8 tips to become a better home barista

Re-set the grinder only after you have tasted/prepared the espresso

If your espresso isn't extracting and tasting to your liking, you'll probably want to adjust the grind. In that case, though, you need to keep this tip in mind.

Because one coffee won't tell you exactly if everything is already right or if the new setting is still wrong. In fact, during a change of grinding coarseness, all the beans are usually not ground exactly to the new coarseness. This is because they were already between the stones at the previous coarseness.

You should therefore prepare at least two espressos. You can then compare the first and last espressos more easily with each other. Ideally, grind the batch between settings in the bin, as it will not tell you anything about the change. In addition, you should ideally change the coarseness of the grind on the fly.

With a barista scale with stopwatch, you also have more control over the extraction and can adjust the grinder more easily.

Always adjust the coffee

Even if you find yourself in more of a hurry, never underestimate the coffee preparation. Every cup of coffee matters.

The right setting is all about:

  • Grinding coarseness
  • The amount of coffee used
  • Extraction time

All these factors must be in harmony. When adjusting, however, always change only one factor. Then you wouldn't even know what was wrong with the coffee. So take it one step at a time.

The behaviour of the coffee during extraction also changes if you brew from beans you haven't used for a while. The beans in the coffee machine change their behaviour as they are pulled. Moreover, more careful preparation will give you a better final taste.

What should I look for when setting up my coffee?

Thebrewing time for espresso should be between20-35 seconds. A darker roast will stand out with a shorter preparation time and a lighter roast with a longer preparation time.

This is because it issofter and easier to extract the flavour from. Every coffee has a "sweet spot" in terms of extraction time, and it's your job to find it, even by adjusting the coarseness of the grind.

One way to do this is to find the time at a certain coarseness when the coffee starts to taste bitter and gradually go back, to the extraction time, when it was not yet bitter.

For example:
25 s = too sour, short aftertaste

27 s = clear acidity, more flavour

29 s = pleasant acidity, more sweetness, balanced flavour and long aftertaste

31 s = sweet but bitter notes

Don't be afraid to experiment

New coffees, new processes, new methods. Don't be afraid to experiment, you may find your new favourite coffee and your taste buds will thank you.

Most baristas admit that getting stuck in a routine and then breaking out of it has opened the door to new possibilities. They took their preparation at least one notch higher

Want to experiment? Try the current trend of espresso with orange juice.

  • Fill the glass with ice.
  • Pour orange juice about halfway down.
  • Then just pour in the espresso you made earlier.

So how about this summer's hit for you?

Keep your coffee corner clean

There are several things related to this tip. The first is that if you keep your place tidy, you'll have a better overview of all the accessories you need to brew. This will make the brewing process easier and smoother.

You shouldn't underestimatecleaning the machine even if you've only made one espresso. What if you only make one espresso next time? After a while, those "it's just one espresso" add up and it becomes even harder to get rid of the consequences.

Treat your coffee machine the same, whether you make 1 espresso or 50 lattes. That way you'll be sure always get the best possible coffee that you can make yourself.

Plus, if you take good care of your coffee accessories, you won't have to keep investing in them and you'll have the power to try more new coffees.

Don't forget the cloths

In addition to special products, cloths can also help you keep things tidy. In a good coffee corner, you should have more than one. One for the milk nozzle, one for wiping down the lever, and one for keeping things tidy around it.

Wash and change the cloths regularly. Especially the one for the milk nozzle. Microfiber cloths are best.

Perfect coffee only with weight

If you want to achieve the perfect espresso, and you want to have a better overview of the preparation, abarista scaleshould also have a place in your coffee corner . As well as weighing the coffee, it also allows you to measure the extraction time.

In addition, some scales can be connected via Bluetooth to your mobile phone to store your favourite recipes and keep a close eye on coffee extraction. TheAcaia scales, for example , do this perfectly, which is why top baristas reach for it.

When choosing a scale for espresso preparation, keep an eye on the dimensions of the scale. Not all are suitable for under the cup in the coffee machine.

Weighing also helps you to achieve consistent preparation. You should weigh both the beans before grinding, the coffee in the lever and the espresso itself. You can also use the scale when preparing filter coffee.

Don't forget the quality of the water

Quality water = filtered water. Use filtration to get rid of all unwanted substances and hard stones. This builds up in the coffee machine and also affects the taste of the coffee. If you have a coffee maker with a direct water connection you should use afilter cartridge, for a coffee maker with a reservoir the water from the filter kettle will suffice .

Moreover, repairing a coffee machine that is clogged with limescale is very costly.

Preparing milk drinks

There are a few more rules to follow when making espresso coffees with milk.

  • Themilk should be fresh. This has a great effect on the way it works.
  • When whisking, you need to keep the nozzle sufficiently submerged, but not too much.
  • The milk should also not exceed a temperature of about 60 °C. A thermometer can help with this. Burnt milk tastes like mashed potatoes.

Use fresh coffee

And the most important tip at the end - fresh coffee. This is what makes the best cup of coffee. Freshly roasted coffee is full of the aromas and flavours you want to get from coffee.

Theearliestyou can make espresso coffee is 7 days after roasting. This is because the beans are full of carbon dioxide and would cause problems in extraction. Thebest time to make coffee is 2-3 weeks after roasting. You should ideally process the coffee within a month. Therefore, it is better to buy smaller packs, but more often.

To keep your coffee fresh for even longer, you need to store it properly, ideally in a vacuum container.