The life of a barista isn’t always easy—after all, a barista has to be cheerful and on his or her toes at 5am when the morning rush begins. However, despite the challenges, working as a “coffee
slinger” has its rewards. Consider these secrets about the coffee business I learned from my days as a barista.
-Even when kept warm, old coffee is NOT good coffee. We had a policy at my store that coffee had to be tossed and remade every 30 minutes. When I first started, I thought that was a little crazy. However, after taste testing fresh coffee, 30-minute-old coffee and hour old coffee (all perfectly warm) I could tell a distinct difference.
-French pressed coffee is naturally sweeter and fuller bodied. I am a cream and sugar kind of girl, but even I can enjoy a nice medium roast coffee in the French press with nothing added. If you are looking to cut back on calories when drinking coffee, switching to pressed instead of brewed coffee is a great place to start.
-At 6am, coffee drinkers do not like to hear “no.” If we were out of a product, I learned which were good substitutes so that I could get caffeine pumping through my customers’ veins. For instance, an Americano is a good alternative to a dark roast brewed coffee.
-A bigger cup doesn’t always mean more “coffee.” For instance, at many popular chains a medium and large espresso-based drink will both contain two shots of espresso. You simply get more milk and sugar in a bigger drink.
-Fresh ground coffee makes a big difference. If you wonder why that cup of Joe at the coffee house is better than when you brew it at home, it could be a freshness issue. Most large coffee shops grind coffee throughout the day from a fresh bag of beans. If you’re using the bag you bought and had ground 3 weeks ago, you’re losing a lot of flavor.
The secrets of coffee are actually quite simple. Coffee can seem like an almost mystical product, but it all comes down to science. The right beans, grind, clean filtered water and a good brew or press method will produce a good cup of brew—each and every time.