Great coffee…

Why is it so difficult to make great coffee? The Coffee Club is a great place to meet, but sadly they typically cut so many corners in the training of the baristas that they just can’t overcome the ultra-cheap coffee beans that they use. By contrast though, right now I’m enjoying a $3.70 affogato from Zarraffa’s that is simply sensational.

It is served in a plastic cup, with a plastic spoon. Yet, the shot of espresso is magnificent, the atmosphere better and the experience one of enjoyment, rather than just one of drinking.

Great living comes from being totally focused in the moment; great quality comes from being totally focused on each customer… it’s not rocket science, it’s just about being there.

As a side note, Belinda (the lovely girl who took my order) just came over and asked me how I’d enjoyed it… not because she had to, but because she was genuinely interested – or at least seemed to be! To me, that’s the sort of thing that says a lot of GREAT things about the sort of culture of the company… and is very difficult to produce. Great work Zarraffa’s! (and they have franchises available in Carindale and Indooroopilly apparently)
In the current Weekend Australian (p20 of the Inquirer section) there is an interesting article entitled “Elite of the right kind”. Amongst a great deal of information on Quadrant magazine is a mention of how John Howard understands that to “win the battle of policy, you had to win the battle of history and fundamental ideas.” What a thought… to have our political leaders actually understand how the world works rather than just engaging in endless factionalism and petty point scoring.

Should Australia have a unified school curriculum? Ideally, we would have a unified set of educational outcomes, though until we can define those outcomes in terms of cognitive competencies, to interfere too much is likely to impair the diversity of outcomes that strengthen our nation even if they make it more difficult for individual students. If we are going to put education under the control of the Federal government, we need to be able to define the outcomes that we want; we don’t yet have that technology, and until we do, the Federal government should empower the States to do things their own way. Sorry Julie, but history and fundamental principles work against you this time… that said, anything is possible!

One comment on “Great coffee…

  1. I have an Aunt who has been living in New York for 10 years now who has recently completed her Master’s Degree and advises teachers how to teach in black communities. I remember her telling me how in America they are very ‘in your face’ when it comes to ordering a coffee. There is no diplomacy and no nicess for when you order a coffee it is ordered ‘flat white with sugar’ or ‘black with no milk’ etc. You are also expected to give a tip for such services. America seems like a fast place where people have become dehumanised rather than an environment which has become specialised.

    It is good when a person follows up on a service. If they go the extra distance you enjoy the service more rather than just being served and forgotten. Too often when you enter a shop especially Kmart or Big W or Tandys finding service is just about impossible and when you do, the person you have walked the mile quite often doesn’t go the full way to serve you and you end up having to figure out what it is you want yourself or go somewhere else. This also seems to be the way when you ring up to find you are talking to more people to answer just a simple question. I believe in the service industry that people want high performance, fast responses and often diplomacy just isn’t important. Working in a Library I have students who come to me looking for a book and rather than just tell them the book is not available I try to assist them with expanding their bibliogpraphy and then to see if the book they are looking for will be available in an hour, so time is not wasted.

    Your last point is an interesting one. I believe in the United States and please correct me if I am wrong, every child is taught the history of the United States, its government and other information? I believe in Australia we should follow a similar path in that an understanding of Australia’s history and its political system should be paramount. We want people to think when they vote not just be forced to vote and not have an inkling of the political system. We also need like you say for Politicians to think and obtain respect from the community rather than attack each other and just pork barrell.

    You continue to raise good debating points and discussion, please keep it up.

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