CAFE2U BLOG

Better Brewing For Coffee at Home

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Having quality coffee while you’re at the office can really help you through the day, but having quality coffee at home is one of life’s most simple pleasures. If you can get a great cup when you’re shopping or when you’re struggling your way through a Monday morning, why shouldn’t you be able to make your own when you need it?
  

Many of us buy instant because it’s quick and easy, mistakenly believing that getting an excellent espresso needs to be an expensive affair. There’s a plethora of different techniques you can use to get that cuppa, and you don’t need to spend a fortune on equipment either.

AeroPress

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AeroPresses cost less than £30 to buy, making them highly affordable compared with professional barista equipment or coffee vans for sale. They’re quick to use and really convenient, although the differences in pressure applied can make it difficult to achieve a high level of consistency. You’ll need finely ground coffee and less time to brew, and also slightly cooler water than you might with other methods.

Cafetière

Again, a cafetière won’t set you back a huge amount to buy, and you’ll be able to achieve really great coffee very simply. To use, you want relatively course grounds. Brew from between three and a half to four minutes and then steadily push down the plunger. You’ll want to pour out all the coffee so that it doesn’t keep brewing too much.

Moka Pot

These make a great short, strong coffee – but they’re no espresso maker! They’re less controllable so it can be easy to over extract the coffee. You’ll need to grind the coffee as much as you would to use with a filter, and buy stainless steel as the metal won’t affect the taste. For a really high quality coffee though, have a look at one of our specially converted coffee vans for sale!

The right coffee

Brewing isn’t the only element of the perfect cup of coffee though. The ideal blend is a large part of getting everything just so. You’re looking for something which has been sourced by a company who cares about taste. The beans need to be as fresh as possible – and if you grind them or even roast them yourself you’ll find that you can achieve a much more rich coffee with an excellent crema.

Cafe2U@home is the perfect product, and there’s both grounds and beans available depending on your brewing method of choice. To buy yours you just need to speak to your local Cafe2U barista, or contact our head office where we’ll be able to send you all the supplies you need.

Storing your beans properly will help to keep them fresh for longer. Lots of people mistakenly keep their coffee in fridges or even freezers, but actually it should be somewhere cool and dry, away from sunlight. That means keeping them in the cupboard in a jar will work well, but they can easy absorb other smells and moisture in the fridge or freezer. Cafe2U@home comes in a re-sealable bag – just squeeze out a little air and press the seam together at the top. You shouldn’t keep the bags for more than two weeks once opened as this will preserve the aromas and freshness. It means that bulk buying will just cause more wastage!

Becoming a professional

Of course, if you want to become a barista and make amazing coffee both for yourself and for others, have a look at our coffee vans for sale and franchise opportunities, as we’re always on the lookout for the right sorts of individuals to get the Cafe2U message out there. Our coffee vans for sale and training are all part and parcel of joining the Cafe2U family so you’ll never have to drink a substandard cup again.

Top Tips For Keeping Your Customers Happy

Saturday, June 14, 2014
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Running a business is easy really. Provide a service or a product, sell it for a profit. Simple. Of course, you’ve got to make sure you’re better than the competition, either in terms of cost or quality, and you need to make sure your clients keep coming back. If you’re looking at coffee vans for sale you will need to make sure that you can afford to get started – bearing in mind that many businesses take between three and five years to achieve stability and probability.

When you join a franchise there is a far better support network to get you off the ground than there is if you’re working alone. If you’re interested in the coffee business, you might be looking into coffee vans for sale. This can be an excellent opportunity for start-ups, and there are also great franchises out there such as Cafe2U.

Business can seem simple if you remain successful, but if you don’t provide great service then you can struggle to turn the necessary profit. We believe that providing great service starts from the ground up, so we make sure each and every one of our franchise partners is trained up thoroughly. This isn’t just in the art of business and latte art, but we make sure they know how to give the perfect service you all accept.

You will experience examples of customer service almost every day, through a range of different interactions. This might be in the supermarket or in on the phone, from you bank or your insurance company. Most of these interactions will not be particularly memorable, but it’s likely that two types in particular will stand out: the really great experiences, and those which have been negative for whatever reason.

If you’re looking at coffee vans for sale and thinking about starting a business or joining the Cafe2U franchise, we’d recommend that you start taking note of what it is exactly which makes these experience good and bad. What’s the difference between those which stand out for all the right reasons, and those which simply happened?

Normal or average service just won’t increase loyalty, or create Cafe2U fans. Ask yourself with every cup, ‘have I done everything I can to make this customer feel special?’ You don’t want to change the way you serve because you’re feeling stressed when there’s a queue – if you’re providing the best lattes in town then no one will mind waiting.

It really is all about loyalty.

Tips for the best service you can give

  • Evaluate each customer as an individual. While having a chat might be really appreciated by some, others will appreciate the coffee over the conversation. Read the situation and act accordingly.
  • Listen. This is key with any customer service role. Identify customer needs, make suggestions of new things you think that they might like, and make them aware of offers which might benefit them. Never make any assumptions about what they want though.
  • If you’ve got regulars, treat them as such. When you’re serving the same people each day, it’s nice to get to know each other a bit. This interaction will stick with them, and they’ll appreciate when you remember details they have mentioned in passing. The loyalty will mean they will go to you above anyone else, and they’re likely to recommend you to friends, too.
  • Ask for feedback. Is the time you’re at the company the time which works best for them? Making adjustments to your schedule can mean you’re providing a more useful service – thought obviously you can’t be in two places at once!
  • Whether you’re looking at coffee vans for sale or at another type of business, make sure you’re always doing your best.

The Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Art

Friday, May 02, 2014

Working hours you chose and being able to move between locations while always being close to home is more than a lot of people could ask for, but as you've invested in one of our coffee vans for sale this is now your life.

You make the best espresso for miles around, you provide a friendly, efficient service and your value is unrivalled. You're the proud owner of your own coffee van for sale.

It is a pretty good feeling, isn't it?

So what can you do to go above and beyond?

Coffee art isn’t a new concept, but recent trends have gone beyond a few chocolate sprinkles. We're talking genuine works of art. We had a look at some techniques and some of the finest examples to inspire you to make your lattes the kind of beverage people photograph.

Types of Coffee Art

Some of the most basic coffee art requires no more ingredients than a straightforward latte. Once you've made your espresso and steamed the milk the rest is all in the pour. There is no reason you should feel limited because you're working in a van; we make sure each is kitted out so our coffee vans for sale are just as good (and better) than a static business.

Free Pour

Because the pour technique is so simple, it is most likely to be one you have seen, if not one you already use. There are two main variations on this type of coffee art: the heart and rosetta patterns.

For a rosetta pattern you need to tilt the espresso shot and pour the milk into the cup, starting at the raised end and working the milk towards you. Wiggle the pitcher as you move it across the surface. When you get the other side of the cup you need to pour a straight line across the pattern you've just created to bring it all together.

A heart design is't far removed from the techniques required for a rosetta. You need to tilt the espresso and pour the steamed milk into the cup near middle of the lower edge. Then lift the pitcher higher while still tilting the coffee and pour the milk towards the centre of the cup, wiggly the pitcher slightly to get the shape you're after. When you're nearly done pour the last bit of milk across the surface to the opposite side of the cup and bring it back level to create the point at the bottom of the heart.

It sounds a bit complex but it's actually not that difficult when you've tried it a few times, and it will make your coffees that bit more special. The rate of your wiggle and pour will impact the shape of your art so experiment and see what you can create.

Stencils

Another great and quick way to get you coffees personalised is to make your own stencils. You'll just need to hold the cut out over the cup and sprinkle some powder and your coffee art will be done in seconds. Easy!

Etching

With etching you can create free hand masterpieces using syrups, melted chocolate or simply by manipulating foam. You might find this method a bit time consuming at first but the more you practise the quicker you'll get and you can create some amazing patterns.

Practise On Your Time

To keep your customers smiling try to get speedy with your latte creations. Your efforts are bound to be appreciated but if you make people wait for their morning caffeine hit because you're drawing Nelson Mandela they might not be so impressed. Ideally your art should take no longer than it would normally take you to make a coffee.

No one is going to judge you if it doesn't go quite to plan as long as your drinks still taste great.

If you're not yet one of our lucky franchisees, have a look at setting up a Cafe2U coffee van for sale in your area today and you could be creating exceptional coffee art in no time.

For more amazing examples, have a look at this selection of creative latte art or head over to our Facebook page.