Every time you visit a business, be it to buy a product, sell your services or apply for a job, it is always a good idea to try to read between the lines and feel what the people you meet aren't telling you.
Take a look at the employees: Young? Old? Cheerful? Tired? Looking at the carpet?
What does the place looks like: Old dusty furniture? Ugly expensive stuff? Bland and corporate? Messy or structured in an obsessive-compulsive way?
I could go on and on, but there's one easy and fail-safe way to judge a business: its coffee.
Trying a company's coffee is akin to visiting a restaurant restroom to get an idea of its kitchen salubrity.
If the coffee is bad, it can only mean 3 things:
1. They hire dumb people. I mean, how hard is it to make relatively good coffee?
2. They tolerate mediocrity and don't care about drinking bad coffee all day. It's just the way it is.
3. They are cheap bastards saving nickels and dimes on the coffee they serve their employees and clients.
In any case, it's off to a bad start.
For all of you coffee lovers, go and raise the bar.
If you're a small group and want to simplify your life, try small automated machines like the Nespresso or Jura.
If you're purists, get a real espresso machine, a water filter and some great coffee in beans.
Here in Montreal, the best place to get great coffee and espresso machines is Terra Café. Carlo Granito, the owner, is not only a real coffee aficionado, but his passion is contagious and he gives really good service.