Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Articles: CoffeeGeek Columnist Feedback
So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
Cafe Espresso Machines
Video reviews, nationwide installation, leasing options... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, La Marzocco.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Articles > Columnist... > So what the heck...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 19 last page next page
Author Messages
MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,618
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sun Feb 6, 2005, 1:00am
Subject: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

So what the heck is wrong...
by Mark Prince

Mark Prince takes a hard look at the coffee scene in mass media - and wonders why coffee isn't getting the same level of exposure as fine wines or other culinary styles and favourites.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
terryz
Senior Member
terryz
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 573
Location: Olympia, WA.
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Feb 6, 2005, 6:13pm
Subject: Re: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

Mark,

Check out Freshcup.com and a link to Inside Coffee. I think this is a start to what your talking about. I believe it is set to debut at the SCAA in Seattle.

 
Terry Z
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Sun Feb 6, 2005, 8:44pm
Subject: Re: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

I am not encouraged by Inside Coffee's offer of "a coffee-table-quality annual (woohoo!) to consult and collect." Here's a sample from their pitch:

... It is also a sure-fire profit center item for specialty coffeehouses, chains, micro-roasters and other coffee- and cuisine-related retailers... Priced at $11.95, insidecoffee offers a secure 100-percent profit for retailers as well as an acceptable price point for specialty coffee consumers. (emphasis added)


Mark's article has kindled a certain cynical feeling in me this evening, compounded by the sounds of marketeers sharpening their shears for the fresh flock of inductees, as indicated in the message above. The SCAA conference cMembership track seems less interesting than last year. At least the locale is indisputably attractive.

-- Dan ("...must not rant... must not rant... must-t-t not rant...")

 
www.home-barista.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
skibum
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jan 2005
Posts: 37
Location: whistler bc
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: wega lyra(r)
Grinder: sprint(obel) junior
Roaster: jj bean
Posted Sun Feb 6, 2005, 10:15pm
Subject: Re: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

This really struck right on, as someone who sells wine for a living, a waiter, I have 375ish wines on my wine list.I have one  coffee, lousy.Of the 50 odd coffee  shops in town, not one offers more than 1 espresso blend. Wine merchants are in the resteraunt every week with tasters and literature. I probably go to 12-15 free tastings both formal and casual (formal means sit down with notes)a year sampling 1000- 1500 wines.I don't recall ever going to a coffee seminar.
This year was the first sign of change,yeah, at the cornicopia wine festival here in whistler there was a coffee booth, and they had 3 blends,amazing. There were 65 wineries and 20 odd wine merchants, 1 coffee. Maybe next year we can get lots more. Here's a tip, if coffee is in the festival baristas can get a pass to the trade fair , $10.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
ristrettobabe
Senior Member
ristrettobabe
Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 283
Location: So Calif
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Anfim Self
Vac Pot: French Press
Drip: Never
Posted Sun Feb 6, 2005, 11:00pm
Subject: Re: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

The article/feature struck me as a little unsettling:

"It is also a sure-fire profit center item for...retailers. Divided into editorial and advertising sections...and easily referenced industry resources.
...insidecoffee opens a whole new pathway for consumer education—and advertiser advantage.
...and informs about the latest trends in the trade...and gives readers the tools to prepare and serve their own"


Which leaves one to wonder how objective the content will be in regard to editorial (Ok, so editorials aren't by nature objective, but what gets chosen to be included may be the bought and paid for), referenced resources, latest trends, and recommended tools. Will they be able to separate the "consumer education" from the "advertiser advantage," and will the trends and tools be authentic, or invented to create new markets for retailers? I'm not feeling overly excited, based on the promo info so far.

 
And that's a cold shot, baby...Yeah that's a drag
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
alanfrew
Senior Member
alanfrew
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 643
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: Professional

Posted Mon Feb 7, 2005, 1:00am
Subject: Re: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

I want my "The Coffee Connoisseur" magazine

Down here in the very deep south that'd be "Crema" or "Bean Scene" or "Cafe Culture".

The wine world, along with the foodie world has a growing number of "names" (as in superstars) that even the average middle income consumer recognizes. Heck, they even have their own TV shows now (my fave: Simply Wine, with Andrea Immer).

Paul Bassett, "Living Coffee", 9.30 p.m. Tuesday on Lifestyle.

Their industry has a wide variety of trade shows geared towards consumers as well as professionals.

"Celebrate the Bean", "The Rocks Coffee Festival".

I suspect it's a matter of market maturity more than anything else, but I've often wondered why similar sorts of things haven't yet happened in the USA.

Alan
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
jliedeka
Moderator
jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,560
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Mon Feb 7, 2005, 8:02am
Subject: Re: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

One difference is that the US is more in thrall to capitalism than other countries.  As long as the big 4 (or Starbucks) don't emphasize quality or consumer education, the media will tend not to notice.  Unless you have boatloads of money, you really don't rate here.

    Jim

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Inukshuk
Senior Member
Inukshuk
Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 201
Location: Historic Bucks County Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 and...
Grinder: Rocky DL
Drip: Krups Moka Brew
Posted Mon Feb 7, 2005, 8:19am
Subject: Re: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

Simply....AMEN
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
frelkins
Senior Member
frelkins
Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 118
Location: nyc
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: rancilio silvia; expobar...
Grinder: mazzer mini
Vac Pot: bodum santos
Drip: bodum chambord french press
Posted Mon Feb 7, 2005, 9:24am
Subject: Re: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

hear, hear, mark!

yes it's very hard to work for the SCAA pro members to help specialty coffee and the association when half of them don't think consumers have any business talking about coffee with them and another quarter openly tell you you're an idiot: "because you're not in the coffee business -- how could you possibly know anything about coffee?"

if you all only had any idea how often i hear this not only personally, but also about consumers generally as well as SCAA consumer members. which really cheeses my biscuit because we all know that there are people here, on alt.coffee, and in the consumer membership who know more about coffee than most so-called "retailers" and even quite a few "roasters."

jim schulman and andy schecter are a formidable pair, they are.

i got this attitude full-blast just this morning from one of the most "respected" coffee pros in the industry.

sometimes i just want to scream "hey, dude! if you help me hold events where i can introduce people to specialty coffee and teach them even 3 little things about it in an hour, then consumers will begin to know something about coffee. your coffee. and then they'd buy your coffee instead of starbucks!"

i still don't get this situation. so many pro members complain that people know nothing about coffee, and that the SCAA does no marketing to consumers, but will they help educate them? help with events? help create press releases or web postings? no. why not?

"because consumers know nothing about coffee." our ignorance is apparently an unchangeable feature of our existence as coffee drinkers!

fortunately however, we have that final quarter, the visionary 25%, who understands that consumers are where it's at and are eager to help in any way possible. the small events and such that i've been able to do here in new york has always relied upon this segment of the pro membership.

there are people on the SCAA board who believe in the power of consumers, who believe the program should be funded, and who understand how to take steps in that direction. this is what keeps me positive and hopeful.

as for dan k's remark about the seattle program, let me just say that the seattle conference space doesn't have enough room for the same kind of workshops we did last year. also, those workshops were expensive; and the feeling apparently is that the vast majority of the consumers they want to attract in seattle would be intimidated by the information level in those.

so they are scaling back and trying to offer simpler, more basic 1-2-3 introductory type info. to be fair to the association, i wrote up a number of proposals for the conference, but the consumer committee chair and conference committee liasion kimberly easson worked with the program to shape it in a way they felt would be more successful.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
bxntrk
Senior Member
bxntrk
Joined: 5 Mar 2004
Posts: 496
Location: Central Kansas, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: S'Bucks Barista
Grinder: Rocky DL, Bunn G1, Solis M+
Drip: Presto Scandinavian
Roaster: Hot Top, RK Drum on the way
Posted Mon Feb 7, 2005, 12:02pm
Subject: Re: So what the heck is wrong... by Mark Prince
 

jliedeka Said:

One difference is that the US is more in thrall to capitalism than other countries.  As long as the big 4 (or Starbucks) don't emphasize quality or consumer education, the media will tend not to notice.  Unless you have boatloads of money, you really don't rate here.

    Jim

Posted February 7, 2005 link

I really don't think it's capitalism that's the culprit.  If consumers demanded better, the capitalists would provide it.  Even the wine world has it's MD 20/20 and Thunderbird.  Consumers need a better education and Mark's idea of a consumer-focused magazine would serve that end.  Maybe it's not a consumer-focus, but an enthusiast-focus that's needed.  

But I'm not sure how far we can take the wine analogy.   Most people (N. Americans anyway) drink coffee, but I'd hate to think lump you average Folgers drinker in the same category as the bums who buy Thunderbird wine!  (That would make the drinkers of instant coffe analogous to the bums who can only afford sterno.)  The Starbucks-type market consists of many who have coffee entusiast pretensions, and some of us actually graduate from that.  

So where am I?  
Coffee . . . . . Wine analogy
instant . . . . . . . sterno
Folgers . . . . . . . T-Bird
Starbucks . . . . . Gallo
Coffeegeeks . . . ?????
?????? . . . . . . . . Pretensious and expensive French wines

(Obviously, I'm not a wine-enthusiast)  OK, getting serious again . . .

I think the 2 products and their markets are more different than similar:
  1.  roasted coffee is perishable; wine is not
  2.  coffee preparation requires a certain skill level; wine does not
  3.  coffee preparation requires a certain minimum mechanical application; wine does not
  4.  coffee is prepared just prior to consumption; wine is prepared in advance.  This makes vending coffee by the cup a labor-intensive enterprise.
    1.  (I'm sure there are others.)

So maybe it's not just the taste we need to educate people on, but the enthusiam for proper preparation.  

Or perhaps a better analogy would be microbrewing of beer, something that's prepared locally instead of mass marketed.

Question:  If people pay about $3 - $4 retail for a latte, how much does it really cost a good vendor to prepare and offer it?  I've never does such a price/cost analysis, but I'm sure someone in the business has.  

Just some random thoughts.  

I, for one, would be interested in a coffee enthusiast magazine, for the same reason I frequent this site.

Patti
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 19 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Articles > Columnist... > So what the heck...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Rancilio Silvia - How to
Step by step guide for easy brewing and steaming with the Rancilio Silvia
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.36109995842)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+