Back in 2011, I was working in Melbourne, flying in/out from my home town every week, for about 3 years, until late 2014. I was subjected to coffee snobbery in its finest. Melbourne, in case you didn’t know, has peak coffee culture; you get coffee wrong in Melbourne and people will literally fight you (exaggeration).
My idea at the time was to start a coffee analytics platform, which would have real time analytics of coffee shops based on reviews (this is still a work in progress), but the vision was blurred for many, many years and delayed with all of life’s challenges along the way. This year, 2020, I’ve finally published the first round of my product.
brewstr (https://brewstr.coffee) is now a coffee review style site; crafted from thousands of researched cafes around the world, I have been adding new cafes on the daily around the world; both from brick & mortar visits whilst travelling and trawling the bowels of Instagram and many other sites. I’m hoping that we have something for everyone, but the work has only just begun.
Next, I need users. This is my current focus; trying to get cafes to actively be involved with the site and to promote their patrons into reviewing their cafes; this is harder than I thought, but every user signup and review is giving me butterflies!!
At ‘launch’, we have over 3300 listings from the following cities:
The biggest piece of feedback to date is that ‘there are only x number of cafes in my area’ which has almost always prompted quick research to add some; I’ve been very proactive in that manner, but it’s also a challenge to find the best local cafes; we are trying to find better ways to find those really awesome coffee shops which are hidden down alley ways or hole in the wall type stores which you just have to be a local to know. This is really what we’re trying to uncover with the app so that everyone can find these cafes without actually being a local.
Furthermore, it’s highlighted a massive injustice on coffee shops in general… How many times do you go to a coffee shop based on a 4-5 star review, to find your coffee to be pretty mediocre? By breaking the ratings system into three categories, brewstr aims to more accurately portray how good (or bad) a coffee shop’s coffee quality actually is.
What I’ve learned along the way is almost everything about coffee. Having a Breville Barista Express espresso machine at home, I thought I already had a great deal of knowledge around coffee; but I was really just beginning. Years of cappucinos and lattes are blinding; there’s so much more to coffee.
I’ve pulled out my Moka pot numerous times, and learned how to clean it properly (yeah, you don’t just rinse and scrub the top/bottom parts), learned how to brew Turkish coffee (which is amazingggg), and read multiple books about the origins and every little aspect of coffee from the seed to the bean to the cup.
I hope this new creation of mine will help travellers and coffee snobs alike, to find the best local coffee experiences around the world!