Slow is fast and fast is slow
Coffee under different conditions
There are mechanical steps to each drink when you work with coffee. Those steps double, triple, quadruple, and more depending on the number of cups.
To get a decent service (whatever environment you are working in), there are three pillars that make sure things flow smoothly – and then there’s SPEED.
We’re working with a few clients right now. For example, there’s a magical Palace, a vibrant Office, and a boutique Patisserie to name a few. Coffee serves a different purpose for each one of their unique styles:
- The Palace serves high-end dishes and coffee is the accent on the main course.
- The Office has fifty people with fifty shades of coffee fueling their fifty hours a week schedule.
- As for the Patisserie Do I need to explain the importance of coffee & cake?
Despite the fact that each of these places has different reasons for coffee; they all share a common need – speed.
Speed is the key to orchestrating chaos into a functional melody, but you can’t just start by going fast.
Speed starts with knowledge, continues with equipment, and ends with hands-on training.
Understanding the fundamentals of what you’ll be working with is massively important. In terms of coffee: grind size matters, water temperature matters, knowing how the roast will affect the flavor wheel matters, and a bunch of other stuff matters.
Once we have the knowledge, we need the basic tools. Having carefully calibrated, functional, and clean equipment is a must. There is no magical machine that makes everything, so we need to have each thing in its place. Whether we’re in a kitchen, an office, or a cafe – the tools we use need to have their own space with easy access.
Theory can only go so far and the machines don’t work themselves – so this is where people get to apply coffee knowledge to the equipment while getting a feel for how to make THEIR coffee.
"Slow is fast and fast is slow"
When I was in SERE training, the instructors would repeatedly say “slow is fast and fast is slow”. This meant that we needed to think before making our next move – or else we’d get shot.
You don’t want to serve a feisty espresso immediately and begin a delectable drip right after! This would be like serving a plate of cold spaghetti and sizzling steak to the same table at a restaurant – guess how you’d rate THAT kind of service!
You want to plan the thing out in your head and do your best to bring everything out at the perfect time.
We take each of the steps and ‘stack’ them in a way that allows all the drinks to be finished at practically the same time. The knowledge, equipment, and experience (‘training’ evolved) allow us to create speed. If we were to do one drink at a time – the process would be correct but the results would be slow and bulky.
One person can only do so much at once, luckily most coffee setups have a minimum amount of automation.
I’d love to give you a simple text like “six steps to making your coffee service move faster” but if you’ve read this far I’m sure that you got the point:
Knowledge, equipment, and training are the foundation to advancing into what could be speed.
Speed is not something that can be achieved by “going fast” – it requires you to step back and plan your approach. A good approach to being speedy is by breaking down everything into steps, then stack the steps to finalize everything at the same time.
For those of you that are reading this far – I really appreciate the fact that you are here. As you might have guessed: I’m not a professional writer.
The more I write, the better I get (hopefully). I’ll keep writing as long as someone is reading – so let me know what you think and it’ll tell me that these posts aren’t just “dust in the wind”…