Chapter 13 of the COVID-19 Coffee Survival Guide for Cafes

What is the recommended way for Coffee Shops to open again after the pandemic?

Coffee Shop checklist for re-opening:

If your machine was turned off for a long time during social distancing, when starting up the machine make sure you stick around for 1.5 hours to make sure there are no leaks. Some pumps may develop leaks when not in use for a long time, and also some seals and gaskets may dry out or crack from extra expansion and contraction. Maybe even put some dry paper towels underneath to see if it is leaking in a small way. Even one drop every few seconds can add up to a gallon of water in a day , so make sure you don’t just turn it on and leave it overnight.

Essentially, anything that is plumbed in, make sure you just wait a couple hours before you walk away to insure there are no slow or fast leaks.

Dishwasher: Run at least one cycle without any dishes in it. Retest for temperature if you rely on heat for sanitation ( check with your local health inspector for guidelines) and if you use sanitizing additives to chemically sanitize dishes, make sure the pump is working. Easiest way is to make a mark with a felt pen on the side of the jug of sanitizing solution, to indicate the liquid level. Then run 5 racks of dirty dishes and see if the level of the solution in the jug went down.

Put up partitions: most businesses are using plexiglass for this. Baseline is it should protect both your employees and your customer from spray produced by talking without a mask. Handwashing: Increase your stations for this. Make sure you have an extra garbage can and disposable single use paper towels for drying their hands. Front Door /

Entry: Need an extra garbage can (take the lid off so paper can be just tossed in ) for disposable single use paper towels for people that don’t want to touch doors and aren't wearing gloves. This will allow for them to open and close the door by using a paper towel.

Make sure your doors are marked pull or push to decrease the number of times doors are touched.

Mark your floors with bright colored tape to measure out social distancing guidelines.

Review and or create your Dishpit Policy: make sure that there is one designated spot "A" to put dirty dishes. Another spot "B" should be designated to load dirty dishes in the dishwasher racks. And finally a third spot "C" should be designated for clean racks of dishes that have just been washed, to air dry. It is important that nobody ever puts dirty dishes in the air dry location. Staff need to be confident that whatever they grab from the air dry location ‘C’ is clean.

Understandably, every shop will have challenges to create these three spots, A,B, and C. Here is an example for a limited sized shop.

Example: Dirty dishes are put in one sink only, this becomes your spot A. Dishes, after being rinsed with hot water in the sink, are loaded from the dirty sink spot A, to an empty racked placed INSIDE the dishwasher , so the inside of the dishwasher becomes spot B. Once the dishwasher is finished its cycle , the hot dishes are placed on TOP of the dishwasher ( spot C) to air dry.

Where coffee shops typically make mistakes is that they use the top of the dishwasher to air dry clean dishes AND to load dishes. It's so easy to mistakenly add a dirty cup to a clean rack, and even easier to assume everything in the clean rack is clean, so you grab a cup and pour a drink into it. Loading only IN the dishwasher vs the top of the dishwasher solves this problem.

I also see people leave the dirty dishes on top of the dishwasher and instead of taking the clean rack of dishes out to air dry, they instead just leave the rack there on the open dishwasher.

Although this method ensures there is a separate spot to load and air dry, the problem is that leaving a commercial dishwashers door open consumes a lot of energy, as the heating element stays on, and also a great deal of humidity is released into the coffee shop.

The other consideration of this method is that the dishes never fully dry with all the steam inside the dishwasher. Another point to consider is that if you load dirty dishes on top of the dishwasher, you need to constantly sanitize the toxic sludge on top of the dishwasher. If you load IN the dishwasher, you never have to clean the dishwasher because it's a dishwasher! It cleans itself duhh.

Loading and Unloading supplies: Develop a procedure for receiving and shipping personnel. When receiving new items, ( if you don't need to use it right away) when possible, have the delivery person set it aside in a taped off quarantine area or if you're lucky enough to designate a quarantine fridge for new perishable items. Instruct staff not touch those items for 24 hours so the boxes can be used or put away the next day without having to sanitize them.

Obviously increase the amount of cleaning and disinfecting you do and you may want to set an hourly alarm to remind staff to change all towels to fresh ones. This is especially critical for steam wand cloths, table wiping towels and dishcloths.

How to reduce your risk as a Customer: Request take away cups. Avoid the cream and sugar station as it could be the most contaminated area in the whole establishment.

The easiest way to avoid cream and sugar in your coffee is to buy higher quality coffee, you will taste that it is naturally sweet as opposed to the dark burnt, bitter stuff from chain stores, so try out a local independent coffee shop.

If you switch to lattes, it will already have the milk added for you and be sweetened because of it. If you must put sugar and/or cream in your coffee, speak to your local coffee shop about putting out individual packets of sugar in something that makes it easy to pick one packet up, and ask them to switch to single serving capsules of cream.

If you must handle a sugar shaker or a creamer jug, use gloves, or set your drink aside and go wash your hands before you drink.

An option your coffee shop may have to adopt is to start adding the cream and/or sugar for you, if the individual portion items aren't being provided.

That's all for now.

"Yoda’s training is that BELIEF is very important to using the Force. Luke said that lifting rocks is different from lifting an X-Wing fighter and Yoda told him there was no difference, the only difference was in his mind. He also talked about “Unlearning what you have learned'… I guess I was influenced by star wars as a kid more than I realized. .."





Chapter 1: If you’re ready to make a change and freshen up your coffee game, consider making your coffee at home. To produce quality coffee at home, like the ones you normally find in the coffee shops, follow these 3 simple rules... Read More >

Chapter 2: Now that you understand freshness as it pertains to coffee beans (3-14 days from its BIRTH DATE or Roast date, and only buy enough to last a week) . This will give us a good starting point because we finally have some quality ingredients...Learn More >

Chapter 3: Ok.. you managed to escape the matrix and now that you have acquired the supplies needed to take on the coffee universe on your own, we are here to offer you some help!

4 Tools Needed to Brew Coffee At Home... Read More >

Chapter 4: If you have Italian friends, and they offer you a "caffe" , chances are they pull out a stove top device that unscrews in four parts, (base, top pouring chamber or pitcher, basket and basket cover) called a Moka Pot...Learn More >

Chapter 5: I have a personal problem with pour over people because they tend to hold the opinion that pour overs like Hario v60, Chemex, Kalita, are great, but that batch brew Drip Coffee Makers suck. The reality is...Read More >

Chapter 6: Let's explore further why the proponents of Cold Brew coffee are so maniacal in their support of this process. 4 reasons: ... Learn More >

Chapter 7: Frankly this viral hype surprises most of us in the industry but, in my opinion, it is a good thing that people are seeking innovation when it comes to coffee beverages. I just wish it didn’t involve instant coffee! ... Learn More >

Chapter 8: Prior to the cold brew fad, the go-to method of making a cold coffee was to utilize the alien👽 technology known as ice.

Apparently, when you add ice to things, they get colder...Learn More >

Chapter 9: If you survive this chapter, you will have my respect, and moreover, you will have learned about the basic principles of extraction...Learn More >

Chapter 10:We are revisiting a brewing device that was long ago dismissed as an alternative for espresso. Of course I'm talking about the Aeropress. Full admission. I was an anti Aeropress-er (not anymore). For those of you not familiar with the Aeropress way of making coffee it's a strange looking plastic device that looks like a giant syringe...Learn More >

Chapter 11: I'm going to tread into dangerous waters here and talk about one of the most controversial taboo subjects in the realm of 3rd and 4th wave coffee (aka pretentious coffee). What am I talking about? Blended drinks.. , AKA frappuccinos...Learn More >

Chapter 12:There is a false belief marketed that you need to spend a lot of money on specialized equipment in order to make good coffee and latte art. This insidious belief implies you need to...Learn More >

Chapter 13:The easiest way to avoid cream and sugar in your coffee is to buy higher quality coffee, you will taste that it is naturally sweet as opposed to the dark burnt, bitter stuff from chain stores, so try out a local independent coffee shop...Learn More >

Post Pandemic:Luckily, in the past the coffee industry has proven itself relatively recession-proof. Big question is, if it is pandemic proof ?...Learn More >

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