The history of coffee goes back as far as the 10th century and is said to have originated in Ethiopia. The use of coffee beans spread throughout the middle east during the 14th century and within the next few hundred years it also began to spread to Europe, Indonesia and then to America.
Coffee was not only drunk in homes but also in many public coffee houses and the popularity of these coffee houses was unequalled as people frequented them for all kinds of social activity; not only did they drink coffee and engage in conversation but they also listened to music, watched performers and kept current with news of the day while enjoying each others company.
So coffee culture has spread far and wide; in many cities and suburbs throughout the world it is not at all unusual to see several coffee shops within walking distance of each other catering to people wanting to meet with friends or hold a business meeting over a “cuppa”.
Organising the coffee workstation
As in all hospitality operations, preparation of the work area is an important part of the working day and we will spend some time looking at the equipment needed to operate the equipment needed to operate a coffee ship and the other preparation needed to be ready for the trading day. We will look at not only the coffee machine and grinder, but also the tasks, the checks and adjustments that may need to be made to make a perfect cup of coffee.
Customers come in to your establishment expecting service and this must be supplied in a professional manner. A large part of providing that service is being properly prepared; ensuring the premises are clean and tidy; that correct and sufficient supplies of products are on hand and that equipment is functioning as it is meant to.
Completing mise en place for coffee service
Mise en place, as you know, is the term used to describe the process of preparing ingredients, equipment and premises so that service can be offered quickly and efficiently. All items needed during a shift should be inspected, cleaned and arranged neatly so that they are on hand where and when you need them to be.
The amount you need to prepare will depend on the number of guests you expect to serve during any given service period. It will be the statistics, captured by the organisation over time, that should give you a good idea of how much to prepare. For example documented statistics can provide information on what type of beverages, and how many, have been sold, on average, per day; weekend customer traffic may be higher than weekdays; you may sell more milk based beverages than non milk based ones (affecting the amount of fresh milk you must keep in stock) and so on. This knowledge means that you can prepare the right amount without any (or too much) waste.
In terms of coffee service, the basic workflow procedures for making coffee remains the same, although the style of service and the types of machinery and equipment used may be different. So mis en place may include;
checking that the espresso machine is clean and properly assembled
turning on machines to achieve the correct pressure
checking that the coffee grinder is working properly
ensuring that other equipment is clean and ready to use
assembling the flavourings and toppings needed to fulfil customer requests
ensuring powder shakers for dusting chocolate over beverages cleaned and filled
laying out service trays, flatware, serviettes and so on
ensuring you have a supply of take-away cardboard trays
checking tampers are clean
bins (‘knock boxes’) used for coffee grounds should be placed appropriately close to the coffee machine
cleaning brushes are on hand to clean the dose filter basket
a flat edge implement such as a spatula is available for levelling off dosed filter basket
milk foaming jugs are clean and ready to be used
You should also make sure that;
all consumable items such as tea, coffee, chocolate, and condiments are fresh and properly stored
crockery and cutlery is clean and undamaged
paper or plastic cups, lids and stirring sticks are fully stocked
perishable goods such as milks, creams and lemon slices are covered and refrigerated
all utensils are clean
menus are correct and ready for customers
a general check of all areas is carried out to identify any WHS or hygiene issues