Benchmarks


No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a “benchmark” something. Benchmarks can be specific to a company, or an entire industry. In the coffee industry, I feel people avoid using the term “benchmark” because they’re too afraid of change – which honestly might be the intelligent standpoint. Things in coffee have changed a lot even since I got into industry in late 2006. I might be shooting myself in the foot here, but I feel like there *are*/might be a few consistent benchmarks in specialty coffee.

I’ll start by asking about brew methods.

Do you think there’s a benchmark brew method? – a brew method that you always use, or refer to other people? A brew method that can establish a very diverse group of points about a coffee.

So, are there any other benchmarks? Whatcha think? Are there benchmarks at all?

*item in the photo does not imply an opinion on the matter =)

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4 Responses to “Benchmarks”

  1. Mr. Pockets Says:

    i think that in the coffee industry, the lack of established benchmarks may be less attributed to a fear of change and more so to a feeling of relativism and opinion. coffee, being a culinary art form of sorts is difficult to place standards upon without compromising the art. even so, it seems that popular opinion has decided a few simple benchmarks for us. it seems that the standard brew method has been decided to be the simple pour-over, that does not necessarily mean that it’s the best brew method, and chances are in a few years that standard will change. as coffee technique and technology progresses, so will the “benchmarks”.

  2. I think pour-over is popular because of it’s success in business. If it wasn’t picked up by espresso bars as a method for showcasing the craft, people wouldn’t be so sure about it (I assume we’re talking about the V60 stuff). It doesn’t (in my opinion) provide the proper parameters for brewing good coffee. Though, I never have seen anybody in a espresso bar STIR a pour-over.

    It totally makes sense from a showcase standpoint, but I’d personally do Chemex if it came to that.

  3. There are standards. I don’t know if that’s what you mean by “benchmarks.”

    Start here: http://www.coffeed.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2965

  4. Yeah, I guess that’s what I mean. I suppose “standards” would be more universally understood.

    Thanks for the link!

    P.S. I’m hopefully picking up some WB beans on Thursday. Stoked!!!

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