Coffee Trends: Adding a Brew Bar to Your Coffee Shop

December 13, 2013 (Published: November 13, 2012)

Coffee Brew BarPour-over coffee brewing methods are becoming increasingly popular among coffee enthusiasts – both home-brewers and coffee-shop baristas.  Also known as “hand pour coffee,” this brewing craze took Japan by storm before migrating to the U.S., where it gained momentum after The New York Times investigated its origins in “Coffee’s Slow Dance.”

Pour-over brewing equipment is relatively simple and inexpensive. Hot water is slowly poured from a goose-necked kettle over a small portion of ground coffee beans held in a filter inside a coffee brewer. It typically takes several minutes to prepare each cup of coffee, so pour-overs are priced about the same as espresso-based drinks. We’ll explore the brewing process in detail using brewers such as the Hario V60, Melitta and Chemex in upcoming posts.

Crimson Cup Coffee House introduced a brew bar last spring, and it’s become a popular and profitable element of our shop. We’ve discovered several reasons to love pour-over brewing and to consider adding it to your coffee-shop repertoire:

  • It provides control over more variables in the brewing process.
  • It highlights the unique character of each coffee, providing an opportunity to feature different origin coffees and educate your customers.
  • It adds flair to the brewing process, as the barista executes each step in a carefully choreographed dance.
  • The slower, more personal process provides an opportunity to engage customers in conversation and gain a better understanding of their tastes.
  • The brew bar provides a platform for showcasing your expertise and for creating brand ambassadors who share your passion for awesome coffee.
  • It provides an opportunity to improve your ratio by converting drip-coffee drinkers to pour-over aficionados.

In adding a brew bar, you’ll want to consider several factors:

  • Where to locate your brew bar so that it fits efficiently into your operation.
  • How to balance the slow dance of the brew bar with the fast dance of the espresso line.
  • Where to source the micro-lot and single-origin coffees that are the most popular pour-over fare.
  • How to integrate pour-over beverages into your menu.
  • How a brew bar could affect your customer traffic – and staffing needs.
  • What marketing and events will you use to advertise your brew bar?

We’d love to answer your questions about making a brew bar part of your coffee house.  Just give us a call at 888-800-9224 or use this form to ask your questions. We’ll get right back to you.

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