Burning Coffee

1 Jul

Tip: Start your shot immediately

Hit the on switch fast! An espresso machine can start burning coffee faster than someone can say, “Man that coffee stinks!” As soon as the coffee grounds in your portafilter touch the screen on the grouphead the heat from the machine might start burning coffee. This is why it is important to start running water through your shot as soon as the machine is loaded. There’s only one way to stop the machine from burning coffee while it is loaded. The water that’s used when pulling a shot cools the coffee grounds to a more desirable temperature. Water brews coffee instead of burning coffee. Start that shot fast or try to enjoy a cup of hot burning coffee.

Tamp Espresso

24 Jun

Tip: Level your tamp

Become one with the espresso machine and tamp espresso correctly. It’s important to tamp espresso level to ensure that strong relationship with the espresso machine. Tamp the espresso level to avoid unwanted trips to the marriage counselor. A level tamp is the best way to tamp espresso. The top of the coffee grounds should be flat and parallel with the flat part of the group head. Tamp espresso so that there are no spaces between the coffee and the screen where water comes out. Tamp espresso in this fashion to make a happy espresso machine. The espresso machine is doing all the hard work; it creates the high pressure that juices that level tamp for all its coffee goodness. So, to ensure that pressure goes into the coffee grounds and not into the mix of wonderful coffee odors around the shop, tamp espresso level. When the flat part of the coffee grounds comes into contact with the flat part of the group head no air or water can escape. This keeps the pressure contained. After grinding beans into your portafilter tamp espresso level and spin the tamper turn of the wrist to smooth it out. Also brush aside any excess coffee grinds. These grinds will get between your skillfully tamped espresso and the group head. Grinds prevent a flush fusion between the coffee and the machine. Do your best to ensure level contact between your dose of grinds and the machine by filling and tamping a portafilter with a level amount of coffee..

Coffee Filters

17 Jun

Tip: Wet the coffee filters

Rinse the nasty taste off those coffee filters before you brew! Hopefully parents have stopped putting soap in their children’s mouths long ago. The taste of that soap is probably not far from the taste of coffee filters. The bad papery taste of coffee filters will leach out into coffee as it brews. So save the soap flavor for the children and get rid of it before the coffee is brewed. By simply rinsing the coffee filters with water before coffee is brewed in them that terrible taste of paper will leave. Not only will rinsing coffee filters before brewing coffee make the coffee taste better; it will make it safer to drink. Some coffee filters are processed and bleached. Rinsing the coffee filters removes some of this chemical processing. Rinsing coffee filters also helps allow coffee to pass through the paper. By rinsing coffee filters before use, the paper is dampened and thinned. Let those yummy juices flow! And let the love of coffee flow into your pot without the yucky flavor of paper and chemicals.

Rinsing coffee filters is easy and beneficial. There are several ways to rinse coffee filters, but try rinsing the filters while preheating the cup or pot. If hot water is poured through the filter into a pot or cup it will heat the container as well as rinse the coffee filters. This is a common two-birds approach to rinsing coffee filters.

World Barista Champion, Gwilym Davies, explains the importance of tamping the espresso.

10 Jun


3 Jun

Tip: Dry (or rinse) your portafilter

Does anyone here like burnt or re-brewed coffee from their portafilter? There are several reasons to rinse or dry your portafilter between every use. One would be because nobody here answered yes to the previous question about their portafilter. Everyone prefers fresh, skillfully brewed espresso to pour from their portafilter. To make this happen the barista has to rinse or dry their portafilter between every brew. If coffee is left in the portafilter before the next batch of espresso is brewed, that coffee will be re-brewed and burnt. That burnt coffee from the portafilter will go right into your drink and you’ll have a disgusting demitasse full of over-extracted coffee. There are two ways to simply clean the portafilter before pulling a fresh, smooth shot. Easily enough one can just rinse the portafilter. To rinse the portafilter, knock the espresso out of the basket after the initial shot is pulled. Then turn on the group and use the water that comes out to rinse the portafilter. Then you’re good to load up your portafilter with the next batch of ground coffee. Similarly one can just wipe the portafilter. To wipe the portafilter, again knock the espresso out of the basket after the initial shot is pulled. Then wipe the excess grounds out with a clean towel only used for this purpose. Pull another lovely shot! Enjoy your fresh coffee!

Accurate measurements are important to brewing great coffee from the portafilter too. If you consider the coffee that remains in the portafilter from the last brew as useless coffee then there is no space for useful coffee. For instance if you have a portafilter half full of residue from the last brew, that only leaves room for half a portafilter full of fresh coffee. If the portafilter is not cleaned properly it will be impossible to measure properly.

Coffee Talk: Latte Art / Tulip

29 May

Steam Wand

27 May

Tip: Clean your steam wand

It’s important to keep the steam wand more powerful than a fire hydrant! A well-kept steam wand has, not too much, but a fair amount of pressure. Having a strong steam wand helps steam milk faster. A maintained steam wand will also provide a desirable amount of foam when steaming milk. So to get speed and quality from the steam wand, it must be kept strong and powerful.

Cleaning the steam wand can be easy. Simply keep a cloth or rag close to the steam wand. It’s best to keep your rag in a tray or other container filled with a bit of sanitizer or, at least, water close to the steam wand. Simply wipe the steam wand with the rag after every use! If milk stays on the steam wand for more than a couple seconds, it will start to stick. This is one reason it’s important to keep the steam wand free of milk. It can be difficult to wipe the steam wand after every use when making many drinks very quickly. However, If it’s not busy, it’s very easy to keep a clean steam wand.

Purging the steam wand, though, is what provides the fire hydrant quality. Turning on the steamer for at least a second frees milk from the steam wand. This will prevent clogging and improve the pressure and quality of the steam wand. This is difficult in a busy coffee shop or other fast-paced environment, but cleaning the steam wand is important. Keep your steam wand to fire department standards and enjoy your perfectly steamed milk!

Iced Coffee

20 May


Things you’ll need for iced coffee: freshly drawn cold water, a pot, two glasses, ice, pour-over coffee dripper, a coffee filter, strong coffee grounds, a spoon


1.) Boil fresh cold water on the stove to use for the iced coffee.

2.) Fill one glass full of ice for drinking the ice coffee and set another aside for making the iced coffee.

3.) Line the empty glass with a pour-over iced coffee dripper.

4.) Carefully measure four tablespoons of coffee grounds for iced coffee into the coffee filter.

5.) Pour the water over the iced coffee grounds.

6.) Stir the iced coffee grounds and water.

7.) After the coffee is completely brewed, pour the freshly brewed iced coffee into the glass full of ice.


1.) Grind iced coffee for a standard cone filter wherever you buy it.

French Press Coffee

13 May


Things you’ll need for french press coffee:


1.) Boil freshly drawn water for the french press coffee.

2.) Measure 2 tablespoons of french press coffee for every six ounces of water you plan to use. Add coffee grounds the french press.

3.) Add water to the french press coffee.

4.) Lid and press the french press coffee to the surface only.

5.) Let french press coffee stand for four to five minutes.

6.) Press french press coffee completely.


1.) After boiling the water let stand for two minutes. This will prevent burning of the french press coffee and create a more drinkable temperature.

Coffee Shop

6 May

Tip: Keep organized

It’s easy to loose it when making at least a million lattes for customers in the coffee shop early in the morning. But the barista of the coffee shop knows that making coffee is more than construction. It’s also performance. The coffee shop is the barista’s theatre and he’s got to keep his cool.

Keeping the various coffee shop workspaces organized will improve the quality of work. It will improve the speed at which the barista makes drinks, the friendly service he can provide, and the quality of his drinks in the coffee shop. It may be easier said than done, but it helps the coffee shop a great deal! If tools are kept organized and in their proper places all the time, the barista can find them all the time and create a routine for himself. This will improve speed in the coffee shop. Speed is the dinner before dessert. If drinks are constructed faster there’s more time to chat and have fun with customers and co-workers having a good time around the coffee shop. More free time also contributes to the quality of the barista’s work. With just a few extra seconds he can calibrate the grind or add a beautiful tulip to a latte. Most importantly keeping organized, not stressing out trying to find things, and having a little extra time to think keeps the barista of the coffee shop sane.