Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or someone that works as a Barista, you know it’s very important to always try new things and never be satisfied with your coffee because it can always be better. I will let you in on a few secrets that have made me become a great barista with ease.
Frothing the Milk
Perfecting this part of your barista craft can take a lot of time and it’s very important for some people that you get this just right. But it’s really hard to make it as a barista at first, and practicing as a barista feels like such a waste of milk, right?
Don’t worry. I have a tip for you. Don’t waste any more coffee or milk: Use soap. First, you fill the cup with water as if it were coffee. Now in the pitcher use water and dish soap: when you steam it, the soap will bubble and foam just like milk would. Then practice with it as if it were milk. I promise you this works, and it’s a million times cheaper… and it makes the place smell like soap!
Latte art is really important because it’s your first impression with clients or potential employers. Also, if your latte art is successful your coffee is probably going to end up on Instagram and become popular. For this, add some food colorant to the water and that’s your shot of espresso! Have at it. You don’t have to draw the Starry Night at first. Be patient, and have fun with it.
Organization is Key to Become a Great Barista With Ease
Do you keep your workplace organized, or does it look like a battlefield at the end of the day?
Keeping things organized helps to become a great barista with ease since it helps with the consistency and the speed of your work. For example, get a pump dispenser for sweetener, creamers, and spices. This way you don’t have to stop to measure or think too much: you’ll know already how many times you have to pump it out. Easy.
Buy organizers. Invest in some organizers to keep everything neat and tidy. To speed up your work and leave your mind to focus solely on the coffee, you need to have everything in its proper place so you can rely on muscle memory. Not only will this help with making drinks way faster, but it will prevent you from misplacing something and going utterly crazy thinking someone else misplaced it. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Take Advantage Of Your Apron
If you’re using your apron just to keep yourself clean, there’s another aspect to this wonderful piece of clothing that you’re not taking advantage of. Use an apron with a lot of pockets and assign each pocket to a specific function to become a great barista with ease. Keep a cleaning rag on you always because, you know, milk is always waiting to be spoiled. According to your needs, see what tools or accessories you use the most and use your apron to keep them on your person at all times needed. Save time, and look prepared in front of everyone else!
Write Down Your Work Flow
To expand on the topic of not having to think too much while you’re working, you’re going to have to write down on a piece of paper each step of your coffee making progress and you’re going to tape it to the wall so it’s there every time you look up. Eventually, you’ll memorize it. This will keep you working without having to fumble around wondering what you have to do next. Here’s an example for you for making one latte:
- Set the timer for the shot.
- Fill pitcher with milk.
- Grind one shot. Fill and tamp portafilter.
- Attach portafilter and place the cup below it. Start timer.
- Purge steaming wand.
- As soon as the shot is complete, stop the shot. Unlatch portafilter, knock out and wipe.
- Steam the milk until ready.
- Pour milk into coffee.
- Clean steaming wand, rinse pitcher.
And you have one latte ready, and everything is clean and ready for the next shot. Feel free to modify according to your needs and preferences. Make sure you write it in a way that is clear for you so you don’t have to squint every time you look at it.
These lists will become more complicated as you start preparing more complicated drinks. They are, on the other hand, particularly helpful when you’re preparing multiple drinks at a time. Be sure to always have time to write down your workflow so you don’t miss any steps.
Be Clean to Become a Great Barista With Ease
This is a constant struggle. Your workplace is bound to look like a pack of raccoons stormed in and trashed the place while you weren’t looking. To prevent the work from piling up, clean as you go. Before and after each drink, clean your workspace so that everything’s ready.
It’s also a very important part that you keep your machine clean and purge it regularly to prevent even the smallest variations in flavor in your coffee. You’ll notice that if you don’t clean thoroughly, the taste is not consistent for each shot. This is especially true for the milk if you’re using more than one type of milk: Do not let a pitcher lie around after using it or you won’t have time to properly clean it when you need it. This will alter the flavor of your drink.
Have at least three cleaning rags in your workplace. One specially for the steaming wand, another for the machine and the counter, and one for pitchers and coffee cups. It’s also recommended to have another one lying around just in case.