Archives for posts with tag: tamper

A few years ago, people were after a nice frothy cappuccino and it needed chocolate sprinkles too.

Then speciality coffee emerged – the espresso recipe and the drink presentation became different, all of this in order to deliver more taste and flavour.

Coffee education is getting better BUT there are still a few lot of efforts to make and patience is required. Not everyone sees/understands what is coffee and the importance to drink a certain way.

The barista is not here to criticize/ tell off customers but to help them to feel nuances in the shot freshly prepared for them.

The first thing that coffee buyers usually see is the barista and the menu board.

Watching someone making coffee seems very simple: you dose, you tamp, press a button, pour some milk in a jug and steam it. Once the espresso is ready, the warm milk is then poured in a cup – with eventually a latte art personal touch. So eaaaaaasy right?!

However, all this requires skills, knowledge and accuracy.

There are many tutorial online videos showing: how to use a tamper correctly or even the way to steam milk for a flat white. But this is not enough as the general public is becoming “addicted” to caffeine and wants to know and experience the daily life of a barista.

So, coffee shops have decided to setup some evening/weekend classes – taking a handful of “learners” who are after the buzz of making cappuccinos like a pro.

Coffee portafilter and tamper

Booking a barista coffee course is exciting because this is something special a bit like a treat. Some individuals decide to get this as a birthday present – it is so popular that in some places there is even a waiting list.

The class is usually divided in two parts. First, something about coffee history – the way it is harvested and how it becomes the brown bean in the hopper.

The second half is a hands-on workshop: dialling in, dosing & tamping then finally the milk…

What do participants get from this?

For most of them, it is a real discovery. It is not that easy and in fact it is difficult. Attention to details is needed to monitor the espresso shot and eventually adjust the grinder, but also to keep the quality and standard of the milk perfect, throughout the production of milky drinks.

Multitasking is required and one second of distraction can transform a latte into a cappuccino!

After attending such course, the respect towards the barista is greater, because there is this eye opening lesson which proves that making coffee is a real job and not just a game of pressing buttons.

Not everyone can turn up in an espresso bar and jump behind a machine to make a flat white. It takes time, like everything else every other job.

A barista (not a barrister as some people like to say), can be perceived as a person which doesn’t exactly know what he/she is doing. This is actually incorrect.

After a few hours spent at a barista course, people will start to get what it takes to make coffee. Imagine then, that repeating all this for 8 hours or more… not mentioning THAT person who has been waiting for a few minutes but is unable to decide which drink to order.

Being a barista is not just about beard, tattoo and looking cool!

Bearded hipster and christmas

There are some basic rules to follow when it comes to make a great espresso. Tamping your ground coffee is one of them – but there is more to it.


Watch below this well made video by ChefSteps, showing how to make a latte.

Our thoughts and observations?

Not sure why the barista uses the automatic grinder on a manual mode – then pour the ground coffee from the glass into the filter basket?! This could have been done directly with the group handle as the scale is also in use…

Anyway…great video with a brilliant angle too. Lovely La Marzocco GS3!