Tag Archives: coffee

Words in Golden Silence

16 Jun

When I read a newspaper, listen to the radio or overhear what people are saying in a cafe as I walk by, I often feel an aversion, even disappointment sometimes at the same words written and spoken over and over-

at the same time expressions, phrases and metaphors repeated. And the worst is, when I listen to myself I have to admit that I can endlessly repeat the same things. They’re so horribly frayed and threadbare, these words, worn down by constant use.

Do they still have any meaning?

Naturally, words have a function; people act on them, they laugh, they cry, they go left or right, the waiter brings the coffee or tea. But thats not what I want to ask.

The question is, are they still expressions of thoughts? Or only effective sounds that drive people in one direction or the other.
I don’t know if its the same language spoken in a different tone, accent or what have you. But it lets you listen a little closer I guess.

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A Better Project

6 Apr

The Better Project is something I stumbled across neatly whilst surfing my vast array of blog listings and links and clicks or what have you. But this is one neat little project worth another mention.

The Better Project harnesses a sort of  collaborative power of teh interwebs to help make anything better. Litterally anything.

It takes just a few minutes to set up your own project for instance, invite others and start sharing and discussing ideas around topics and interests you care about and want to see change towards. ..Such as coffee…Becuase I had a *nasty* one on the weekend.

But all bad coffees aside, thinking about the way this works though, it could become a good platform for companies and programs or  places to generate feedback and actually listen to the audience at home…or for something/someone new to fill a space where so much is collectively missing.

Anyway, enough babble… have a look.

The Better Project.

We tried to make it work, you in a cocktail skirt…

26 Aug
say hello goodbye.

say hello, wave goodbye.

Last week, a friend and I were engaged in a conversation after a long anticipated wait for a table at a new-ish coffee spot in the burbs of Melbourne.
Now, I don’t normally trek that far away to find decent coffee, I know my sources, stick to them and enjoy them as they are. But this time, I was up for a challenge, and could no longer fight the rave reviews of this new little hot spot.

So open mind, empty cup and a sure a 25 minute wait (not necessarily a bad thing), we sat down.

The context was minimal and warming; the staff polite enough and the coffee? Fantastic, fresh and accompanied with swift delivery.

-But-

And there seems to usually be a ‘but’ lately.

The ambience took a plunge; the sound around us seemed to drop to a silent whisper as the waitress abruptly requested for the two women sitting adjacent to leave.

“Can you please clear up your bill and leave, we have got customers waiting for this table and you’ve had it long enough.”

And as she snatched the cash from the unwilling and embarrassed patron, she flicked her neck towards us and said, “We don’t usually ask our customers to leave, its just they’ve been there for 2.5hours on 2 coffees. You know?”

No. I don’t know.

Are we all on a timer here?

Now I have done my fair share of customer service, worked in a few cafes around the city. Never have I seen this form of customer service. I mean, we’ve all seen the soup Nazi on Seinfeld and laughed, but this was just plain ‘real life’ ignominy.

Which draws me back to a point Seth Godin makes about value of customer service:

“If you treat a customer like he’s wrong, he’s going to leave, and probably tell a bunch of other people.”

Calling new businesses.
One irrefutable way to market yourself is by word of mouth.

People trust personal experience. If my friends tell me it was a good coffee, I’ll bank on that, they tell me it was a horrible experience – I won’t waste a minute of my time. And I’ll be sure to pass that on for them as well.

Basic knowledge. These women were offended. Hell, I was offended. And they sure as hell won’t be returning with friends anytime soon.

And for those of you still unsure about the value of customer service?
Please. Do us all a favour and look at this.

Can we design the client too?

24 Aug

    Because we all get a little lost sometimes underneath the heavy Monday mornings, the 3rd cup of deep, dark, black coffee and an evil client that fails to surprise with emails asking:
    “Errmmm… can you make the logo just a little bigger? …ok ALOT bigger.
    And by 9am. Good? Great.”

    • Imagination is more important than knowledge.
    • Designers are meant to be loved. Not to be understood.
    • The best designers are the ones who find the good clients.
    • Design must seduce, shape, and most importantly, evoke an emotional response

    Amazing, I know.
    Available as limited edition poster art from here. So be quick.

    Amen.

    It’s an Obama-thon

    19 Jul

    This just in…

    It’s only for those seeking a change.
    When the standard is just not enough anymore… Why not try an Obama Blend. Available within the hearts of all good Americans …and apparently Campo’s Coffee.

    Waiter… What the hell is that in my cup?

    19 Jul
    A trip to the Gold Coast has made me realize how much I appreciate need good coffee. After discussing the consistently amazing coffee available from Melbourne’s St. Ali to Sydney’s Campo’s with my good friend, Amelia and we found ourselves reminiscing the consistently bad coffee too.
    The Goldcoast, bless the sunshine and hideously kitsch souvenirs, cannot for the life of its tourism, bear a cup even reminiscent to the concept of drinkable coffee.
    In front of me sits a form of coffee that smells so scorched, that Satan himself could have very well excreted it. It bears a sour bitterness that only the most naive American tourist could enjoy. With an unsatisfied palate and gut-wrenched nerves I shudder, and that will still be $5.50 thank you very much.

    Resisting the urge to stamp a rather sharp fork through the hand of the highly incapable barista, I pass my coffee on to much more appreciating hands – The trash by the door.

     Real coffee, believe it or not, is not that hard to come across. Once you bypass the generic array of Starbucks or Gloria Jeans franchises that appear to be taking over in a rampage of flat, flavourless, bland frappee affairs, you will find it. The wonderful world of preeminent places that makes me proud to call Melbourne home. 
    I remember being possibly two Gloria Jeans away from topping myself when I stumbled over a unassuming yet tasteful caffeine trading hole in the wall. The room was full of life and an intoxicating aroma that was almost enough to satisfy my cravings alone. I found myself akin to the bottom feeding students and arrogant BMW driving socialites that surrounded me. All of us in search of one common denominator; real coffee from a place with no attitude, no fancy gimmicks and certainly no replica coffee chain.
    Now excuse me whilst I order another long black.  

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Never the same…

    21 May

    Walking in the sun, I take in the colours, sounds smells without focusing on any precise details. I’m in a haze of the world. I pass a table of older people drinking coffee and catch a fragment of conversation: “I was never the same after that…”
    What were they talking about? The phrase haunts me for the rest of the day.