Friday, September 18, 2009


I drink a lot of coffee. I talk a lot about coffee. And the fact that I used to work in an independent coffee shop gives me some cred among the caffeinated proletariat, but my more informed aficionado friends are not as easily impressed- for good reason. I'm mostly talk. Name drop James Hoffmann or mention how natural process is overrated, insert appropriate nods and sighs during responding banter, and its easy to find acceptance among the aspiring elitists at your local pseudo-Bohemian cafe.

That being said, I do want to learn more about coffee.

Yesterday was my first day on bar at Java Brewing Company and it was a very informative experience. Most of the shift was spent pulling shots, which resulted in a lot of espresso to sip/slurp. I knew that espresso is a finicky beverage, but it wasn't until I started tasting my under/over extracted shots that I realized how critical each step of the process actually is. The fruit flavors I discovered in the properly pulled shots were painfully absent in the failed attempts. It is amazing how three plus/minus seconds of extraction can have such a profound impact on the taste.

As part of my training, I am now reading The Professional Barista Handbook by Scott Rao, which so far as shown to be a very helpful little book. It's fairly technical but still accessible. Should be a fun read.

Also, my coworker Sarah just started a collaborative barista blog. Check it out!

1 comment:

Bolo said...