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poison
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poison
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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2011, 9:06am
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

I had a wtf moment this morning: on my way to work, decide to stop by Profeta for the first time. I'm in a hurry, but find parking immediately in front; I walk in, and right up to the counter, no line. Everything is going better than expected. I ask for a double espresso, and as the barista reaches for the porcelain, I say 'to go'. He says 'no problem, but we add a little water to make it an Italiano'.

Me: ?? Uh, no, I just want a double espresso.

Him: We don't do espresso to go, only Italiano.

Me: OK, just hold the water.

Him: Uh, no, we don't do that.

The other guy behind the counter, the manager or owner, chimed in with 'yeah, we don't do that'.

Me: I'll pass, then.


I'll admit, I stalked out with a 'jesus f**k' muttered under my breath. I would've stayed and asked why, but if I had had time to stay, I would've had time to sip a fracking espresso from porcelain, right? Sorry, but the experience was mega-fail, and I'm not sure I'd go back. I can't fathom why they'll do 'Italiano' in paper, but not espresso. Seriously, guys, you're cresting the tip of that 3rd wave you surfed in on, and you're about to slide down the back side.
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JimWright
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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2011, 11:28am
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

Could be the "won't serve a product we won't stand behind" thing, or could be the "ghetto latte" folks complain about with people getting an espresso to go and adding a full cup of milk on top (though this is easily avoidable with short to go cups if that was really an issue - there has been some intense debate on this point in years past).  I absolutely love the place, perhaps my favorite cafe anywhere, but yes, this would rub me the wrong way.  Fortunately, I always have time for an espresso since it usually takes me less than 3 minutes (if not less than one for one their ristrettos) to drink it.
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poison
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poison
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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2011, 1:45pm
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

I understand the ghetto latte thing...but like you said, that's why paper espresso cups were invented. Smart and Final, $7.  And seriously, I don't fit the 'ghetto latte' demographic, and no one was around; wouldn't you just say 'ok, we usually don't, but here', instead of losing a customer? I REALLY hope it isn't some misguided, elitist 'but the paper cup ruins the flavor' bs.

Bottom line: the idea of dumping water in my espresso is ridiculous, no matter the reason, particularly when the location is called 'Espresso Profeta'. "Hi, we serve espresso, but you can't have one!". Lulz.
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MarshallF
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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2011, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

JimWright Said:

Could be the "won't serve a product we won't stand behind" thing, or could be the "ghetto latte" folks complain about.

Posted December 10, 2011 link

Correct. A coffee bar that refuses to serve a drink they wouldn't be proud of is also serving notice that they are not a fast food vendor and take their work as seriously as a fine chef does his. This approach may not work in all markets, but it has been hugely successful in many, including Los Angeles, where some purist bars have long lines night and day.

And it's not just coffee. Chef Nozawa is reputed to throw anyone who orders a California roll out of his restaurant. The respect this reputation earns him (even if it isn't quite true) more than offsets any disappointed customers he loses and contributes to the long lines at Sushi Nozawa.
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Bitches_Brew
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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2011, 5:41pm
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

MarshallF Said:

Correct. A coffee bar that refuses to serve a drink they wouldn't be proud of is also serving notice that they are not a fast food vendor and take their work as seriously as a fine chef does his. This approach may not work in all markets, but it has been hugely successful in many, including Los Angeles, where some purist bars have long lines night and day.

Posted December 10, 2011 link

they are obviously "fast food" enough to serve drinks to go and have a need for paper cups. how does adding water to espresso make it better than espresso? how would a bar be rated if they refused to serve their scotch straight?


And it's not just coffee. Chef Nozawa is reputed to throw anyone who orders a California roll out of his restaurant. The respect this reputation earns him (even if it isn't quite true) more than offsets any disappointed customers he loses and contributes to the long lines at Sushi Nozawa.

is the california roll on the menu? are they "known" for their california rolls?

 
"You can write down how to make the perfect cup of coffee. But to make it really good, you have to play something fictional, you have to dress up, you have to think, This is the most important thing."
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poison
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poison
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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2011, 6:33pm
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

MarshallF Said:

Correct. A coffee bar that refuses to serve a drink they wouldn't be proud of is also serving notice that they are not a fast food vendor and take their work as seriously as a fine chef does his. This approach may not work in all markets, but it has been hugely successful in many, including Los Angeles, where some purist bars have long lines night and day.

Posted December 10, 2011 link

Do you add hot water every time you pull a godshot, and are you proud of it?

And it's not just coffee. Chef Nozawa is reputed to throw anyone who orders a California roll out of his restaurant. The respect this reputation earns him (even if it isn't quite true) more than offsets any disappointed customers he loses and contributes to the long lines at Sushi Nozawa.

I didn't order some bastardized fivebuck's pumpkin half-whatever junk. I ordered the most focused, pure coffee drink possible (with irony, I might add, while thumbing through my copy of Dwell); you know, the one they're supposedly known for, and they wanted to muck it up.
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2011, 7:40pm
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

Success in any business is about customer service. Period. Yes, you can stay in business if you don't care. Starblechs does. But then they aren't known for quality.

IF you have a reason behind saying 'no' to a customer, you have to explain the why. If you can't be bothered, then you are too bloody snooty for my tastes and I will go elsewhere. If I'm well taken care of, I'll go back.

It's pretty simple.

 
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JimWright
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Posted Sun Dec 11, 2011, 11:08am
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

Well, this one issue aside (and this doesn't really affect me, I basically always order a shot and a breve latte and even if I'm on my way out I take the shot for here and the latte to go), I have found their service impeccable as well as their coffee being the most consistently excellent of any cafe I frequent with enough regularity to make a judgment.  

Methinks this will be more than enough to keep Mitch successful - the number of people who want a ristretto (which only takes seconds to drink as it is) served in a paper cup is simply not that high.
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MarshallF
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Posted Sun Dec 11, 2011, 11:25am
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

poison Said:

I didn't order some bastardized fivebuck's pumpkin half-whatever junk. I ordered the most focused, pure coffee drink possible (with irony, I might add, while thumbing through my copy of Dwell); you know, the one they're supposedly known for, and they wanted to muck it up.

Posted December 10, 2011 link

It's always tough to imagine that, while you are looking down your nose at someone else's taste (the pumpkin latte drinker's), someone else is looking at yours the same way. Don't take it too hard. It happens all the time.
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the_coffee_nazi
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the_coffee_nazi
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Posted Sun Dec 11, 2011, 11:44am
Subject: Re: espresso profeta in westwood?
 

I was in the shop a while ago when someone ordered 2 shots to go and they wouldn't do it. The customer left without their fix and I was scratching my head.  An explanation would have helped (or a sign with an explanation). I mean, I would understand more if they didn't do it all, but they serve other drinks to go, so why not the holy grail? It reminds me of the xtranormal animation that was posted a while ago, where the Starbucks customer (obviously an aficionado) asked if they make shots to go. The employee said "sure, I don't care how you drink your coffee". (The customer turned up his nose). If the customer wants his drink to go, to drink there, or poured directly into his/her mouth, who cares? (we're not talking about some high end LA restaurant with a celebrity chef).

I really don't think it's snootiness on their part, who unless someone from there posts, I guess we won't know for sure.  

On the other hand, if I'm in pursuit of great coffee, a snooty barista isn't going to stand in my way! :-))

Steve

 
No Coffee for you!
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