Keys to Making Good Coffee And Espresso [The Beginner?s Guide]

    Good Coffee

    Many are the hospitality establishments that do not have a professional barista, a specialist in good service with a cup of coffee. Many are also mistakes that are made when preparing a good coffee. As if that were not enough, few customers demand quality in the preparation of a coffee. These are different negative trends that the newly created Barista Club aims to correct.

    This lack has led a group of professional baristas from the province of Gerona to come together to form the Club del Barista association, a national platform from which they intend to promote the specialization and professionalization of those who make coffee lover gift idea through a magazine and courses free for members.

    To illustrate the importance of this professional figure, Jordi Bisbal, president of the Club and owner of the cafeteria (Gerona), points out that when preparing a good cup of coffee, the quality of the bean used is not so important as the skill of the one behind the bar. That is, a good barista will make good coffee with low bean quality, while high bean quality in the hands of a bad barista does not result in good coffee.


    Espresso is, according to the founders of this association, the best way to prepare coffee and the one that offers the most satisfaction to the consumer. Preparing it requires a series of knowledge about grinding, quantities, pressure, temperature or time that few have acquired.

    In that case, to prepare a barista-quality espresso you need a high-quality machine. 

    deLonghi espresso machine would be the best choice.

    As an essential preliminary step, it is necessary to maintain a constant cleaning of the espresso machine so that no coffee remains are left between preparing two cups. For this reason, the Club recommends on the one hand to clean the filter and on the other to drop a small jet of water until it runs clean.

    essential preliminary step

    With the machine clean, the first step in making a good cup of coffee is grinding the coffee. This is a crucial point that determines the final result. The required grind can vary by virtue of several variables. Sometimes it will be necessary to grind the coffee more, make it finer, and at other times, the ground coffee will have to be coarser.

    How do you know if the grinding point is correct? Imma Vila, who belongs to the Barista Club and teaches specialization courses at Caf?s Cornell?, points out that the correct cup is made when 25 milliliters of coffee falls into the cup in 25 seconds, that is, in that time the cup is filled up to about half its capacity. If this amount is not reached in those seconds, the coffee ground is too fine and makes it difficult for the water to pass. The resulting coffee will be thick and strong. On the other hand, if 25 milliliters are reached in less than 20 seconds, the coffee grounds are excessively coarse and the resulting cup is excessively watery.

    To determine the grinding point of the coffee, the water temperature must first be taken into account. From the Club it is shown that the proper temperature should be 90 degrees. But there are also variables that cannot be controlled and that affect the final result. The most important of these is the weather.

    ?It is necessary to regulate the coffee grinding point quite regularly, taking into account the time, humidity, ambient temperature, and wind,? explains Imma Vila, who ensures that all these factors significantly affect when making coffee. . For example, if a north wind blows in Gerona, which is humid, the coffee becomes more caked and makes it difficult for the water to pass. To correct this problem it is necessary to grind the coffee thicker to allow a better passage of the water. Each place has its variants. ?Grinding in Andalusia is not the same as grinding in Galicia?, Inma points out. For this reason, this group of baristas recommends that when entering work the professional makes a coffee himself to calibrate the optimum grinding point.

    A second step after grinding is dosing. As Imma Vila indicates, each cup needs between 7 and 8 grams of ground coffee that must be pressed before being introduced into the machine. A pressing that must be applied with force. After this step, the ground and pressed coffee is introduced into the machine so that the water at 90 degrees passes through it for 25 seconds with a pressure of 8.5 bars, filling 25 milliliters of cup. Creativity and individual knowledge do the rest.


    1. Do not clean the machine regularly. Especially between cup and cup.
    2. Place the cups upside down on top of the machine. The correct thing is to place the base glued to the machine so that it is hot and there is no temperature contrast that cools the coffee and causes it to lose aromatic virtues.
    3. Grind more coffee than is needed for a cup, accumulate the ground coffee and use it later. Ground coffee that is not used in a short period of time ends up losing much of its aromatic virtues. A possible solution for this ground coffee to be preserved is to introduce it packaged in a refrigerator without humidity.
    4. Not checking the coffee grind point regularly. Every day, depending on humidity and other factors, the grinding point varies and must be corrected so that the equation 25 milliliters of coffee in 25 seconds is always respected.
    5. Heat the milk instead of emulsifying it. The correct procedure when treating milk is to fill a little more than a third of the jug with milk, insert only the tip of the steam tap into it and stir while forming a thick layer of white foam. Above all, the milk should not be brought to a temperature higher than 65 ?C, since from this point the proteins are lost.
    6. Use cups that do not have a conical shape. The conical shape allows the coffee that falls from the machine to slide across the surface of the cup without splashing or losing some of its aromas.
    7. Use completely distilled water or do not purify it. The Club recommends using the BRITA purification system, which decalcifies but does not extract all the minerals from the water.

    To Emulsify The Milk

    Pour a little more than a third of the milk into the jug.

    1. Before putting the carafe on the steam tap, let some steam run briefly. Then, insert the tip of the tap into the milk and stir the jug while it heats up. The result should be warm milk with a large layer of white foam.
    2. Calibrate the coffee grinder to find the optimum grinding point. 
    3. Let the water run before placing the coffee slides with the ground coffee. Clean the slides well.
    4. Take a dose of between 7 and 8 grams of ground coffee with the slides. 
    5. Press the ground coffee hard. 
    6. With a pressure of 8.5 bar, allow 25 milliliters of water at 90?C to pass through the coffee for 25 seconds. 
    7. Well-brewed espresso has a small layer of hazelnut cream.

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