As coffee enthusiasts, we all strive for perfection in our brews, whether we're serving customers in cafes or enjoying a cup at home. In this blog post, we'll shed light on the top five common barista mistakes that we've seen happening in cafes. Even experienced baristas can unintentionally fall victim to these errors, impacting the quality of the coffee and the overall coffee experience. So, let's dive in and explore these mistakes and how to avoid them.
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1. Neglecting Group Handle Care
Group handles are a crucial component of coffee-making equipment, and they deserve proper care and attention. One common mistake is placing group handles with spouts on the bench, which can lead to contamination of the next customer's cup with coffee grounds. Avoid this by refraining from placing spouts directly on the bench, and invest in a designated place for them when not in use.
2. Uneven Tamping Technique
Tamping is an essential step in the coffee-making process, and using a manual tamp requires precision. Uneven tamping can lead to inconsistent extraction, resulting in under-extracted shots and varying shot times. To achieve a uniform tamp, utilize a spin technique with your thumb and finger to ensure a level, flat surface. This simple adjustment can significantly impact the quality of your coffee.
3. Inadequate Coffee Distribution
Good coffee distribution is the key to consistency and exceptional flavors in your coffee. While various tools like dosing pots and NCD tools can assist in distribution, improper usage can lead to uneven coffee distribution. Take the time to ensure an even amount of coffee in the portafilter before tamping, as this will prevent under-extraction and improve the taste of your coffee.
4. Pouring Technique for Different Drinks
A mistake often seen among baristas is using the height from which they pour to dictate the type of coffee they're making (e.g., flat white vs. cappuccino). Instead, focus on managing the air in the milk to create the desired froth and texture for each drink, irrespective of the height from which you pour. By mastering the art of milk texturing, you can consistently produce delicious coffees tailored to your customers' preferences.
5. Touching the Rim or Lid of Cups
When serving customers, be mindful of touching the rim of the cup or the mouthpiece of a takeaway lid. Customers will consume from these areas, and you want to ensure a hygienic and pleasant experience for them. Avoid touching the rim of cups while pouring, and when putting on a takeaway lid, be careful not to cover the mouthpiece with your hand. By adhering to this practice, you demonstrate professionalism and care for your customers.
Avoiding these five barista mistakes can significantly enhance the quality of your coffee and the overall experience for your customers. Group handle care, even tamping, proper coffee distribution, mastering milk texturing, and being mindful of cup contact are simple yet powerful practices that will elevate your coffee game.
As coffee enthusiasts, let's strive to continuously improve and deliver the best possible coffee to our customers and ourselves. By staying vigilant and learning from our mistakes, we can create a coffee culture that delights and captivates, one cup at a time.
If you've encountered other common barista mistakes or have additional insights to share, please leave a comment below. Let's keep the conversation going and support each other in our quest for the perfect cup of coffee. Remember to subscribe to our channel for more coffee-related content, and until next time, happy brewing!