Today (which is Saturday. I usually post blog posts a couple of days after I write them because I either: forget to post a blog post or have other articles to post.) I visited four speciality coffee shops in Edinburgh. In doing so, I was able to experience four different service interactions with coffee shops. I just started thinking to myself that today I saw some interesting things so I wanted to share them on my blog.
I first want to comment on Union Brew Lab, where I had an excellent coffee earlier today. At Union Brew Lab, I ordered a batch brew, which came in a metal pitcher similar to the kind of pitcher in which one would steam milk for latte art. I have never ordered a batch brew before and I wanted to explore something new. I was also served a glass bottle of water and a glass from which to drink my water. The glass bottle was lovely. When my coffee arrived, I was presented with a white tulip cup and my pitcher full of coffee.
First, I am intrigued by the amount of coffee I received. It was probably about equal to a regular cup but the way in which it was served made me think I had a lot more coffee. The pitcher was quite full and the cup was big but not as big as a regular mug. This meant I was able to pour a few cups of coffee from the pitcher, which felt very good. I enjoyed pouring the coffee every time.
Second, I liked the thought that went into offering customers a glass bottle and a glass from which to consume the water. I chose not to drink the water but I could have decanted it and had quite a bit of water without having to ask for more. This is something I have seen in other service experiences before but I only just became conscious of how nice it is to have a bottle of water given to you without having to ask.
At Lowdown Coffee, I was given a glass of water too, which felt great because I was actually in need of some water. After having two coffees, I did want to drink some water, which accompanied the food I had at lowdown well. The glass was quite unusual but I thought it represented Lowdown's minimalist theme well, making me think about the beautiful design of the cafe. It's amazing how much attention to detail has been put into their service.
I now want to dry pouring my coffee into a carafe before I serve it into my mug so that I can pour myself my coffee at my own pace. I can see myself doing this at my desk already and I think I'll try it tomorrow (which will be Sunday). At home, I almost always have a cup of water nearby from before I made my coffee, but now I realise that having a glass of water around isn't just something I do to keep hydrated: cafes do it, too.
These were only a few details of the many that I likely picked up on during my coffee crawl but the ones noted in this post are those that are coming to mind. There are many aspects to service—from the music playing to the layout of the cafe to the conversations you have with a barista—but I feel like a lot of them go unnoticed because I think it's quite easy to take service for granted. I had a great time today and I'm now even more appreciative of baristas and cafe owners who put thought into their service, just like they do with their coffee and cafe layout.
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