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I Make Terrible Coffee!

I Make Terrible Coffee!

Jessie's CafeNot an obvious blog for a café that runs it’s own Barista Academy, so I must be quick to establish, that you will never be served one of my coffees in Jessie’s Café. I have been working with Barista School Perth and Jessie’s Café for a while now and, as I expect you can imagine, one of the major perks until now has been that I work 15 metres away from an award winning Barista using the best machines, coffee beans and equipment that money can buy. I say up until now, because as of last month Lloyd has joined the team, with his resume that reads like a who’s who of café’s in Perth, so the coffee just gets better and better. To be honest, while we’re talking about it, even my reasonably sensitive palette can’t tell if it’s Jess making my morning long mac or my afternoon cappuccino. Turns out she’s mastering the art of espresso as well. Is there hope for us all? Well this embarrassment of espresso based riches, has caused me to neglect my home machine almost entirely. I am a great ‘enjoyer’ of coffee, and even spent a WHOLE SUMMER working in café whilst I was at university. Couple this long and illustrious ‘career’ with the hundreds of times I have seen Gabe and now Lloyd make coffee, I think I am quite the expert. I mean, how hard can it be? If you ever take the time to watch these two maestros, they hold a conversation, make jokes, banter with each other, Jess or even the customer while effortlessly pouring 2 or 3 different types of coffee. Grind, twist, joke, texture, pour and a flat white, long mac and cappuccino magically appear.

So, armed with my trusty Rancilio manual espresso machine, and my Bosses Blend coffee beans I set out to prove a point, to myself and most importantly to you guys. I’m a home Barista! Now apart from my years of coffee drinking and a short demonstration for my 3 months of solid coffee serving, I have had no training. My education comes from trial and error and watching the pros, but I’m a capable person, how hard can it be? I’ve made myself good coffee before, I used to show it off to my friends with a degree of success. Well here’s how it went:

Grind the Coffee Beans

Easy. I have an automatic, conical burr coffee grinder (like Gabe said I should have). So I pour in half a cupful of fresh, Bosses Blend coffee machines. My machine is pre-set and after a few starting clunks, I ended up with a reasonably even grind.

Phase 1 complete! I am a genius!

Dose and Tamp the Grind

Dose up the grouphead, with the methodical attention to detail that I’ve seen Lloyd use, and then tamp it level, even using the slight twist I’ve seen Gabe do on so many occasions. The lumpy mess that it left was not particularly reassuring, stick to the simplicity I think. After a few more goes, with and without the twist I got the coffee… let’s call it flat. Now to set the scene I am a man on a mission, on his own in his kitchen. There are no customers or colleagues to banter with, so I left that part out of the process, my focus is solely on the coffee. I attached the grouphead to the machine, and let her rip.

Second hurdle conquered – still okay.

Texture the Milk

MJ2000webNo time to sit around and admire it though I’ve got milk to texture. Now Gabe has told me a hundred times that the milk is crucial, so I bring it out the fridge so it is still cold, gently texture it and swirl it until it’s a creamy froth for my Long Mac. Just in time, the last few drops of the thin, dark crema, slipped onto the watery thin shot. Anyway, no time to waste, points to prove, people to shame.

Level 3 – hang in there buddy!

The Pour

I pour the milk onto the espresso, slowly moving the jug up and down. It gloops out, in that reassuringly uneven manner that all the pros use, right?

Only one to go – I’m in trouble…

The Coffee

Now comes the moment of truth. The tasting. I have a surprising amount riding on this. My pride, ego and self-esteem all tied up in this, surprisingly pro looking, coffee. The espresso, is almost layered, and the milk is a reassuring golden grown. Now for the taste. It’s difficult to sum up the taste. It was warm, it had that recognisable Bosses Blend edge that has become my preference, the milk was textured well enough. The problem is that all these similarities made it worse, they really brought out the bite of disappointment that overwhelmed the rest of the coffee.

Coffee Conclusion

So it’s official, Jess and her team have ruined coffee for me. I’m no longer satisfied with what I can produce at home, I think I’ll have to try one of these Barista Courses I’ve heard so much about.

Bobby Deuchar – Burdened Barista

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2/8 Hayden Ct, Myaree, WA
Phone: 1300 662 705
Web: www.jessiescafe.com.au
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