Tim Holdsworth from the Grinders Coffee NSW team, shares his four steps to making the best coffee for patrons.
1. Any person who touches, or comes in contact with a coffee beverage should complete a basic coffee training course. Most suppliers will offer this. Training is essential for the basic understanding of a coffee menu, and also showcases reasons why we do the processes in a certain way while preparing coffee. Outlining OH&S is also covered across most training courses.
2. Appreciate the espresso. Coffee beans have passed through roughly 300 sets of hands from the early stages of planting, picking, washing, drying, colour sorting, shipping and roasting, and therefore an appreciation needs to be felt for the steps taken to ensure a quality product meets the end user. If an espresso is made and the coffee is stale or under-prepared, then all of that hard work was wasted. A good guide to ensuring an espresso is prepared properly is to ensure the appropriate amount of grams of coffee is dosed into the group handles and also dosed out, and ensuring it is poured in the appropriate amount of time.
3. Texturing milk – a simple step that seems to fall by the way-side. Textured milk should be like wet paint: silky smooth, rich and creamy. How do we do this? More often than not, aim to reach a temperature of 65 degrees Celsius, although the current trends aim for 60 degrees. Unless a customer asks for it to be “super-hot”, aim for 60 degrees, as once milk reaches above that temperature, the overpowering flavour of the hot milk starts to override the flavour of the coffee. A good guide is to stretch the cold fresh milk until your hand feels the temperature of the jug start to get warm. Once warm, raise the jug slightly so that we are not allowing any more air into the milk (foam). When your hand can’t withstand the heat of the jug anymore, remove your hand and count to three before shutting off the steam arm.
4. Customer service should never be at risk when making a coffee. We often see a lack of customer service, in that our time and effort is spent in making the coffee and ensuring we are doing the best we can. An added bonus as a barista is being able to have a conversation with the customer while preparing their coffee. Ask them how their day is going, or even just a simple comment on the weather. It’s amazing what a little chat can do. It also speeds up the waiting time for the customer, and before they know it, their coffee is ready.