Australia Cafe Market Situation 2018

Specialty Coffee Industry in Australia has reached peak maturity and saturation evident by an array of niche offerings exhibiting high end market fragmentation. New innovative retail concepts, coupled with creative nuanced food and beverage offerings combine with social media to maintain growth in a highly competitive market. Complimentary to this are end to end supply […]

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Coffee Training

Coffee Training Promised Land Coffee Espresso Training 101 Introductory Course to Espresso Course Duration 2.5 Hours by Jonathon Sciola Guest Frounder @promisedlandcoffee, coffee judge, barista trainer. PART 1 Basic Introduction to Espresso Equipment Grinders Electric Dosing Grinder Manual Chamber Grinder EK 43 Espresso Machines Volumetrics vs non-Volumetrics Heat Exchange vs Dual Boiler Espresso Machine […]

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5 Reasons Why Work  Coffee Sucks 

1. Workplaces continue to provide commodity coffee whereas outside the office on the streets speciality coffee has taken over. Staff will not drink from a pod machine when theres incredibly goood coffee  outside! That costs the office in downtime. Big time. We estimate around $8k per employee per year. Bad coffee at work is the […]

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What is a weak coffee anyway 

In the light of objective coffee the definition of “weak” becomes problematic. I was talking with a barista who said they do a ristretto for weak and a normale for normal. They do this for consistency.  I argued a ristretto is exactly as “strong” as a normale. Look at this: Ristretto dose 20g, yield 30g, […]

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The Upside Down of Coffee 

Filter coffees versus Espresso. Rules and Realities.  Now this is a blog post to read carefully!  The main difference between filter coffee and espresso is time and that is related to water weight.  When brewing espresso the longer the shot (time) the weaker the coffee. This is because the amount of actually coffee grinds (dose) […]

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Workflow in Specialty Coffee 

You’ve all heard the story of the man with a utility vehicle. He’s always the one asked by everyone for help when they move house. The same sad fate comes to the designer who is asked to design a brand or logo for a business when everything is finished. The right time to involve a […]

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Is the tide is pulling back on 3rd Wave

I’m a speciality coffee barista, enthusiast and I thank The Pioneers who built the Third Wave coffee movement. Such proponents as Intelligentsia in Seattle and St ALi in Melbourne created direct-trade coffee (ever increasing returns on quality paying “at least 25% more” than Fair-trade) for the first time back in around 2004 when coffee farms […]

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The Great Divide: A Look Into Melbourne Cafe Culture | Part 2

Part 2 Continued…Find Part 1 here. In Part 1 I looked at the parallel between the mature, highly-competitive markets that Richard Branson chooses to disrupt (commercial airlines, finance, music, telecommunications) and the Melbourne Coffee market. The coffee market in Melbourne is in desperate need of disruption by new startups. Mature, highly competitive markets have deeply […]

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Cafe Audits

I am making available a service to specialty cafes that can be invaluable to discovering faults in their coffee and service. This collaborates with roasteries as well where you and the roastery can find objective information on espresso quality and service. Mystery Shopper $240 During busy service (usually Saturday or Sunday) I will come to […]

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Bad Experiences

It’s not just product and service complaints that will lose customers. Don’t forget bad experiences. Bad experiences are where your staff are actually arguing with a customer about an incorrect order rather than solving the problem. Or the air conditioning isn’t working on a stinking hot day. Or your bartender is flirting with all the […]

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Collaborative Shared Workplace Cafe

In a market where differentiation, specialty coffee and customer service are key, the sub segment known as “Collaborative Workspace” or Workplace Cafe” is a viable option for any young entrepreneur. Since the demise of manufacturing in the eighties (the remnants of which are seen in current media and automotive sectors as well as whole foods) […]

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Wheel of Coffee

Like the spokes of a wheel your coffee (and your life!) will have a bumpy ride if one or more of your spokes are out of line. If your financial world is strong and healthy, yet your family or physical world is out of line you will be unable to enjoy the money! If you have fresh, boutique roasted coffee, […]

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One Little Place

One Little Place is a favourite specialty coffee outfit in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne for me in that the barista Kim Jae Hyun (Harry) is as passionate about coffee as I am. From South Korea Harry celebrates every cup with a philosophy of self improvement. Every time I visited Harry as a wholesale support […]

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Dangers of Entering A Franchise

Australia protects franchisees. I have still seen horror stories. I am not however talking about them. I’ve seen families lose everything. I’ve seen multinational franchisors go bankrupt and fly home shamed. Today I’m talking about simple competitiveness. It is simply impossible to compete in a highly competitive environment when you are in a tightly controlled […]

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Before You Start A Cafe

Read: 1. eMyth by Michael Gerber – Which hat are you wearing? You need all three! 2. Purple Cow by Seth Godin – Market differentiation is the bare minimum. Be remarkable! Decide: 1. What is my core competency – this could be filter coffee or customer service or giant hamburgers. It’s what you do best! […]

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Atmospheric Pressure

As a marketer former business owner and hospitality person who works and supports the best cafes I was often wondering “what exactly makes a cafe work?” Whether its miss Marie or auction rooms or Maling room, or ALi its more than a mix of customer service (often lacking and egotistical), quality coffee, food and location […]

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Barista Occupational Hazards

First of all I want to break down the role of the barista to: 1. Machine Operator 2. Service Operator 3. Customer Service Representative These sections of the baristas role will give us clarity and cohesion as we discuss the hazards and joys (!) of being a baristi. Secondly I would like to say that […]

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Dolce Espresso | The Drum

Positioned at the opening of the Drum – a food court in Westfield Doncaster – Dolce Espresso is clearly an Italian cafe experience: gleaming white LaMarzocco FB80, 4 Mazzer grinders and a dazzling display of colourful cakes all scream “Italy”. However the quality of the espresso is not the old school bitter italian robusta special, […]

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Pallet Espresso

Pallet espresso hidden in the back lanes of Spencer and Little Collins combines authentic Japanese cuisine with world class specialty coffee. A bold and timely move by owner operator, Peter, of wildly successful Purple Peanuts. The wooden theme (hence; pallet) is a beautiful artistic design that compliments the deli cafe feel while combining those aesthetics […]

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ORA specialty coffee

Like a far away holiday for the soul is Ora Coffee for the specialty coffee pilgrim looking for the comfort of a consistenly good coffee! Furthermore they are open late on Friday and Saturday nights. Sip cold drip, or order a Shiraz and a cheese plate and you’re home! All coffees are roasted in house […]

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10 Cafes Open Melbourne Cup Day

1. St ALi 7am-6pm – Open 365 Days a year 2. Seven Seeds 8am-5pm 3. Tus Coffee (Torquay) 4. Penny House (Richmond) 7am-3pm 5. Reverence Coffee (Ascot Vale) 8-1pm 6. Common Galaxia (Seddon Vic) 7. Dead Man (Southie) 8-3pm 8. Omar Bird (Gardenvale) 9. Mitte Cafe (Fitzroy) 10. Miss Jackson (St Kilda) Bonus! 11. 8 […]

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Miss Marie Rosanna

Miss Marie has been adopted by Rosanna and the surrounding areas as family. Introduced to me by an 86 year old woman from preston who “knows her coffee” I was dubious at first however my family and I have been frequent visitors to this 5 Senses cafe in the north-east for over twelve months now. […]

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Maling Room Roastery

Growing up in Cantebury one can take for granted the beautiful picturesque scenery that makes up the Maling Road Precinct. The high ceilings and prominent location make the old Post Office seem like the gateway to a paradise of the old and the new. Run by Andrew Liew for 10 years Maling Room occupying the […]

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The Gateway Coffee

Ethiopia is known as the birthplace of Arabica coffee and for a country that consumes much of what it produces it is not surprising that the quality is often there too. The Yirgacheff is often a very floral, fruity and potentially contrasting coffee to the traditional chocolate caramels of Aussie favourites. This is why I […]

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Cafe Systems – Mysteries from a Mystery Shopper

While studying Marketing at Swinburn University, I thought it would be interesting to take up a position as a Mystery Shopper. I went to McDonalds and ordered burgers and reported on what experience I had, from the customer perspective. I went to banks and opened accounts and so on. What I learned, among many things, was that the symptomatic facts that I presented in my findings were unable to properly diagnose the true cause of the problem that I encountered. For example: if I went to McDonald’s and reported that my burger was cold… Was my burger cold because A) it was not cooked long enough? B) it sat for 10 minutes on the counter before my number was called? C) or perhaps, the mustard was too cold because it was not defrosted for long enough before it was put as an ingredient in my burger? As you can see the problem or the symptom is not necessarily the cause…

When it comes to a cafe environment, particularly with coffee (!) the customer, let alone the manager (!) rarely see the true cause of outcomes or problems in their business. Was the coffee not strong enough because they change the blend? Does the customer even know what strong means? Is ”strong” a word that means bitter, or is it a word for bold? Does the colour and size and mouth-feel of the crema indicate strength? Often a barist or cafes reputation is based on wrong signals… He’s what you can begin to do to improve the signals that you are giving to your clientele…

<h1>1. Have a clear vision. Know the what why and how of your business</h1>

Many business owners know what they are doing – they are selling coffee or food. They may even know how they are doing it (fresh ingredients from the local community perhaps). But few know, and even fewer communicate WHY they are doing it. Fitzrovia is an example of a business that knows the why. This video communicates it brilliantly! 


<h1>Turn-key your business</h1>

Most cafes have systems, however they are often not written down, not communicated, and break during peak or rush hour. Make systems that work. 

<h1>Train your staff – be people-people</h1>

Very few cafes actually train, induct and manager their staff. Have performance reviews, rewards, KPIs, staff meetings and a warning system. Know your staff and help them know you. ‘Very few cafes I’ve even spoken to have staff meetings. Take your team on a vacation, to the snow, or even play Lazer Tag. You’ll be surprised what synergy comes out of a true TEAM. 


<h1>Work ON your business, not only IN your business</h1>

Many business owners are so tied up in doing the work that they never step outside and see the business from outside eyes. If you really cannot afford to do this, then please hire a consultant or a business coach, or at least get a customer feedback box!




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Rancilio Silvia Walkthrough

Hi there, I have been asked to write an article on the Rancilio Sylvia for another website and so this is a start-up article to that. I love the Rancilio Sylvia. I would place it in the medium range for the home barista. It is more expensive, slightly, than the entry level machines however it […]

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The Maling Room Society

Maling room is an establishment in Melbourne; a coffee society. It’s hard to find a speciality cafe that does not rotate Maling Room Rostery single origins, or a newspaper that has not rave reviewed it or a top 100 that doesn’t include it, however the social army are not coming to the conversation and showing […]

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Filter or espresso?

Australian cafes are experiencing an explosion in the number of brewing methods customers are expecting. But will this last? Australians with that early migration of Italians enjoyed high-pressure extracted coffee since the 1950s and early. However in America with similar migration however filter coffee somehow became the norm. In Melbourne over the last five years […]

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Coffee quality

Having spent 7 hours in a stopover in Kula Lumpur and having spent 7 days in Asia I have enjoyed spending time contemplating what exactly it is I “love” about coffee and have realized I love coffee quality. Here is a post on what constitutes a high quality espresso coffee. Preparation Method An important introductory […]

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Like Alice in Wonderland I’ve found myself down the rabbit hole that is coffee. A year ago I ventured into returning happily to my roots in customer service after 7 years in self employment. Don’t get me wrong I loved the freedom, the money and the celebrity of owning my own business yet the promise […]

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Coffee facts

Fact#1 Caffeine can be lethal – Extreme overdose can result in death. The median lethal dose of caffeine in humans is dependent on weight and individual sensitivity and estimated to be about 150 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass, roughly 80 to 100 cups of coffee for an average adult taken within a […]

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What makes a successful cafe

In Melbourne we have a plethora of amazing and terrible cafes. Just read Urbanspoon or Foursquare or Beanhunter and you’ll find cafe’s that work and cafe’s that don’t. Obviously the coffee has to be good, but what other ingredients make a successful cafe? The standards of customer service: offering a great product, with product knowledge […]

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How to do a pour-over

I am not a fan of filter coffee although it does deliver four times the caffeine. Melbourne Australia has been an espresso location for almost 70 years. Our coffee is 85% espresso and 15% filter whereas in America and Europe it’s the other way around. As a coffee lover I want to learn all things […]

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