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P 7.03 – Costing



There is a considerable disparity between the staff cost involved in preparing a hand brew compared with preparing a mechanical brew. A component of the saving in mechanical brewing comes from the automation of the brewing process. However, the principal saving is achieved with batch brewing by producing multiple servings at once. This means that retail prices for hand brews need to be far higher than for batch-brewed coffees.

To correctly price a percolation brew for retail, it is of particular importance to know exactly how long it takes for a barista to prepare a single serving from start to finish. Using the time targets we have established as a baseline for cafe workflows (see Lesson 7.02), it is possible to prepare a batch-brewed filter coffee in less than 2 minutes. This includes all the steps, from disposing of the spent grinds of a previous batch; to rinsing and preheating the brew basket; until finally engaging the brew button. With batch brews, the brew cycle does not take additional labour because it is mechanised, so that period of time need not be included in our calculations.

To arrive at the final staff cost per serving, it is necessary to know the specifications in your cafe per serve. Baristas should endeavour to be as consistent as possible to maintain a standard serving size to ensure each batch is priced correctly. After ascertaining how many servings can be produced from a batch, the staff cost of the preparation can be divided by the number of servings. Remember from Lesson 2.02 that the liquid-retained ratio affects how much brew is available. For drip coffee, an average of 2.2 g of brew water per gram of coffee grinds is retained in the spent grinds after brewing. For example, a 2-litre batch prepared with 120 grams of coffee will tend to lose a little over 2 grams of brewed coffee per gram of coffee dosed. So, in this scenario, you would expect 264 g of brewed coffee to be retained in the grinds.