For many coffee shops and restaurants, the expensive and freshly ground coffee beans, and top end equipment don’t guarantee a perfectly brewed coffee, why? Beside the staff that who are lack of essential coffee training, here are 5 of the most common and easily remedied coffee-brewing mistakes that stand between your business and a great cup of coffee for your customers:
1. COLD CUPS
Cups not heated above the machine make drinks go cold quickly and can also ruin an espresso’s crema. Keep your ceramics at 35°C to 40°C for the best results, don’t stack cups too high and occasionally rotate the order to make sure they all stay warm.
2. RUSHED BREWING
A proper pull of espresso takes time. To brew a volume of 25ml to 30ml should take between 25 and 30 seconds. The coarseness of the grind is the key variable that affects brewing time so always time a test espresso before grinding a large batch. Other variables that affect the speed of the brew include the pressure of the tamp and the boiler pressure of the machine, which should be set within 11.7 and 18.5 psi to achieve an operating pressure of 117.5 to 146.9 psi.
3. POOR MACHINE MAINTENANCE
Espresso machines need to be looked after to produce good coffee. Dirty and poorly maintained machines can cause a wide variety of problems including poor quality crema, the presence of grounds in the cup and uneven flow when making two cups of coffee in the same group head. The machine needs to be cleaned thoroughly after each service and the portafilters and filter baskets must be soaked every night. Once a day, clean the spray heads using the blind filter and the manufacturer-recommended detergent.
4. INCORRECTLY PREPARED DRINKS
Lots of restaurants (and indeed coffee shops) prepare drinks using incorrect ratios, cappuccinos in particular, single shot or double shot? There are many variable factors such as the cup size, dosage, coffee blend etc. Our coffee trainer will give you the best advice on the dosage, ratios when setting up your machine and training your staff.
5. INCORRECTLY PREPARED FOAM
Milk is routinely overheated (scalded) in many establishments. This negatively affects the taste of the drink but it also makes the milk very difficult to foam properly. For effective milk frothing, don’t heat the milk beyond 70°C. You can use either thermometers or our crystal thermos strips, which can be put directly onto the frothing jug. In our previous blog, we have dug into what is the right temperature to froth Cappuccino milk. Also, we have shared a training from Lavazza head trainer David Cutler on Milk Frothing Techniques, which can be viewed here.