Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Secret Shopper "Zinger" Question

Barista Magazine this month (Feb. +Mar. 2012) has a great note from the editor, Sarah Allen. She and her sister go undercover to a new café that has opened in their town, Portland, OR. They are essentially trying to test the baristas for “snobbish-ness”.  Sarah’s sister comes up with the zinger: “Excuse me? Do you have decaf available in whole bean?”

How many of you have asked a similar question in a similar café and gotten a somewhat exasperated, confused or shocked look?  Also common – (the customary sign of great training), “um… let me ask someone.”

Fortunately, at the Portland café in this editorial (the cafe is not mentioned by name in the article), there is a very satisfying response: “On that top shelf there is the decaf roast we carry. I’m not much of a decaf drinker, but I really enjoy that one. It’s got a lot of complexity and depth. Can I brew you a cup on the house?

If this is what the new cafes in coffee-town Portland are brewing up – this is very good news!!