Roaster's café versus their clients' cafés - Page 2

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.

Which is better: Roaster's cafe or their best client's cafe?

Roaster's cafe is better
25
81%
Client's cafe is better
2
6%
They're about the same
4
13%
 
Total votes: 31

pdx

#11: Post by pdx »

zin1953 wrote:It's oddly reassuring to hear about Portland, because I can't think off the top of my head where shots at a "client's café" were the equal of the café that was run by the roaster itself. So there is hope after all . . .
There's no reason an "account" cafe can't train as well or better than a roaster's cafe. I'm sure the same situation exists anywhere there's a good concentration of quality coffee.

Soon I'm sure we'll see quality-focused cafes who always offer coffees from multiple roasters at the same time. "You want a macchiato? Stumptown, Ecco, Intelli, or 49th parallel?" Try walking into a shop like that & ordering just one drink...
Ben King.

zin1953 (original poster)

#12: Post by zin1953 (original poster) »

pdx wrote:Soon I'm sure we'll see quality-focused cafes who always offer coffees from multiple roasters at the same time. "You want a macchiato? Stumptown, Ecco, Intelli, or 49th parallel?" Try walking into a shop like that & ordering just one drink...
Ben, one can only dream . . . .
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

pdx

#13: Post by pdx »

no, i mean it. soon.
Ben King.

naked_barista

#14: Post by naked_barista »

pdx wrote:Soon I'm sure we'll see quality-focused cafes who always offer coffees from multiple roasters at the same time. "You want a macchiato? Stumptown, Ecco, Intelli, or 49th parallel?" Try walking into a shop like that & ordering just one drink...
OMG!!! I'm picturing grinders lined up like fat tap handles at a beer bar. I can't wait!

Larry
larry at laurelnet dot com

ManSeekingCoffee

#15: Post by ManSeekingCoffee »

As a rule, I definitely tend to find roaster's own cafes tend to be better. They have access to more of the coffee, are more often about coffee and have the name to draw in the good baristas. However, in the Bay Area, I've discovered a few cafes that are actually on par with their roasters in most regards. Dynamo Donuts is more or less on par with Four Barrel in terms of quality and Epicenter is at least as good as Barefoot.

My big question/concern is whether they'll be able to maintain the quality OR whether the quality is as consistent from barista to barista.

pdx

#16: Post by pdx »

ManSeekingCoffee wrote:My big question/concern is whether they'll be able to maintain the quality OR whether the quality is as consistent from barista to barista.
That's just training & management- no reason they can't.
Ben King.

User avatar
roastaroma

#17: Post by roastaroma »

One of the factors that distinguishes the roaster's cafe from the client's is the range of choices; usually a client sticks with 1 or 2 popular blends at most, whereas the roaster can rotate the choices at will or offer a few more exotic blends or SOs at one time than a client. Fortunately a roaster like Blue Bottle cares enough to make sure their clients know how to pull shots before accepting them.

A friend of mine runs a little coffeeshop using Blue Bottle, Bella Donovan for pour-over & Roman Espresso for espresso drinks. He's gotten quite good with those blends, but that's it. If you want 17 Ft. Ceiling or the Koratie Natural, you have to go to the source.
"Non è la macchina, è la mano."
LMWDP #223

User avatar
John P

#18: Post by John P »

Ben,
Soon I'm sure we'll see quality-focused cafes who always offer coffees from multiple roasters at the same time. "You want a macchiato? Stumptown, Ecco, Intelli, or 49th parallel?"
so is THAT what Billy is doing???
John Piquet
Salt Lake City, UT
caffedbolla.com

User avatar
John P

#19: Post by John P »

Haven't been, but my friends in PDX all echo the same... Albina is as good or better than Stumptown. However, there are many other places that would make you think Hairbender isn't anything special.

I've been to places serving Vivace, and Intelli and neither would have made the originator proud. One of my three best shots ever was a shot of Black Cat pulled by the elusive Mr. Riddle himself at the SCAA in 'O5. I've also had Black Cat on my home machine and it rocked. Other shots of Black Cat from non-Intelli locations have been disappointing.

I think that the idea of freshness goes out the window. I am certain all of the places that have been mentioned roast and ship within 24 hours, and as Marshall said, some things don't hit their peak for a while. I wouldn't recommend any of our espresso inside of five days, and one doesn't peak until day nine.

Murky serves CCC, and I've had someone bring me their coffee as well as they lived in DC for two years and I heard nothing but stellar reviews of CCC. A lot does reside on the handle side of the portafilter. Most shops don't put as much soul, heart, passion and coffee education into what they are doing as the small boutique roasters... but the ones that do are stellar and stand out to everyone.
John Piquet
Salt Lake City, UT
caffedbolla.com

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#20: Post by another_jim »

I've moved close to the well regarded Coffee Studio which uses Intelly's coffees for espresso and a new take on old school press pots, personal Eva Solo carafes (which, IMO, clobbers the clover). I also get to the Intelly stores fairly frequently, so I can compare Black Cat as pulled on the Intelly LMs and the Studio's Synesso. The Synesso almost always pulls lighter bodied and toned shots. The current iteration of BC doesn't have the tilt towards the nearly sticky mouthfeel and bitterness of last year's, when the Studio's take was always preferable to me; so this year, the Intelly shots usually win. But the God Shot score goes to the Studio, 2 - 1.
Jim Schulman