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Showing posts from June, 2014

Review of Lion Coffee

I was in San Diego for a get away from the Arizona heat and decided to visit a coffee shop. I went to my trusty Yelp app for recommendations. Downtown San Diego has a ton of restaurants that do coffee and breakfast, but not a lot of just coffee shops. The coffee shop that I chose was called Lion Coffee (http://www.lioncoffee.com/).
I looked at pics on Yelp and loved their phrase, “Lion coffee is king of coffees.” We walked to the store and there were more pictures on the windows that looked like adds from early 1900’s. When I got to the front door I was suddenly confused. It was a Hawaiian theme. I have no idea what lions have to do with Hawaii. From what I can gather from the website, the company moved to Hawaii and they began focusing on Hawaiian coffees at that time.

Problem With Being Cheap

I have expressed before that I am a value based individual. This is often times assessed as cheap. At times there really isn’t much of a difference. Sometimes it helps me keep from doing silly things and sometimes it hinders my enjoyment of good things. Now that I am moving into the specialty coffee world, I find that it is hard to be cheap because everything is so freak’n expensive.

What Is The Perfect Roast

I recently met with the roaster from Pearl Coffee. She is starting her coffee business as a home roaster and looking to expand. I was excited to meet with someone else in a similar stage of business development. She had some very good points regarding her coffee, many of which I agreed with and some I did not.

One of the topics was how dark to roast. The coffee shop where we met had roasted their coffee to the dark side of medium. It was a blend though, so that made sense to me (roast helps consistency in the cup). She thought it was roasted slightly too dark, making it bitter. This made me think about the different roasts out there. Starbucks vs. specialty light roasts and all the spectrums in between.

Review of Lola Coffee

I had scheduled a meeting with a local roaster because I wanted to tour her roasting facility for my blog. Her facility was her home, and since we were strangers we decided to meet at a coffee shop. Sweet! 2 birds, 1 stone (no actual birds were injured in the writing of this blog). I would get info for 2 blogs: one for the coffee shop and one for the conversation with the roaster.

We decided to meet at Lola Coffee (www.lolacoffeebar.com). It is on our Roosevelt row. Roosevelt is a street just north of our down town area here in Phoenix. It is basically the artsy/hipster part of town. I love the area. It is a mixture of re-purposed homes and new buildings. The down side to anything in this area is parking. There is some free parking, but it is limited. I was lucky and found a spot not too far down the street.

Investment In Learning

I have decided to actually invest in my coffee knowledge. It seems to help solidify something within me. It is strange how paying money helps make things real.

I have decided to participate in “A Closer Look Into Coffee” presented by Press Coffee (http://www.presscoffeeaz.com/press/blog.php). I looked over the schedule and it is pretty well rounded. I also have the ability to get Barista Guild Level 1 Certified at the end. I’m not sure I want to invest into the BGA yet. I don’t see the value at this stage.

To Partner or Not to Partner

This is something that I have been dealing with for a while. I thought I would lay out my thoughts on business partners and see if it helps me figure anything out. I hope some comments will help too.

I would like to go into business with partners. I believe there is strength in numbers. My experience has shown me that you have to gather a lot of talent around you to succeed. If you try to do anything on your own, you will fail. I have to depend on others for ideas and inspiration as well as accountability. I also need others to fill gaps in my knowledge base. I’m an operations person, so I don’t understand marketing and sales and taxes and such.

Muertos Experience - Ordering and Line

I am developing my concept, my vision. I have written a short story of what I want the customer experience to be like. Here is a small excerpt.

"I got up to the kiosk and it was pretty self-explanatory. It didn’t take me long at all to get my coffee ordered. I moved into the line that reminded me of a Disney queue line. I had to wait there for my coffee, but at least it was interesting. On my right I could see the barista’s making coffee through a small glass wall that went from the table top to about 7ft high. Their operation was a well-oiled machine. I could hear them talking on the other side of the wall and there was no doubt that these people knew how to make good coffee. The bar looked extremely clean and organized, which always makes me feel better about a place. On the other side of the line I could see through a window where they were roasting the coffee. The lady making coffee wore a bright red bandanna around her head to match that matched her poke-a-dot dress. She smil…

What’s In A Name?

Mythos has nearly, if not completely, died out of coffee houses. My good friend Google defines mythos as a myth or mythology (reoccurring themes); a set of beliefs or assumptions about something. It is my position that people want, maybe even need, mythos to bring value into their lives. For example: religion, political parties, and fraternities/sororities. These groups all have a reoccurring theme or established assumptions. What is the first step? The name. Christian, Muslim, Republican, Democrat, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. When we read those names, we all pull certain assumptions and beliefs about those groups.

Review of Songbird Coffee

I have been looking for a great coffee shop in the Phoenix, Az area for quite a while. I have been given some recommendations and they haven't quite panned out. Maybe my expectations are too high... No, I don' think that's it. All I want is a good barista and a good cup of coffee. I don't think that's too much to ask for, do you? My wife and I had tickets for a show downtown Saturday night. I knew there were quite a few shops in the downtown area because I asked the city about tax breaks. He said they already had enough coffee shops, so they weren't helping start anymore. (Can you really have enough though?) I Googled coffee shops and there were a few that I put on my list to try. Songbird was one of them (http://www.songbirdcoffeehouse.com/). I had high expectations based on the location. It's in an artsy area where they have converted some historical houses into wine bars and such. This shop was across the street. I loved the outside. It stuck out of the…