Top tips from baristas

How to make a perfect cup and avoid mistakes
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FOOD & BEVERAGE
JOEMAR M. ALMAZAN, BRAND TRAINER, CAFFè NERO.
JOEMAR M. ALMAZAN, BRAND TRAINER, CAFFè NERO.
JAKE AQUINO, BARISTA, TIM HORTONS.
JAKE AQUINO, BARISTA, TIM HORTONS.
ANDILE MZONDI, BARISTA, LEOPOLDS OF LONDON — REEM ISLAND.
ANDILE MZONDI, BARISTA, LEOPOLDS OF LONDON — REEM ISLAND.
MARWAN KANDEEL, MULTI–BRAND MANAGER, SEATTLE’S BEST COFFEE.
MARWAN KANDEEL, MULTI–BRAND MANAGER, SEATTLE’S BEST COFFEE.
STEFAN JOVANOVSKI, BARISTA, THE COFFEE CLUB.
STEFAN JOVANOVSKI, BARISTA, THE COFFEE CLUB.
SABARINATH SIVARAJAN, FIELD OPERATIONS MANAGER, ICONS COFFEE COUTURE.
SABARINATH SIVARAJAN, FIELD OPERATIONS MANAGER, ICONS COFFEE COUTURE.

JOEMAR M. ALMAZAN, BRAND TRAINER, CAFFè NERO

Your tip for a perfect cup of coffee?

A great cup of coffee should be made with fresh, dark roasted beans, just out from a valve bag. It should be freshly grinded, and coffee flavour is extracted using a paper filter, with a certain amount of hot water.

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What is a common mistake that baristas make?

Baristas are trained for a certain standard, in accordance with their brand. However, when in routine, they often end up creating their own standards, unconsciously omitting an essential step here and there. For example, some focus on speed at the cost of quality — the intention is noble but lost in translation. Similarly, some baristas are so involved with making drinks that they do not connect with the guests, which should be a priority.

JAKE AQUINO, BARISTA, TIM HORTONS

What is your top tip to create a perfect cup of coffee?

Never freeze coffee, especially dark roasts. Keep coffee under room temperature, in a dark cool place. Additionally, coffee is best when used within days of being roasted. Ideally one should purchase coffee fresh every one to two weeks. Refrain from buying bulk coffee.

What is a common mistake that baristas make?

Common mistakes that baristas make include reheating or over–boiling coffee. Water that is too hot will extract compounds in the coffee that are bitter rather than pleasant.

The proper brewing temperature is 197°F, or about 45 seconds off a full boil.

And finally, I would say brewed coffee must be consumed immediately.

ANDILE MZONDI, BARISTA, LEOPOLDS OF LONDON — REEM ISLAND

Your top tip for a perfect cup of coffee?

For any espresso coffee, ensure that it is calibrated correctly to ensure the correct temperature and pressure, and then to load your group basket correctly to create the best crema on the espresso. If you overload, you will scorch the beans; underload and you end up with no pressure, thus no crema. Test daily to ensure all parameters are correct, as bean moisture levels can change. Ensure that you don’t overheat milk, and develop rich velvety foam by correct immersion and control of the steam nozzle.

Common mistake that baristas make?

Poor espresso extraction from lack of effort in set–up and overheating the milk. Both lead to bad coffee. The other mistake is making all coffees the same; there is a difference between a flat white, a cappuccino and a latte.

MARWAN KANDEEL, MULTI–BRAND MANAGER, SEATTLE’S BEST COFFEE

Your top tip for a perfect cup of coffee?

There are five basics components: water (great coffee is great water), machine (one that gives the right amount of water, at the right temperature, under the right pressure with correct brew time), beans (carefully selected finest quality beans, roasted just right), the grind and dose (more is less — each type of coffee has different grinding and amount of coffee) and lastly, the barista, who adds knowledge, skill, pride and flair to create a memorable cup of coffee.

Common mistake that baristas make?

Grind and dose; many think more beans will give a better or strong coffee, but it’s not true.

STEFAN JOVANOVSKI, BARISTA, THE COFFEE CLUB

Your top tip for a perfect coffee?

Various factors play a role, but the three most important factors are the bean quality, the machine maintenance, and the barista. We use a medium to dark roast, a fine blend of Brazilian, Colombian and Indian coffee beans and a great Wega machine, and the emphasis is to train the baristas very well. Great beans and machine mean nothing if the barista is not good.

Common mistake that baristas make?

Assuming that the grind size set once is good for the entire day. The difference between a regular and a good barista is in their ability and understanding of the flow of their espresso shot.

SABARINATH SIVARAJAN, FIELD OPERATIONS MANAGER, ICONS COFFEE COUTURE

Your tip for a perfect cup of coffee?

Always use freshly ground beans, and check the grind. Make sure that the proportion of coffee to water is right, and the quality and temperature is as required; the same goes for the quality of milk. Lastly, the barista’s brewing technique must be perfected.

What is a common mistake that baristas make?

Making more than one cup a time, and using the milk pitcher without washing after the previous use. Also, some forgo the standard steaming method, which can make all the difference.

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