times she's pulled the ball away.

Now, in my case "giving it a try," often means walking through the
front door, seeing the usual danger signs and walking out again.
Recently I'd been hearing about a local micro-roaster, and their
website suggested some familiarity with what goes into a good cup of
coffee. So, I drove over there (15 miles) and had a look-see.

Oops! A superauto. Bad. Broad choice of intelligently chosen coffees.
Good. So, I order a cup of coffee. "What are you serving today?" "Our
house blend." "O.K." I'm talking to another customer, not seeing
what's going on, and a couple of minutes later, the PBTC hands me a
paper cup with a lid attached. No surprise -- I hadn't seen any
ceramic cups. But, to me, you're missing 75% of the pleasure with a
lid, so I take it off.

Wait a minute. There's a (thin) crema. I ask the nice lady, "I'm
curious. How did you get a crema on this?" "Oh, in the afternoon, we
run our coffee through the espresso machine and add 8 oz. of water."
"Why?" "So it won't go bad in the airpots. Business is usually slow
after the morning rush." The drink was unspeakably awful, and I gave
it back to her.

Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I suppose you have to give
them credit for not selling coffee that's gone stale in the airpot!

shall


 
Date: 30 Sep 2006 22:28:47
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Saxby's coffee, or thin schedule of reinforcement
"Simpson" <nospam@nospam.spam > wrote in message
news:MPG.1f88ff8d47f7ca08989756@newsgroups.comcast.net...
> People wonder why we never go to American cafes...

In another cyberspace venue I recently started a thread in which I said I
did not think that the Barista competitions were doing squat to improve the
overall horrid results one finds out in the real world, that they only made
a difference in the small clique of good cafes that were arguably already
good enough. The title I used for the thread was, shall we say, "eye
catching," maybe even offensive to some, and I was roundly criticized for my
thoughts with little support being given to my position.

My position is still my position. It is that the problem is not with the
relatively few places that care about quality (and their well trained
staffs) it is with the huge bulk of places out there that SUCK. And these
competitions as currently structured are more about the top tier places
competing for recognition and honors and not about raising overall coffee
quality as served in N. America and probably most other places.

Sometimes the home enthusiasts and the pros have the same objectives and
sometimes they do not. The pros love these competitions because they help
them to motivate their staffs and provide publicity for their businesses.
For the home enthusiasts who live in cities where good cafes are to be
found, these competitions give them the opportunity to encourage people they
might actually get served by in THEIR real worlds. For the rest of us home
enthusiasts, these competitions don't do a helluva lot.

What I said in that thread and what I still believe is that (at least for
the rest of us) those competitions are not worthy of our time because they
don't get us any closer to the possibility of a decent coffee beverage in
the areas that we live in or that we travel to often. As a result, unless
they are restructured with the intention of spreading basic
coffeemaking/espressomaking skills throughout the broader world, these
competitions are not worth our time nor our support.

As much as we like the pros who sell us gear and who run the great cafes, we
need to maintain our distance in blindly supporting everything that helps
them out, or we risk losing our independence and our integrity, becoming
merely industry shills.

ken




  
Date: 01 Oct 2006 06:30:32
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Saxby's coffee, or thin schedule of reinforcement
On Sat, 30 Sep 2006 22:28:47 -0600, "Ken Fox"
<morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com > wrote:

>My position is still my position. It is that the problem is not with the
>relatively few places that care about quality (and their well trained
>staffs) it is with the huge bulk of places out there that SUCK. And these
>competitions as currently structured are more about the top tier places
>competing for recognition and honors and not about raising overall coffee
>quality as served in N. America and probably most other places.
>
>What I said in that thread and what I still believe is that (at least for
>the rest of us) those competitions are not worthy of our time because they
>don't get us any closer to the possibility of a decent coffee beverage in
>the areas that we live in or that we travel to often. As a result, unless
>they are restructured with the intention of spreading basic
>coffeemaking/espressomaking skills throughout the broader world, these
>competitions are not worth our time nor our support.
>

it's getting there... slowly... but there is some effort to "spread
the word". as with many competitive events, the USBC started with a
handful (or more) of folks who care about such things, and has grown
pretty steadily ever since (although not yet to the wilds of idaho). i
have found pockets of "folks who care" out and about (one of whom
launched himself into the spotlight by handily winning the midwest
competition at his first event).

progress and involvement aren't moving quick enough to satisfy either
of us, but things *are* moving.