Friday, May 17, 2013

Coffee is big business these days. You only have to look at the recent statistics provided by the Rainforest Alliance, which reveal that over 25 million people in the tropics have a vested interest in this crop, as it forms the basis for their e countries’ economic stability.

Coffee farmers are aware that this is risky business as despite the huge demand for this commodity, there are still difficult challenges to face. This is why organisations like Rainforest Alliance and the Fairtrade Foundation seek to give these producers a better deal for their work.

However, it is not only the coffee suppliers who have to stand up against low prices, rising costs and often government policies which are far from unhelpful. This David versus Goliath situation is now being seen at the other end of the chain too.

In New York, it has recently been reported that a number of small, independent coffee shops are popping up in Manhattan, with the task of taking on international brands like Starbucks – which boasts a shop on nearly every corner of the island.

The success of these coffee spots is hard not to notice though, as morning queues can often run into double figures and lead to a patient build up of folk eager for their taste of high quality coffee.

The example set at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, with no tables or seats set out, has shown that not everyone is interested in sitting down in the place where they buy their coffee, or even faster coffee, like they could get down the road; their main concern is the coffee itself.

It is hard to imagine but the single-location coffee shops and smaller chains now make up a greater number than the larger chains. This would have been unheard of just a short time ago. Competition here seems to be thriving, with the smaller companies ready for the challenge.

Even closer to home, in London, the independent cafes are working hard to provide a great experience for their customers, with service at the forefront of all they do. Having a close relationship with the coffee producers themselves is also mentioned as being important.

The sourcing of coffee is becoming increasingly key to those setting up their own establishments as knowing where the coffee came from is something more and more people want to find out about.

Independent coffee shops have a strategic advantage over the big names as they can work on the style of the setting and get in great-tasting coffee their customers will love. The passion for the product is a big concern for those looking to establish their own caf├ęs, as they want staff to get on-board with their ethos right away.

There are now plenty of places to go for fine tasting coffee in the UK, with independent coffee shops now aware of what their customers feel is most important to them. The success of these establishments is testament to the notion that small can be beautiful and sometimes that is what people prefer.

About The Author:

Steve Birdsall is a self-confessed coffee aficionado who likes to know where his coffee comes from. For those looking for a supplier of coffee beans for their operations, why not check out

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