Kirsty's Barista Journey: Week 3

Kirsty's Barista Journey: Week 3
Written by
Kirsty Evans

At our head office in Epsom, Will is renowned for making amazing coffee. On Monday I was lucky enough to spend an hour with him to admire his latte art skills! Although I am nowhere near ready to attempt any form of latte art, even observing him froth the milk gave me some insight as to why minor changes can affect the quality of the drink.

Initially, Will demonstrated the integral steps to make the perfect Latte.

  1. Ensure to clean the porta filter thoroughly to get rid of any old coffee left from the previous cup.
  2. Make sure to always flush out the Group head, this ensures that the next coffee to be made will be as fresh as possible.
  3. Fill your cup with boiling water whilst you prepare your coffee, to keep the drink hot and also stop the crema from separating.
  4. When heating the milk for a latte, only insert the tip of the steam wand into the milk and continue stretching for 5-6 seconds and then move the jug up so the wand will stop creating foam. When the jug is too hot to touch (approx. 65 Celsius degrees) tap the milk jug down on a hard surface to eliminate any bubbles.
  5. Always swirl the milk after frothing to give the milk a smooth gloss effect, and this ensures that the milk doesn’t separate when poured into the espresso.

    Surprisingly making these slight changes, I tasted a vast difference in the coffee produced, but for me personally, it is mostly down to the milk. I have mainly focused on how to make the perfect Cappuccino as this is my coffee of choice. Will also explained that the sounds of milk frothing are really important to recognise and associate with different types of coffee. Below is the Cappuccino I made with Will’s guidance and I was pleasantly surprised, especially in comparison with my initial attempt last week!

    After Will had demonstrated how to perfect my favourite coffee, I watched as he produced an array of Latte art, I was amazed how intricate some of the designs were and how effortlessly he presented them! Will's designs are shown below:

    Later on in the week I felt as though I had made a big improvement, so I decided to take on a new coffee. In a bid to make the perfect latte I decided that I was going to tackle the challenge of latte art. After many frustrating attempts and going down each day to the coffee machine I am slowly seeing improvements, but it really isn't as easy as it looks! I am determined that by the end of my internship I will be able to produce a high standard of Latte art, some of the coffee I produced is pictured below.

    I am starting to feel more confident and i'm eager for my Barista training next week as I am excited to learn how to make other types of coffee and not just my coffee of choice!