Know Your Coffee - How good is your Barista?
Sup fellas! (and lady fellas)
Cole here back with another coffee blog! and without further ado lets look for...
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING COFFEE FROM A COFFEE SHOP!
So we have talked about the kinds of coffee I drink and when I drink them <HERE>.
But today I want to make sure you are aware of what goes on in the coffee shop and what to look for when you order coffee... Because you don't want a half-assed product after all.
When you go to a coffee shop and treat yourself to a Latte or Cappuccino, do you know what to listen and look out for to make sure the Barista is making your drink properly?
Pay attention as I'm about to let you in on some Barista secrets so you know you are getting the finest coffee they can make.... and yes, this DOES give you the right to be a total snob and request they make it right! You wouldn't buy a king sized bed and settle for a single would you? NO! so why settle for a semi-decent coffee when you sir (or mam) DESERVE THE BEST!
Extraction time is the length of time it takes the water to travel through the Grouphead and into the cup. Everyones opinion on what is the correct time will vary pallet to pallet, but ideally extraction time can be anywhere between 20-30 seconds. (depending on various factors like how fine the grind is and the temperature of the shot ect)
I once worked at a cafe who thought 5 seconds meant that their machine was super good and fast.... No, they were dumb, (and hated me for pointing it out) That meant that their grind was so course that water rushed through it and came out tasting incredibly under-extracted, leaving a horrid, sour taste.
Next time you hear the Barista push the button to extract your coffee, start the old timer on your phone so you know you are getting the best quality product.
So what you wana do here is grab a big old baseball bat and go to town on some people... wait... wrong kind of purge... my bad... I should really apologise to that old lady...
One of the main things I was taught when learning to become a Barista was that a clean machine will not only perform better, but will last longer... No, I'm not talking about sex here... without breaking (you wont believe the amount of times I had to call out my guy to come fix careless workers coffee machines)
A couple things a Barista should always do before using the machine is purging the wand (steam arm) and purging the Grouphead. After frothing or heating milk, milk usually stains the outer side of the wand which should always be wiped down with a damp cloth after each use. But what you may not know (which hopefully the Barista does) is that the left over milk is actually still inside the wand which then cools and can damage it. Before and after every jug of milk is heated a good Barista will always purge the wand for a few seconds to clear any cooled, trapped moisture inside the pipe. Check for this next time you grab yourself a hot drink. Equally the Grouphead usually always has leftover coffee remains which can impact the extraction time of the next coffee made. Make sure the Barista clears this too by pushing a button to flush some water through it.
Milk (re-usage and texturing)
First of all. If you watch your Barista pick up a jug and start frothing. Chances are the milk is being re-used. You should always be given fresh milk from a carton and never leftovers.
Milk that has been used already and left to cool has already had its proteins expanded, aside from that its also poor hygiene standards to allow the milk to cool to room temperature to then re-heat it. Milk should always be cold and fresh, or hot.
If your Barista picks up an old jug and says it's fine to add new milk, they are lazy and wrong. Some will argue it's safe and fine to do this which... I guess it's okay depending on your standards, but I wouldn't call them a good Barista with bad practice like that.
Before you comment it... Yes, I'm very aware I sound like a pretentious twat... some people collect stamps, others study stars, I just love my coffee!
LETS TALK LATTE ART! ... it does NOTHING to your drink. That's right folks. Latte art looks awesome and believe me I wish I could do more than my little flower designs but the reality is it doesn't change the taste of your coffee at all. So if your Barista does all of the above correctly, but doesn't do any art. Don't worry, your drink will be FABBY!
Thats all from me today folks!
I'm loving doing these coffee blogs and I'm hoping you are enjoying them too.
Let me know in the comments below what else you would like to know/learn about coffee? I am thinking of doing a crash course to being a Barista. Interested? Let me Know!
As always, thanks for reading!
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