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UK Store Dumps 'Confusing' Coffee Terms, Installs 'Plain English' Menu

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Photo: Debenhams

Coffee can be very confusing. Thankfully, British department store Debenhams is making it really, really, really, really, really simple for you. The new menus at their in-store coffee shops eschew fancy coffee terms like "cappuccino," "latte," "mocha" and "black coffee" (how complicated a term is "black coffee"?) in favor of "frothy coffee," "really really milky coffee," "chocolate flavoured coffee," and "simple coffee, with or without milk."

For now, the menu is only a trial at the store's location on Oxford Street in London. Chrissie Maher, founder of something called the Plain English Campaign (guess what they support), told the Daily Mirror "Whether tea or coffee, it needs to be in plain English...If customers can read the menu clearly, they're more likely to try something new and they may come back." In the press release below, they say this is because their customer feedback shows "over 70% of coffee drinkers have experienced 'coffee confusion.'" Save yourselves from coffee confusion, British people. Here's the press release. >>>

Say goodbye to cappuccino confusion Debenhams launches plain English coffee menu

The new-look drinks menu which describes coffee in simple terms has been created in direct response to customer feedback that revealed over 70% of coffee drinkers have experienced 'coffee confusion' in cafes, bars and restaurants.

No longer will coffee-lovers be in a muddle over mocha, caught out by cappuccino or embarrassed about espresso thanks to a plain English coffee menu launched by Debenhams today (29 October 2012).

Caffe latte is described as 'really really milky coffee', Cappuccino as 'frothy coffee' and Caffe mocha as 'chocolate flavoured coffee'. Black coffee is 'simple coffee, with or without milk' with espresso shot labelled as 'a shot of strong coffee'.

Rather than offering confusing 'tall' (meaning small) 'grande' (meaning large) or 'venti' (meaning extra large) coffee sizes as found in other shops, the high street retailer has also scrapped different size options, instead offering thirsty shoppers simply a 'cup' or a 'mug' of their favourite drink.

John Baker, Director of Food Services at Debenhams says: "We're trialling a redesign of our coffee menu in Oxford Street so shoppers spend less time playing coffee Cluedo and more time enjoying their favourite drink."

Chrissie Maher, Founder Director of Plain English Campaign also welcomes the new menu: "Whether it is coffee, tea or hot chocolate, it needs to be in plain English so customers can make an informed choice. If they can read the menu clearly, they are more likely to try something new – and who knows – they may come back for more."

Tea drinkers can choose from either a pot of regular tea, or a pot of speciality or fruit tea. Hot chocolate lovers can indulge in a plain and simple hot chocolate. Added extras include whipped cream, marshmallows or a flavoured syrup.

Over 100,000 coffees are sold each week in more than 160 Debenhams cafes and restaurants across the UK and Ireland, selling double the amount of tea. Coffee now represents 67% of sales compared to tea which is only 33%.

Currently being rolled out in selected stores is the award-winning Cafe Estro where everything is prepared fresh at the counter. As well as a range of freshly prepared sandwiches, salads and baguettes, hot toasties, one-pot meals like king prawn pad Thai, hot soups and jackets and indulgent cakes, customers can enjoy Debenhams' own exclusive Estro coffee, a blend of Central South American and Vietnamese beans.

In the UK, 79% of consumers drink coffee (either ground or instant)1, meaning that as a nation we consume approximately 70 million cups of coffee per day2. Of the three major hot beverage categories (coffee, tea and hot chocolate), coffee is the only one to have seen volume growth over the past three years. This suggests that it has stolen share from both hot chocolate and tea.

· Say Goodbye to Cappuccino Confusion Debenhams launches plain English coffee menu [Debenhams via Arbroath]
· All Coffee Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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