Following on from yesterday's look at how to improve your tea and coffee offering in your restaurant, hotel and pub, we've rounded up some of the latest news in hot beverages for more inspiration.
Focus on filter
Offering customers filter coffee doesn't necessarily mean offering them coffee of lesser quality. This is what JD Wetherspoon and Lavazza have said with the launch of their new initiative, which will see 860 JD Wetherspoon pubs kitted out with Lavazza's advanced filter coffee system over the next few months.
The initiative, thought to be an industry first on this scale, is expected to raise the bar for filter coffee as it will enable staff to grind the Italian brand's Tierra Rainforest Alliance beans just before brewing, better preserving the flavour. Machines are also fitted with vacuum technology to insulate the coffee and a server which holds the brew at its optimum quality.
Barry Kither, sales and marketing director for Away From Home at Lavazza UK, says: "We’ve been trialling filtered coffee in a number of JD Wetherspoon pubs since August and the consumer response has been fantastic. The quality of the beans is exactly the same as we use for espresso-based drinks meaning customers can now enjoy the unmistakeable quality of Lavazza whether they choose a cappuccino or a filter coffee."
London’s restaurant and bar brand Caravan is an industry leader when it comes to coffee, hosting its own coffee roastery at its Kings Cross site, but it plans on taking the educating its customers message to the extreme next month by giving customers the chance to learn more about its coffee by hosting a series of coffee workshops.
During the workshops head-barista, Baptiste Kreyder will introduce attendees to the different types of coffee bean, coffee production methods and individual flavour profiles before giving them the chance to test their new-found knowledge with a mini-tasting.
Subsequent workshops, priced at £15, will specialise in coffee roasting; latte art; espresso making; cupping; and home brewing.
Healthy hot drinks
The Trafalgar Hotel in London has become the first UK venue to stock Roispresso, a combination of South African red tea Rooibos with a range of superfoods, which creates an innovative caffeine-free hot drink that takes inspiration from both tea and coffee in its preparation and serve.
The basis of every Roispresso is a mix of finely ground tips, granulated and powdered rooibos, to which is added a range of superfoods, such as goji berries, ginseng and mint. The drink can be prepared using a regular coffee machine and a special Roispresso handle.
"Customers have become savvier about the type of hot beverages they drink," says Trafalgar Hotel general manager Jurgen Ammerstorfer, "some are looking for healthier options whilst others, like the coffee culture, want a drink without the caffeine. The public are also becoming more evenly split about whether they are tea or coffee drinkers and so, by marrying both types of drinks, customers can enjoy the best parts of each drink in a new and delicious form."
Ammerstorfer said a successful trial of the drink in the hotel's Rockwell Bar had led to the decision to become the first venue to host the drink. "The Trafalgar Hotel is well known for serving innovative drinks and our selection of hot drinks was an area that we had not yet experimented with," he says. "When I started at the hotel last August, I was aware of Roispresso and its unique concept and felt that this new product and the hotel would marry perfectly together."
Good start to the day
While yesterday’s article looked at how operators can end a diner’s experience on a high by offering them an interesting and high quality hot beverage menu, don’t forget that good quality tea and coffee can be equally important at the start of the day.
According to a survey of 1,000 people by Douwe Egberts Professional, the quality of coffee for a hotel breakfast was more important than that of the sausages, bacon or the pastries. In fact, being poured a bad cup of coffee was enough to deter a third of those questioned from ever returning to a hotel.Paul Freeman, marketing director for Douwe Egberts Professional said all too often hotels bulk brewed coffee to ensure there was enough at peak times to fulfil demand, but, he said this could backfire as more often than not the practice resulted in ‘poor quality, bad tasting coffee which guests will no longer tolerate.’
“Today’s consumers are increasingly discerning about their coffee and expect freshly-made, great tasting coffee at all times of the day,” he says.
Fine dining, fine coffee
Fine dining restaurant group 10 in 8 has made moves to improve the coffee offering at its restaurants by partnering with Nespresso, the favoured coffee brand of The Fat Duck and The Ledbury.
Tim Allaston, commercial director of the restaurant company, which counts the Michelin-starred l'ortolan and La Becasse amongst its restaurants, said its chefs and sommeliers had 'noted an increased demand for quality produce over the years' which they wanted to fulfill.
"The partnership with Nespresso helps us to meet this high demand for quality when it comes to the coffee we serve. Nespresso produces coffee of a consistent quality, which is important in high volume, high pressure establishments," he said.
Through the partnership Nespresso will install the Gemini CS220 machine at Paris House, La Bécasse, Hotel Terravina and The Silk Glove Restaurant while L’ortolan will use the Aguila - the latest machine in the Nespresso Professional range and the first designed to cater for high volume establishments.
Read and view all content on non-alcoholic drinks here.