How to Brew Coffee Like a Professional Barista
If you are trying to perfect your coffee-making process and improve your coffee skills, the best place to start is to learn how to brew coffee like a professional barista. After all, who better to learn from than people whose professions are centered around making coffee?
Baristas are professional coffee makers. They spend their mornings and evenings pulling espresso shots, brewing drip coffee, tamping coffee grounds, weighing coffee beans, and serving delectable coffee to their customers.
Today, we’re going to tell you all about three coffee tips and tricks for brewing coffee like a pro. By the end of our blog post, you’ll have a better understanding of how to brew coffee like a professional barista, and your coffee-making game will improve in no time.
3 Coffee Tips and Tricks for Brewing Coffee Like a Pro
Baristas are some of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to coffee. They are always highly trained and understand that making coffee is an art form. There are so many valuable lessons to be learned from baristas, but today, we’re going to focus on three tips and tricks in particular.
If you want to learn how to brew coffee like a professional barista, start by weighing your coffee with a scale, practice tamping your espresso, and never underestimate the power of timing. Let’s explore what these tips mean in greater detail!
Weigh Your Coffee With a Scale
Have you ever peered over the counter at a coffee shop and noticed that baristas are constantly weighing the coffee that they use? The amount of coffee that baristas use when pulling shots, brewing drip coffee, and preparing cold brew is never a guessing game.
Think of it like any other recipe. When following a recipe, you don't use random amounts of flour or just any amount of sugar. Instead, there are certain measurements set forth by a recipe, and in order to yield the best possible result, you'll need to follow the measurements verbatim.
Brewing coffee like a professional barista is no different, except for the fact that you must use a scale when weighing your coffee instead of a measuring cup. This has everything to do with precision. Scales offer a more precise reading than any other form of measuring coffee could.
There is not a one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to how much coffee to dose out for espresso shots or drip coffee. It all comes down to your preferred flavor profile. If there’s a coffee shop that you love, consider asking the baristas about the volumes that they abide by when brewing coffee at that location. From there, you can try the same measurements at home!
Practice Tamping Your Espresso
Have you heard of tamping before? In case you are unfamiliar with the term, tamping refers to the process of applying pressure to ground espresso beans that are in the basket of a portafilter. The purpose of tamping is to prepare the espresso for extraction.
But before you can insert your portafilter into the group head of your espresso machine and pull an espresso shot, the ground espresso needs to be flattened. That’s where tamping comes into the picture!
By grabbing hold of a tamp and evenly applying pressure with your dominant forearm, you will successfully flatten the ground espresso beans and improve the taste of your espresso altogether. However, tamping is not as easy as it sounds.
At face value, it seems simple to press down on a tamp and flatten the ground coffee beans sitting in the basket of a portafilter. But the reality is that it can be very hard to consistently press down evenly on the ground espresso. The more you practice, the better you will become at tamping.
Every step of the process is equally important, and improperly tamping your espresso grounds will result in a less-than-ideal flavor profile of your espresso. If the espresso is not perfectly flat across the board, the espresso shot will be affected. That’s why it is important to practice your tamping skills if you want to brew coffee like a professional barista.
Never Underestimate the Power of Timing
A common colloquialism is the idea that timing is everything. Even though it might be cliché, it’s also wise advice, especially when brewing coffee or pulling espresso shots. There is a certain rhythm involved in the process of making coffee, and time is a very important factor.
For example, some baristas are trained to pull espresso shots for twenty-three seconds on the dot. While one second is not a lot of time, it is long enough to alter the taste and flavor profile of an espresso shot.
Similarly, if the process of brewing a cup of French press coffee is only meant to last for three minutes, any amount of time either above or below three minutes will mess with the taste of the coffee. It’s just like adhering to the bake time of a cake or the boiling time of pasta. If you don’t follow the right timelines when brewing coffee, the outcome will be sub par.
Where to Buy Barista-Grade Coffee Online
Now that you know what it takes to brew coffee like a professional barista, you can start practicing the tips and tricks that baristas use on an everyday basis. However, before you can brew coffee, you’ll need to buy some coffee.
If you’re in search of great coffee you can feel good about, look no further than Altruistic Joe! Whether you want to pull a professional-grade espresso shot with our Wake Up! espresso blend or brew a magnificent cup of drip coffee using our Smokehouse Dark Roast coffee is up to you.
Those aren’t our only options though! Take a look at our online shop to explore our year-round blends and single origin coffees. We know you’ll find something that suits your tasting note preferences, and once you place your order, you’ll be one step away from brewing coffee like a professional barista.