Paddy & Scott’s Jess Palmer explains why barista training is as important as the beans for a quality cup of coffee
Baristas are more crucial to a good cup of coffee than the coffee beans. For a company whose main trade is in coffee beans, it might seem like a nonsensical thing to say. . . and yet we say it all the time!
Make no mistake, we’re paying plenty of attention to our coffee but we also know how many factors need to come together to make a great cup of coffee. It’s about so much more than just the beans.
Baristas should be highly trained and respectful of the hard work that’s gone into growing each and every bean in their bags of coffee. At Paddy & Scott’s we invest thousands every year, not only on training our own baristas but as many others as possible who are making coffee with our wings on the bag.
We have a team across the UK dedicated to training and ensuring quality from our trade customers and their teams. Sounds like a lot of effort, right? But here’s why we think it’s worth it: We can put our time, effort and love into growing, processing and roasting a great quality coffee, but all that work can be ruined in seconds by falling into a few common pitfalls.
Storing coffee correctly will ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible. A stale coffee will taste ashy or sometimes metallic, so it’s important to get it right.Ideally, use freshly ground coffee, especially for espresso and store coffee beans in an airtight jar.
How long coffee is in contact with the water used to brew/extract it has a huge bearing on the quality and taste of the coffee. A good barista will be paying close attention (down to the second) to how long coffee is extracting. This ensures the taste of the coffee hits the sweet spot in between acidic and bitter.
Water is the means by which flavours are extracted from the coffee, so if water quality is low this will show up in the finished cup. Filtered water delivers a better flavoured cup of coffee and will also save filter and espresso machinery from limescale damage.
Using the same coffee in an espresso machine and a cafetiere will produce very different results. Some coffees are better suited to one or the other. Make sure to find out the best way of using your preferred brewing method and experiment with the amount of coffee and extraction time, etc, to get the best result.
We’ve written before about how to spot a great barista and they are, indeed, so crucial to getting a great cup of coffee. Even at home there are so many of those things you can do to make sure you’re really getting the best from your coffee beans.
So, yeah, we do care about the quality of our coffee beans. But we’re also passionate about training baristas to deliver perfect cups of happiness every time.
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