Karin & I try to taste everything we offer at Coffee to the People, if not before we offer it, then shortly thereafter. Sundays always make for a good day to try new things, especially a Sunday like today when the sun is shining and the temperature is perfect (very rare for San Francisco). Today's treat was the chocolate cupcake with icing. Small, but very tasty. This is the kind of little gem that takes you by surprise.
This got me to thinking that we could do a better job of letting people know about all variety of options we developed here to serve up coffees and teas. We must figure out a better way to advertise these options without inundating guests with signage.
For example, in addition to getting a "cup of coffee," at Coffee to the People you can get single cup brew of any coffee we offer for the same price. Very fresh. The only drawback is that it takes about three minutes, so you don't enjoy quite the same instant gratification. But isn't that what Sunday is for? We do all of out decaf one cup at a time using the pour over method, both because the demand for decaf isn't high enough to brew a half gallon at a time (we will not keep any brewed coffee for more than an hour), and because it seems to get better flavor out of the decaf.
My personal favorite is to get the coffee in a french press. You get 2-3 cups of coffee from our french presses (they are the 1 liter size), and french pressing the coffee is one of the best ways to get the full flavor out of the coffee. Again, that way you can get any of the coffees we have.
I do see people getting these once in a while, but I think if people tried it we would have many more people getting the single cup pour over or french press brewed coffees.
On the tea front, we offer two very unusual services that I have not seen at other coffeehouses, too. First, we offer pots of "blooming tea," which, as the name suggests, are flowering buds that bloom while they steep. We have these cool little glass pots so you can see the bloom unfurl while your tea steeps.
Second, if you like chai, have these chai bowls with metal strainer straws that maximize the extraction. It's a very communal, hippy thing because people often share and pass the chai bowl around.
Anyway, we do have a little menu board where we rotate items for emphasis, but I think there has got to be a better way to get people onto these options. Are is it the comfort of habit that keeps people with "the usual"? I'm thinking of starting a Sunday experiental thing, where we offer heavily discounted items to get people to try something new.