Archive for March, 2009
We’ve been moving more and more toward organic with all the coffee in our shops, and yesterday our coffee supplier brought us in the most amazing bean – a Peruvian triple certified bit of magic. It’s grown at high altitude, is 100% arabica and is triple certified (organic, Fairtrade, and Rainforest Alliance). While that’s all very good, what really has impressed me is the taste. It’s just so clean and refined.
Our worry, however, is that when it comes to coffee in Ireland, many people seem to prefer a very harsh taste. We’ve always tried to have smooth coffees, but some people complain that our coffee is weak. There’s a full shot in every drink, and there is just as much caffeine, but they seem to be convinced that we’re putting less coffee in because it’s not super-bitter.
In a way, it goes to the crux of what we try to do. In most things, a delicate flavour is the mark of high quality. Think of a cheap or expensive vodka or whiskey – the cheaper ones are harsh, the better ones are smooth. It’s a big question of whether enough of our customers will appreciate the amazing, but delicate flavour of this bean. We know there will be those who will consider it far too ”weak.”
We’ll be testing it out on customers, but I think it’s the bean for us. We’ll just have to work on convincing people of its merits. My brother thinks that for those who want a more robust taste, we can use a second grinder with a dark-roast bean. After all, tastes do vary, and he is probably right that we should be giving people a choice.
We’re trying to improve our chocolate ice cream, and it’s meant lots of chocolate tasting around the place (not too many complaints from that, mind you).
Chocolate is a very tricky flavour, I think, since people rarely agree on chocolate. It’s either too dark or too light, it’s either too rich or too thin. We’ve always done a medium strength chocolate, using real melted chocolate, which makes it very luxurious, but not really strong enough for serious cocoa-heads.
I think the way we will go now is to do a range of chocolate ice creams, from milk chocolate to dark chocolate. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to know what the average preference is out there, so please take a moment to vote!
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