Monday, September 29, 2014

The Perfect Latte

Coffee fanatics search high and low to find that perfect cup of coffee. Why? Well, if you're a coffee fanatic you know why...but to the rest of you, it's like finding the perfect pair of shoes that go with every outfit or the perfect car that has the ultimate balance of good mileage and beauty. There is just no better feeling. Once you find that perfect latte or mocha or black cup o' joe you keep going back over and over again.

Many baristas are left with the thought, "How DO you make a perfect latte or mocha?" These common drinks are consumed by coffee lovers daily, but a good barista knows just how much work truly goes into making one.

Consider these things when preparing an espresso based beverage.

Fresh Coffee:
If you have fresh roasted, quality coffee you'll usually have great espresso. I recommend North Pole Coffee's Dark Espresso Roast. Not only is it roasted specifically for an espresso, but it also has a sweet aftertaste. Coffee that is not only freshly roasted, but also freshly ground will give your shot a much better taste than preground espresso. To ensure this freshness, grind your espresso for each customer.

Standard Extraction:
The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) sets the standard for all specialty coffee. Their standard delineates that a shot of espresso is a 25-35ml beverage prepared from 7-9 grams of coffee through which clean water of 195F-205F has been forced through at 9-10 atmospheres of pressure, and where the grind of the coffee is such that the brew time is 20-30 seconds.

Many baristas find steaming milk to be a challenge. To get velvety, glossy textured milk follow these simple steps.
    1. Begin with cold milk
    2. Measure the amount of milk needed for the drink being prepared so there is little to no waste (never RESTEAM milk!)
    3. Purge the steam wand.
    4. Insert the tip of the steaming wand into the milk and turn on the steam.
    5. Listen for a "Ch Ch" noise and position the pitcher so the milk begins a whirlpool
    5. Once the milk is body temperature, submerge the steam wand (allow the whirlpool to continue)
    7. Once the milk has reached standard temperature, turn off the steam and clean the steam wand (be sure to purge the steam wand again).
    8. Let the milk rest a moment and then bang the pitcher on the counter once to pop any large bubbles on the surface of the milk.
    9. Polish the milk by swirling it
    10. Combine with espresso
This is a sure fire way to get a consistent texture time after time.

Iced Espresso Drink
When making an iced drink the order of components should be as such:
      1. Add cold milk to cup
      2. Add any flavoring to the espresso while still hot
      3. Add the hot espresso to the cold milk (this ensures no ice will melt)
      3. Stir well
      4. Add ice
This formula maximizes the flavor of the espresso and allows it to cool without melting the ice.

After much trial and error, our barista team here at North Pole Coffee stands behind the procedures discussed. Take it from us, your customers will love it!

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