ext time you race up front to rescue a pair of panicked baristas serving 100 cups an hour consider the 2000-cupsper hour Texas-sized chuck wagon breakfasts, church services for 1000 and the annual Lance Armstrong bicycle race R.C. Beall has mastered since 1981.
Beall, who founded Montana Coffee Traders (and its Austin, Tex. twin), cut his teeth on Montana rodeos which remain among the more challenging venues for the Montana/Texas-based roaster who sells and services coffee brewing equipment and operates retail shops in Kalispell, Whitefish, Flathead and Columbia Falls Montana as well as the University of Texas, Austin. www.coffeetraders.com A Licensed Q-Grader, Beall doesn’t serve swill. He does good business in high-volume brewing, delivering 50 to 250 fresh-brewed gallons at a time. In some venues a shop can earn $35 per gallon retail which is what hotels charge (or $160 wholesale at $1 a cup delivered in 10-gallon containers). Every shop should offer catered coffee in 96-oz. insulated cardboard takeaway. The business is profitable at $18 for regular brew but what Beall has learned is the ability to scale up for events like the popular Austin City Limits concerts and city-wide extravaganzas. Churches are a significant part of his customer base, says Paul Ballenger, founder of Nashville, Tenn.-based Coffee Makers Etc. In the half hour following services it is not unusual for churches to serve 500 to 1000 8-ounce cups from a dozen serving stations. www.coffeemakersetc.com “Pastors know that it doesn’t look good to serve bad coffee,” he observes. Ballenger has a lot to say in praise of the gear itself. Modern brewers are not the over-heating over-extracting percolators of yore. Next generation 4.5- to 45-gallon per hour brewers from BUNN, Fetco, Grindmaster, and Wilbur Curtis provide precise temperature controls, extraction brewing, interchangeable heat-conserving thermal dispensers and pulse brewing technology to please the crowds. You can serve good – even great coffee – in quantity if you have the right equipment and make preparations well in advance, says Beall, “You just have to get up well before dawn.” “Our challenge as specialty roasters 30 years ago was the 10-cent bottomless cup at small town cafes,” he explains. “We were situated outside Glacier Park surrounded by 4 million acres of wilderness. Everything was far apart. We learned to do things long distance.” That’s how he discovered the key to success, he explains. “It’s too much trouble to take brewing equipment to a rodeo and set it up. We brew doublestrength coffee in a row of French presses and add hot water to taste,” he says. Delivering 3,750 pounds of brewed coffee poses logistical problems that may require a forklift, two pickup trucks and pallets, but that’s often a lot easier than finding a supply of filtered water.
by Dan Bolton 6SHHG\DQG&RQVLVWHQW6XSHU$XWRPDWLFV%\'DQ%ROWRQ When confronting a lengthy queue thirsting for more than simple brew — a high volume SuperAutomatic is the solution. Any event, restaurant or coffee shop that draws big crowds will find that hundreds of these folks prefer espresso drinks. Even the fastest barista manning a semi-automatic will be exhausted long before the lines dissipate, making SuperAutomatics the ideal solution. Melitta’s c35 was developed for McDonald’s in Japan. Melitta’s c35 gets its name from its slim design (35 centimeters wide), but this machine can deliver 250 espresso drinks an hour, according to Krista Reddington, Marketing Manager at the firm’s Elgin, Ill. office. Currently about half the McDonald’s in the U.S. are equipped with Melitta machines. Melitta Bentz invented drip style coffee in 1908 when the Minden, Germany housewife modified a brass pot, lined it with blotting paper and poured hot water over the grounds. Since then, technology has advanced and Melitta’s new c35 SuperAutomatic features touch screen technology, variable pressure settings, precision controls and programmable memory, but it shares the simple, solid foundation on which the company’s reputation is built. Several reasons justify the expense of a SuperAutomatic. The machines are speedy, they are easy to clean, they take up little space, they are reliable and they are convenient but the most important characteristic by far is consistency, says Reddington. The c35 monitors brew temperature, time and pressure, which can be individually adjusted for each beverage. “It delivers the same drink in the morning and afternoon, regardless of who is operating the equipment,” she says. Convenience and consistency define this class of high-volume machine, but what of the taste? “The quality is excellent,” says Reddington who explains that thanks to automatic monitoring the c35 reduces human error, the most problematic challenge in QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) and high-volume applications. “This machine makes as good a cup as you can make,” she says. “At SCAA we compared it with what they were doing with traditional espresso machines using the same recipe,” says Reddington. “The expectation was that the quality wouldn’t be similar, but it is surprisingly good and that quality is there consistently,” she says. “A barista can deliver the best espresso you have ever had,” she adds. “Some, when you drink their espresso, is almost magical,” but not every barista has a magical touch, and no barista can serve 2000 cups in an eight-hour shift. The c35 comes in four models and can be configured with one or two grinders. Pressure settings are from 0 to 1500 Newtons. The machines feature double boilers and are “clean-in-place”. Water filtration equipment and refrigeration for machines with a milk option are separate. Here are list prices: C35 1 step w/one milk option: $22,995.00 C35 1 step w/2 milk options: $22,995.00 C35 2 step with manual steam: $17,225.00 C35 with auto steam: $17,925.00 The c35 was introduced in February and is currently shipping. They are available through several different channels including distributors and roasters. To learn more visit Melitta SystemService (MSS) at www.MelittaSystemService.com.
10 May 2011
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