by Shamsi Röck, Coffex.
The perfect cup of coffee is different for everybody. I remember customers asking for ‘extra hot milk,’ i.e. boiling the life out of it until it was an unworkable affront to your barista’s sensibilities. Or cringing as you extract a ‘Lungo’ (long pour), on request from a customer, who likes his coffee to taste like it has been filtered through an ashtray. Who are we to judge? What is perfect for one person, may not be perfect for the next, we like what we like.
There are, however, some immutable laws of science that, when trying to achieve that perfect cup, are a great starting place.
The top 3 being HOT, CLEAN and FRESH.
Heating the cup before use, making sure the portafilters are hot, and heating the milk to between 60 – 65 degrees.
Making sure the machine is clean, it’s incredibly important to clean the built-up oils and flush out any old coffee from the group head of the coffee machine, pulling apart the portafilters to clean daily is essential, as is cleaning and purging the steam wand after each use.
Grinding each shot fresh is also vital; many cafes now use automatic grinders, which dose directly into the portafilter, bypassing the conventional dosing chamber. Also, ensure your beans are fresh and stored correctly.
Finding a bean to make the perfect cup is as subjective as wine, the best thing you can do is taste; try all the beans! Once you find one you like, trial it with your customers. Read the tasting notes that come with the coffee, and educate your customers about your choice.
Finding a milk that performs well, also goes a long way to creating the perfect cup of coffee. If you are looking for dairy free, there are many alternatives available. Common plant milks are almond, coconut, rice, and soy milk. Other plant milks include hemp, oat, pea, and peanut milk. Many have been designed to work beautifully with a steam wand, and achieving creamy milk is as easy as it is with conventional dairy milk.
To find the perfect cup, you must be willing to try new things, and be adventurous. If you need some assistance, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.