Sydney roaster Single O has installed a world-first batch brew on-tap prototype in its newly remodeled Surry Hills café.
The new system will provide improved choice of single origins, speed of service and café efficiency. A row of four taps crowned with signage similar to that found on beer taps, will allow customers to tap to pay before pressing a button to fill their cup in 15 seconds.
Single O aims to put the spotlight on single origin coffees, educating Sydney-siders on flavour profiles and how they vary depending on region, variety and process. Black coffee consumption in their café has steadily risen from 2-3 per cent in 2003 to 23 per cent today.
“We set out to disrupt the coffee counter format and get more customers drinking black coffee, by putting batch brew in the spotlight to rival the espresso machine,” says Single O retail manager Angus Lindsay. “For all the effort, joy and reward that specialty puts into and derives from single origin coffees, most customers are still yet to try one.
“By removing the stigma of the airpot, which signifies bad American diner coffee to many Australians, and by sticking the bar under customers’ noses with a speed advantage to boot, we’re hoping batch will get the chance it deserves, helping customers and cafes with wins too.”
Compared to espresso, batch brewing is resource-efficient in reducing power, wastage, milk consumption and wage costings. There are wins for the customer too, with the batch prototype able to deliver a morning brew up to 40 times faster than espresso.
Utilising auto-serve doesn’t mean Single O is letting go of face-to-face customer service, with the business seeing it as an opportunity to engage more intensely with coffee drinkers.
“We’re strengthening the communication around single origin coffees twofold,” says head barista Ollie Hinder. “Firstly, with clear signage at each tap, which makes it easier to process, especially with often-complex spelling and pronunciation of single origins. Secondly, we’re further freed up to talk taste, guide on selection and so on.”
Along with speed, it’s this improved communication that Single O believes is key to building a bridge for more customers to cross into specialty.
Single O will celebrate ‘Free Flow: Black Coffee Day’ on Wednesday 17th of April. Anyone who visits the Surry Hills cafe that day will be invited to savour free batch coffee from the new batch tap bar — BYO reuse-able cup, borrow one of their loan-a-mugs or sit in and sample.