In our barista tutorial we focus on the basic barista skills that are crucial for making great coffee. If you and to be a barista or have already started your barista career you want to know how to brew awesome espresso-based drinks. We believe that the most important thing here is genuine love for coffee. If you are passionate about the barista job you will appreciate the beans and learn as much as you can about coffee. You will also want to share the love for coffee with your customers through educating them about coffee and fulfilling their needs every single time. 

Passion for coffee is a great first step to be a barista. If you have it you will be successful with the next step – barista training. Training? Sounds boring, doesn’t it? But don’t get overwhelmed! Barista training can be a lot of fun! Besides that, if you learn online first you’ll be in a much better position when you actually arrive to work in a coffee shop because you will already know how to pull great espresso shots. Just a little practice – and you are an amazing barista!

Barista Tutorial: Attention to Detail

Little changes can make substantial improvements in the taste of your coffee drinks. This is why attention to coffee variables is important. Espresso variables are something that you will find in every barista tutorial, including ours, where we walk you through all the subtleties of espresso preparation. Still, every coffee shop is different, so the variables and the way you’ll make coffee at your coffee shop will vary.

Being attentive to detail doesn’t only mean being consistent with your espresso variable. It also means keeping your workstation always clean, being neat and well-groomed, being attentive to your customers’ moods and needs, and learning all the time. All this plays into a great cup of coffee that your patrons will enjoy.

10 Tips on How to Brew Awesome Coffee

  1. Know your coffee

Being a great barista means knowing everything about coffee in your coffee shop. Is it a blend or single origin? Is it a dark or light roast? Where does it originate from (Columbia, Guatemala, Kenya, etc.)? How old is your coffee? What is the ground size for your particular brewing method? Everything affects the taste in the coffee cup. You should be able to explain it to your patrons too.

  1. Use fresh coffee beans

Fresh coffee beans are key to a flavorful and aromatic cup. After the coffee is roasted, it’s better to wait 5-10 days before you use your coffee for brewing espresso. This is the optimal time when the coffee is not too bubbly (containing too much CO2) but is still fresh and has a decent acidity level.

  1. Grind as much as you need

Grinding just as much coffee as you need for one or two drinks at a time will not only minimize waste but also keep coffee fresh and delicious for a longer time. Don’t grind coffee in advance! Once you grind it it’ll lose all the precious coffee characteristics that we all love in about an hour.

  1. Use filtered water

It’s hard to deny the importance of good water for a great espresso. Poor quality water not only makes your espresso taste add but also damages the espresso machine. It’s recommended to use a water softening system and maintain water hardness at 35-85 ppm (parts per million). This level of mineralization is need for the espresso to have a rich flavor.

  1. Measure accurately

Dialing-in your espresso is one of the most important barista tasks. We’ve written about it extensively in our barista tutorial and online blog. However, as the proverb goes, the repetition is the mother of learning. So let’s review it here:

Double Espresso Template
Ground Coffee18 grams (0.25 – 0.31. oz.)
Water Temperature92°-95°C (195°- 205°F)
Water Pressure9 bars
First DropsApproximately 5-7 seconds
Flow TimeApproximately 20-30 seconds
Volume25-35 ml (.085 – 1 oz. per shot)
  1. Hot water

Brewing temperature affects espresso taste immensely. If the water is not hot enough it won’t extract all the solubles out of coffee grounds and you’ll get a weak and blank coffee shot. If the water is too hot you risk to have a bitter over-extracted espresso shot. The preferred brewing temperature is about 195 to 205 F. So that the temperature of coffee in the cup is 160-165 F.

  1. A clean place is a safe place

Clean workstation is the key to great service. A clean shiny steam wand is the first sign for your customers that you care for their health and the quality of their drinks. Clean your espresso machine and pour over brewers regularly to avoid any leftovers that can negatively affect taste of coffee.

  1. Try various coffee brewing methods, origins, roast type

Experimenting with coffee is what makes a great barista. If you take the same coffee roast and brew an espresso and a pour-over, you will see that two cups taste differently. Coffee is meant to be enjoyed in many ways. Coffee is a very complex drink with over 1000 flavonoids, which give it a very rich flavor and a variety of characteristics.

  1. Follow best storage practices

Store your coffee in a cool dry place. It’s suggested to use vacuum sealed storage bags or bins because every time coffee comes in contact with oxygen it starts to deteriorate and lose freshness. Store it away from other foods since coffee easily absorbs odors and this is something you want to avoid.

  1. Smile, smile, smile

There are plenty of coffee brewing tips. But the most important one is your customer service skills, or simply your smile. Remember, it can make someone’s day brighter. Baristas are also coffee educators. If you know how to engage with customer and serve coffee with a smile, you will be a successful barista.