Increasing The Consumption Of Coffee
( Originally Published 1900 )
MUCH has unquestionably been done of late years to call attention to coffee, and many grocers have reaped a good harvest by persistently endeavouring to cultivate this branch of their business. Alas ! it must, however, be confessed that, judging by the Board of Trade returns, the consumption in the whole kingdom has remained almost stationary, and the only conclusion to be drawn is that those grocers who have increased their trade have done it at the expense of their neighbours. If such is so, then it behoves all who take any pride in their business, to stir themselves, and see what they can do to remedy this state of things ; for it is incontestible that probably nine persons out of ten will tell you that they like coffee but do not drink it. If then its benefits be brought before all alike, it must result in an improved demand and consumption.
The roasting of coffee in the shop is undoubtedly an excellent way of attracting attention to it, but it is most important that the same should be done with care and under supervision. If it is left to whoever can be spared, the result will be that no two roastings are alike and a mixture of half-burnt and half-raw coffee may be sent out, simply fatal to success, in either attracting new customers or long retaining old ones. Under the head of " roasting " it has been already said that coffee must be freshly ground, and to this end a grocer might wisely stock a reliable household mill, which he might offer to those who were in the habit of buying it ground, less frequently than every day. He might introduce a system of coupons whereby a mill would be given after a certain number of purchases, with the almost certain result of an increased trade from the great benefits that the consumer would experience from coffee made from the freshly ground. Unfortunately, it is only too true that in the average household there is a strong objection to trouble, and this will be a drawback to the introduction of mills for grinding. When this is the case it would be well to encourage the delivery of coffee at the house every day in order to ensure freshness. To win new customers there is probably no better way than giving a demonstration of coffee-making, together with the presentation of a cup of hot, well-made coffee to all who will take it. There are numbers in every town who have never tasted coffee pure, even if they have tasted that which passes for such under the name of " French " or " Essence." To these a cup of really good, pure coffee will come as a revelation, and is almost certain to induce a desire for a closer acquaintance with it. When once a taste for such has been stimulated and the benefit of a cup at breakfast. and perhaps after dinner as well, has been found out, the continued use of it is assured to the abolishing of all other substitutes.