You can make coffee all sorts of ways. You can make good coffee in significantly fewer ways. There are a lot of things to control, perhaps as many as making good liqueurs. By way of a few examples, the grind relative to the brew method is very important, as is the type and freshness of the roast relative to the brew method, and as is the dwell time the water spends in the grounds (for a given brew method).
Urns and other sorts of percolators do not and cannot make for a good brew. Cooked, recirculated coffee is no better than it sounds. If you're running a twelve step program, a soup kitchen, a church social or a prison cafeteria -- forget what I said and go with the urn.
GI coffee was not good. If you remember differently, you were even more totally FUBAR than I was.
Handling large quantities quickly is very nice and all, but sorry, there are no shortcuts to quality.
Coffee should be a pleasure, not a penance.
All things considered you may be a good candidate for one of the cold brew methods. They take awhile, but the resulting "essence" preserves a lot of the coffee's nuances, allows a range of dilution, and can be stored refrigerated for a relatively long time -- which ought to take some of the pressure off your operation.
I've been following the thread, and find it interesting even in my complete ignorance. I thought liqueur making was more one-thing-at-a-time, spread out and... well... zen-like. and don't grasp the importance of doing so many different things at the same time and in the same place. What gives?
Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/14/11 at 8:36am