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Barista Basics - Articles

Making Great Coffee At Home - Loreal's Club Matrix Magazine, Issue 2, 2004

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

 

Making Great Coffee at Home

 

 

French Press or Plunger

 

A plunger produces a long black style coffee, which you can add cold milk to if desired. Apart from the home espresso machine this is our coffee-maker of choice at home.

 

Tips

  • Always buy a plunger made from Pyrex glass. It will retain the heat better than non-Pyrex glass or perspex. The word ‘Pyrex’ is usually written on the exterior of the glass.
  • Store your ground coffee in an airtight container in the cupboard.
  • Keep your plunger clean. Wind off the plunger head each time you wash the glass and use a scouring pad to clean the filter mesh, otherwise you’ll end up with a build-up of oil from the coffee which becomes rancid after a while and taints the taste of the coffee.

 

How to

  • Boil your kettle. Pour boiling water into the plunger and leave it for a couple of minutes then empty. This will heat the glass and help you to deliver hot rather than warm coffee
  • Put the coffee into the empty plunger. A general rule is one scoop of coffee per cup. We put in one scoop less than the number of cups required, especially for larger plungers, or the coffee can be too strong for some people.
  • By now the water in the kettle will be just off boiling, which is integral to properly brewed coffee (even in a commercial espresso machine). Pour the rest of the water into the plunger, seven-eighths filling it.
  • Let the coffee stand for about four minutes before plunging downwards, being careful not to plunge at an angle.

 

Drip Filters

 

These are a good way to serve a large group of people. For best results serve it quickly. A filter coffee will be good for about 20 minutes after if has brewed. Start daydreaming and your clients might think they’re in America sipping a bottomless cup from Denny’s several hours after it was brewed – not what you want!

 

Tips

  • Store your ground coffee in an airtight container in the cupboard.
  • Buy the more expensive filter papers (e.g. Melitta). The cheaper ones can make your coffee taste a bit like paper.

 

<

 

With David Gee and Matthew Gee

Coffee has become an entrenched part of Australian society and Australian salon culture. We’ve all become accustomed to grabbing an espresso coffee from our favourite café. Now with the growing popularity and affordability of home espresso machines, plungers and drip filters, we’re also able to enjoy a better coffee at home - or offer one to our clients.

Regardless of which method you’re using to make your coffee, getting a good tasting cup takes a bit of practice. We asked David and Matthew Gee, professional baristas and principals of Barista BasicsÔ Coffee Academy to help us out with a few tips on making the perfect cup.

 

Archive
Effective Barista Training, Tea and Coffee Asia, first quarter 2006
Coffee The Australian Way, Tea and Coffee Asia, fourth quarter 2005
In the End, It's All in the Blend, Bean Scene, Issue 10, 2005
Tools of the Trade, Bean Scene, Issue 10, 2005
The Starters Guide To Coffee, Bean Scene, Issue 9, 2005
Cutting Edge Espresso - Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 8, 2005
Postcards from Seattle - Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 8, 2005
Making Great Coffee At Home - Loreal's Club Matrix Magazine, Issue 2, 2004
Buying a Home Espresso Machine - Loreal's Club Matrix Magazine, Issue 3, 2005
Australians v Italians: Who Makes Better Coffee? - Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 6, 2004
The Decline of Tea and the Dethroning of the Flat White - Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 7, 2005
Coffee Indulgence - Loreals' Club Matrix Magazine, Issue 4, 2005
Coffee Appreciation
How to be a Gun Barista - Bean Scene, Issue 5, 2004
Affogato with a twist of Mocha - Australian Table, May 2004
Hygiene in the Café Environment - Bean Scene, Issue 3, 2004
Grind It, Baby - Eat Drink Magazine, May 2004
Coffee Myths, Dispelled!, Bean Scene, Issue 4, 2004
Coffee Art - Eatdrink Magazine, June 2004
Questions: Hospitality Magazine, May 2004

 


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