Pourovers make no sense for a cafe

It's elegant to watch a barista hand-make your coffee but is it better for the cafe? Yes it's beautiful to watch however you do the maths and you'll see problems with manual brewing. 

Problems: 

1. Consistency 

The reality is that batch brew is much higher in quality and consistency than any manual brewing. Matt Perger 2012 World Filter Champion says Batch Brew is superior than manual brewing when it's done right (Coffee Awesome). A machine will always be more consistent

2. Opportunity Cost 

Your barista could be making more profitable items such as lattes or alcohol sales. 

3. Beans and space cost

The reality is there will be wastage - you will grind coffee with wastage, you will order more beans than you need. You may have dedicated brew bar, dedicated grinder and dedicated beans all for the odd pourover. 

4. Cleaning - Time spent cleaning and organising the "brew bar" is time you could have spent elsewhere. 

Jim Hoffmann writes about this on his blog Jimseven.org

Pourover Coffee & Opportunity Cost
The industry has clearly started to pay attention to the costs involved in a pourover. The price of a cup of coffee, brewed by hand, have steadily risen. ... Let’s look at the opportunity cost: what else could this person have been doing instead of pouring water, carefully, over coffee?...instead of pouring a single cup for 3-4 minutes (which is a fair estimation of the time involved) a barista could have helped process a reasonable number of transactions. While the pourover is an expensive item, in that the busy business could have processed 2-3 times as much revenue.

 

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