Monday, May 28, 2012

Barista training, part 2

Espresso extraction

After the first introduction to the Peter Larsens way of business and a small visit to the roasting facilities; we were put into two teams for hands-on Barista training. The two major categories were cupping/brewing methods and espresso extraction/latte art, which should leave us the qualities of becoming a real Barista.

Our team were the first to attempt some espresso extraction training and hereby pouring some great latte art afterwards. We were set off with a little demonstration of how to brew a proper espresso shot, which didn't leave me with any new way of extraction a espresso shot, just summarizing what I´d already know. If you aren't comfortable with the mystery of brewing a espresso shot, here is a simple step-by-step guide below;

- Preheat the espresso machine, at least ten minutes before producing a shot 
- When the portafilter is nicely warm, clean it with a towel for excess coffee grounds 
- Distribute the ground coffee with the side of your hand and tamp it easily with your tamper
(Do not knock on the side of the portafilter, because this will maybe cause channeling) 
- Rinse some water through the brew head and ensure that its clean from excess ground coffee 
- Place portafilter into brew head and begin the espresso extraction 
- The ratio should be around 20-25 sec. for a espresso shot
(If your shot is running too quick, then grind finer - if too slow, grind coarser)

Pouring frothed milk into the espresso shot

When the proper espresso shot is extracted; the next step is to produce the optimal frothed milk (Milked filled with tiny air bobbles). This method is also very simple, when applied with some experience - but for those whom are new to the art of frothing milk properly, it could be quite a challenge. I will put a small description below of the entire process, so you will have an idea of the general steps.

- Take a pticher, preferred if the size of the pitcher matches your drink(s) 
- Fill it with cold milk; if you have chosen the correct size of the pitcher the correct amount of milk will be just below the spout. (The milk should be as cold as possible, because when merging with the hot steam it will caramelize, because of the heat chock.) 
- Place the steam wand under the surface of the milk and then fully open the steam valve. 
- Take the pitcher down a couple of centimeters until the tip of the steam wand reaches the surface of the milk, creating a whirlpool. (This will create a sound of like when frying bacon) 
- Always keep your hand palm onto the side of the pitcher to judge the temperature - when the temperature reaches the limits of acceptable heat towards the palm, dip the steam wand under the surface of the milk. 
- Keep the steam wand tip below the surface of the milk until you have reaches a milk temperature between 60-70 degrees.

Frohting milk by creating a whirl pool

When you have completed these steps above, you will be able to pour some fine latte art, but this step is also the hardest to master, because it will force the above steps to be absolutely right. If your frothed milk is just a little bit of with for example larger air bobbles, you aren't able to draw anything in your espresso shot.

Check out my previous blog post, regarding some ways of pouring latte art; Latte Art.

Likewise check out, some of the things learned in the cupping room; Cupping and Filter Effects.

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// Hendrup

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