Friday, 20 March 2015

Tips and Tricks about Espresso Coffee and Tea


  • Make sure, the group handle is always attached to the group head of the coffee machine. This is to make sure the handle remains hot and it does not produce cold espresso. When an espresso extraction occurs through a cold handle, the taste of the espresso is negatively affected.
  • Before making an espresso shot, always purge the group head. It is to clean out any coffee grinds left behind from the last shot. It is to also get rid of 100°C so 90°C water can come in. If you make an espresso shot with 100°C water, the taste of the espresso shot will be negatively affected.
  • Always clean the group handle after every shot of coffee. It is to get rid of the old coffee grinds and if not cleaned, the old grinds will cause a negative burnt taste for the new espresso shot. If the old grinds remain for a long period, it will cause a rancid taste for the new espresso shot if it is not cleaned properly.
  • After making a shot of espresso, it is recommended to swirl the cup before pouring the milk in. It is to spread the Crema around the cup to provide a better taste for the cup of milk coffee.
  • Only put the right amount of coffee beans in the grinder during operation. If the coffee beans are unused for a long period, the oxygen exposure will cause the beans to become rancid. If the old beans are mixed with new fresh beans, it will negatively affect the coffee shot's taste along with the grinder's production of grinds.
  • It is important to change the grinder's scale frequently. The amount of beans affects the blade's operation due to the weight sitting on top of the blade. Room temperature and condition of the beans also play a factor in the grinder blade's operation.
  • While some are confused about the difference in foam for flat white and latte, the flat white has minimal/extremely thin amount of foam which is why it is called a FLAT White. The latte has slightly more foam so it is scaled in between flat white and cappuccino although it is closer to the flat white.
  • When steaming the milk for foam, make sure there is enough milk at or near the bottom of the spout. If there is too little milk, foam cannot be made due to lack of room for air development along with the milk heating up very quickly. If there is too much milk (i.e above the bottom of the spout), there is not enough room for air development for foam along with the risk of milk overflowing and spilling over the jug. 
  • When pouring milk for coffee, pour slowly for more milk when making latte or flat white. Pour the milk fast when making a cappuccino. Another method can be lifting the jug higher to introduce gravity to have less foam when making latte or flat white.

  • When making iced tea using tea leaves, mix the tea leaves in cold water and leave over night. Otherwise brew it in hot water and add ice for rapid cooling.
  • When wanting decaf tea, brew the tea leaves first and pour out the water and pour fresh hot water into the pot. For tea bags, hang the bag and pour hot water over it.
  • Black tea is bitter due to the tannins. Adding milk gets rid of the bitterness while lemon does the same thing. Milk however is more effective than lemon.
  • While Westerners think Chai as a sweet spicy milky latte, it actually means tea in South Asia.