Does the menu variety of a café matter to you?
Simply Put… No
As a big coffee drinker, a true lover of coffee, and the owner of a coffee brewing site, I’ve come to appreciate different brews for what they are. Each brew is unique, whether it’s the grind size, extraction process, brewing method, etc. Brewing coffee is a science and art form.
Expertly Brewed Coffee is Key
When visiting a new café, I prefer one with a small coffee menu. It’s easy to hide subpar products when you mix in syrups, caramel, and other sugary items. A café that can serve a perfect Americano, or a rich latte with creamy foam truly showcases their knowledge and skills. When I’m sipping that perfect latte, I appreciate the flavor of the beans and the way the liquid picks up the creamy foam. True coffee lovers enjoy savoring their drinks and admiring the skill that went into creating their beverage.
Specialty Items are Indicative of True Talent
As a coffee lover and someone who works in the industry, I always look at a café’s menu. If the shop offers a variety of drinks, especially a Ristretto or Ristretto Doppio, the Macchiato Lungo, or Café Vienna, I am impressed that they are going above and beyond. This means they have real baristas working there, which is a sight to behold, and you know you are in for a treat!
A Broader Menu Allows Customers to Explore
The menu variety of a café truly matters to me. As a foodie, I am always interested in trying new and unique menu items, so a limited or basic menu bores me. The moment I see a funky flavor or at least a diverse set of coffee style options, I am sold.
As a health-conscious consumer, I am drawn to alternatives for coffee condiments as well. For example, out-of-the-ordinary plant-based milk like macadamia, oat, and coconut milk, along with natural sugar substitutes like stevia or agave, are compelling ingredients in my book. Without these flexible choices, my coffee experience feels restricted rather than free-spirited.
Unique Flavors Keep Customers Coming Back
I always look out for specialty menu items because I love trying new things. So, if there is something like a lavender and lemon latte with house made syrup, I’m going to try it because I’m not going to get this anywhere else. If it’s delicious I will be inclined to come back and try their other flavors.
Another item I keep an eye out for is cold brew. If the coffee shop takes the time to do a house cold brew, I feel like that says that their coffee is delicious hot or cold and they want to serve it as many ways as possible for you to get the complete experience of their brew.
A Small But Concise Menu Matters
When I visit coffee shops, a menu with too many options often signals low-quality coffee. Shops serving high-quality, specialty coffee often have a concise menu and let the coffee be the star of the show. Too many flavor additions or drink specials can be used to mask the coffee itself.
The great shops I’ve been to around the country usually have a coffee menu that features espresso, espresso milk drinks (macchiato, cappuccino, latte), some form of drip coffee, and one or two seasonal specials. I am thrilled when I see pour-over coffee as an option with multiple single-origin offerings.
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