How would the SP9 improve business, you ask? Allow me to tell you an all too familiar story that you will no doubt relate too, it happened while I was making a pour-over last week. For starters, we only offer by the coffee fresh and by the cup at our shop, and we make it using a manual pour-over method. I was working the morning shift, making a coffee with my trusty gooseneck-stainless-steel-all-weather-all-purpose-bullet-proof kettle. After years of practice, the kettle has become an extension of my arm; I’ve built up Schwarzenegger strength in my wrists and my flow is steady like the Wu-Tang Clan. After pouring some water to let the coffee bloom, I set the kettle down to agitate (see p.35 Everything But Espresso by Scott Rao) and then resumed my pour. My eyes were locked on the scale and everything was going fine when all of the sudden I hear the phrase which will forever haunt me: “I’ll take four Coffees please.” I remain calm and cast my eyes towards the till to assess the situation. “It must be a joke”, I tell myself. “Doesn’t he know we do each coffee by the cup here, and how long that will take?” Buddy pulls out a $20, and I comprehend that he’s for real. I start doing the quick math in my head. “Two minutes per coffee, plus prep and serving time, filling the kettle, etc., It’s going to take me at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted, hands-on labour to do this by myself. Not to mention the first one will be totally cold by the time the last one is done.” I continue to pour in concentrated circles, careful not to get too close to the sides (even extraction, also p.35) as a group of five walks into the cafe and joins the line. I feel a lot of impatient eyes on me and I start to get hot. It’s the pre-work rush, and these people are kind of in a hurry, you know? I look to my left to see chits printing at the espresso machine with no one on bar — the next barista isn’t scheduled to show up for another ten minutes, and we thought we could make it until then. Upper lip sweat commences.
The line is to the door now, and as a self-defence mechanism, my mind goes into survival mode and attempts to cope with the stress. A scene from the Matrix flashes before me: The one where Neo is alone in a courtyard fighting against a million Agent Smiths that just keep on replicating at an overwhelming rate as he destroys them. I use the scene as inspiration for a moment, only to remember he survives the fight only by flying away into the sky. Like, he literally flew away as if he was Superman. I cannot fly. I am not ‘The One’. I am more like Keanu Reeves at his office job in the beginning of the movie. The customers though, they are real Agent Smiths — they just keep on coming through the door. I decide the best thing I can do to make it through is just be calm and focus. “I can do this!” I say to myself out loud. I then look down at the scale and realize I’ve over poured my target weight by 40g.
What does this all have to do with the SP9 you ask? How would it improve business? It allows me to free my hands, and to empty my mind — and in this business, that allows me to focus on the customer, and that’s everything. With double brewing capabilities, I could have been making two individual coffees at a time, hands free, with confidence they’d be accurate and consistent. And I’d be able to make a drink on the espresso bar while those are brewing, too. With the SP9, I am more than ‘The One’. I become the ‘Twin’.
Author: George Giannakos