This past Monday, I learned how many consumers still needed to be exposed to great coffee. It was a very humbling, if not hair-tearing, experience.

Every Monday, there exists a Twitter chat that anyone can participate in called #foodiechats. From what I understand, #foodiechats grew organically- a solid group of Twitter foodies decided to pick a topic every week and then spend an hour and half discussing that topic. The topic is sponsored by a company or organization and the ten questions are released every ten minutes. The chat started in Chicago and has since expanded to all over the world. It becomes the top trending topic in the country every Monday night.

According to the #foodiechats site,

Each week our Twitter Chat averages 20 million impressions, 2 million followers, and over 500 contributors according to

It’s no longer only Twitter, it’s also Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Their sponsorship info page is filled with stats, like:

Facebook: The #Foodiechats Team has over 19K Friends and Fans within our company to broadcast your message.

I found #foodiechats from a few of the people I follow using the hashtag every Monday. While I’m not a HUGE foodie, I love talking about food with other people so it wasn’t difficult for me to join in. What I found were people and businesses from all over the country scheduling time in to talk to each other. They were passionate about food, loved sharing recipes and ideas, and generally enjoyed “meeting” new people. Each time I participate in it under @caffentures, I find more people to follow as well as have more follow me back. Granted, five people in the Twittersphere is nothing compared to the number of people out there. But five people who all love to talk about food and naturally share tips with each other? Golden.

Anyway, I digress. On Monday, the topic was “Coffee All Day,” sponsored by coffee roasters, Eight O’Clock Coffee. I was super excited for this chat. Here was this great opportunity to introduce people to my business! People who wanted to talk about coffee! So I made myself a big dinner (if you’re going to talk about food, you need to be full), made sure I was well-caffeinated, and then put my laptop on my fuzzy blanket.

Half an hour into the chat, I wanted to tear my hair out and pour coffee onto my keyboard. I was, from what I could read, the ONLY specialty [black] coffee drinker in the chat. Even the ones who talked about grinding fresh, then went further onto say their tips were putting sugar in their grounds or mixing it up with microwaved whipped cream.

Question 4 was the most telling: What’s your coffee making secret?

First, we have the flavor and creamer lovers:

I put cinnamon in my coffee (four people said great idea)

I add a dash of cinnamon and a piece of dark chocolate to melt in!

A piece of dark chocolate! 🙂

I add my cinnamon in with the grounds and brew it in my coffee – do the same with any spice I want to add.

Put sugar in w/ ground coffee as it brews

heavy Amish whole chocolate milk from Lancaster county pa

lots of flavoring or flavored creamer.

A few swirls of a Peppermint Chocolate-covered Spoon always goes great in #coffee during winter.

egg nog instead of cream

Always use honey for a touch of sweet

Then some funny ones:

Let someone else do it

Stronger the better 😉

The pod-makers:

Keurig. But now it makes tea instead 🙂

Can’t live without my @Keurig. Good thing @8OClockCoffee makes K-cups 🙂

Fortunate enough to have a Starbucks machine at work. Liquid gold every morning.

The alcoholics:

Baileys. 🙂

Try adding half a shot of whipped cream vodka to your espresso! Adds creamy & sweet & booze!

Some odd ones:

Another little trick for brewing coffee is some clean egg shells or chickory – love that smoke from chicory! & a beignet!

Let Starbucks do it 😉 Shh don’t tell.

Use distilled water!

For me it’s espresso. And can only be made in one way. The Bialetti.

And finally, some saner people:

I grind it fresh from beans everytime

No secret, just freshly ground beans, Peruvian dark roast

Burr grinder and a French press

My coffee making secret is always a shot of booze! LOL. OK, it’s really freshly ground beans & filtered water!

Throw away your french press. Invest in a simple pour over set up.

Sad eyes in the direction of my dude. When that fails: elec. kettle, Fr. press & kitchen scale

Me: Grind fresh coffee, make a hot pourover in the am, store extra immediately in the fridge. Drink the rest in the pm.

Oh wait- I forgot to mention this one (OMGWHY):

I do my milk frothing with a blender and the microwave!

And the ever-lovely, freezer storage tip:

Keep your coffee in the freezer!

But someone responded!

It is horrible for the freshness of the coffee. #FoodieChats The natural oils help with the flavor.

Next question: What do you like to dip into your coffee?

Best thing to dip in coffee is a gingersnap – then when the soggy cookie falls in at least you have gingersnap coffee!

And this is where I stopped trying to read more and just salvage what was left of my sanity.

As you can tell, there aren’t that many people who are drinking coffee black… or even decent coffee to begin with. I didn’t even list out all the answers. There was one mention of a pourover, a few French presses, and two stovetops. I cleared up the awful freezer myth for a few people, and then just kind of dove into bed and cried.

So what did I take away from this?

1) There are an awful lot of people who participate in #foodiechats and drink really poor coffee.
2) Every conversation counts. Pick your battles. As a business, I want to educate consumers SLOWLY. And have a reputation as being receptive to everyone’s taste interests.

Ultimate goal was to build a reputation as a good source of coffee info in the Chicago area (and online). As a business or as a person who wants to build their online reputation, Twitter chats are perfect. They’re easy, don’t take up too much time, and no one can tell if you’re just sitting in your pajamas munching on chips. As a coffee professional, this chat in particular gave insight on what consumers were drinking and talking about.