Kirsty's Barista Journey: Week 4

Kirsty's Barista Journey: Week 4
Written by
Kirsty Evans

Earlier this week I had barista training with Sophie, the national coffee trainer here at Tchibo. Prior to this I had been using the machine daily, learning as much as possible from my own resources. 

Initially Sophie talked about the importance of cleanliness regarding the coffee machine and general working environment. If you are a Barista working in a busy establishment, you would need to ensure that all your equipment is clean to consistently produce a perfect cup of coffee. Each time a new coffee is made, the porta filter used previously is tapped out of any excess coffee and brushed to remove any remaining grounds; this is vital step to follow so when the next coffee is produced, the quality is consistent. The sanitation of the bar is also extremely important, this maintains the general aesthetic of the machine and ensures a high standard is maintained at all times, also preventing any cross-contamination.

Sophie began the training by briefly talking about the grinder, the extraction time is determined by how fine or coarse the grounds are and this can be adjusted as necessary. The training was concentrated on two drinks, the first being an espresso, which is mainly focused on getting the extraction time within range. A general rule of thumb for the perfect extraction time is 22-28 seconds, anything below this figure is under-extracted and if the number is greater than 28 seconds this means that the espresso is over-extracted.

Once the grinder has been adjusted accordingly and the extraction time is precise this then remains the same for any coffee created. After learning how to make the perfect espresso, we focused on how to make a Cappuccino. After practicing with Will I was already quite confident with the method, Sophie then demonstrated latte art which I was amazed by! 

Above are some of the designs that Sophie made, she did tell me one secret, if your latte art doesn't go as planned you can use a pen or coffee stirrer to create a design, this method is illustrated in the last image. Ahead of my SCA training I have set myself a challenge for the upcoming week, to practice latte art daily and document this on my blog, here I will also post pictures of my attempts from the training and my progression!