Common Barista Mistakes
After you get a barista job and start your first shift in a coffee shop it’s easy to make mistakes. Even after you had your barista training. We want you to avoid the most common barista mistakes and point out possible traps that you might not even think about.
This online barista training course will focus on the most common mistakes a new barista can make after starting to work in a coffee shop.
One of the most common barista mistakes is not knowing how to precisely dial in your espresso. It often results in over-extraction a shot which results in a bitterness of a drink. It means that the brew water is exposed to ground coffee for too long. In other words, in an over extracted shot the water takes too long to run through bed of espresso ground.
Over-extracted espresso will taste bitter or burnt. Or your ground might be too fine. So it’ll take 40 seconds to get an output of only 30 g. Such espresso will taste extremely sour and oily.
Always set the right water temperature on your espresso machine. Remember, it’s crucial to get a great tasty shot. Usually, every espresso machine has a digital read in the middle with a shot timer and programming. So 90-95 C (194-203 F) is an ideal temperature, try to stick to these numbers. Many experienced baristas and coffee experts agree that in this temperature range the water will extract the best taste and aroma out of the coffee grounds.
3. Water and coffee ratio mistakes
To get the best result calibrate your grinder to dose 18-20 g of coffee into a portafilter. The total time of coffee extraction should be 25-30 seconds, not more. If the coffee runs too fast, probably, your grounds are too coarse and you get a bland tasteless coffee. If the pour time is too slow, set particle size to more coarse. Dial in your coffee every time you start a shift and also during the day.
If you are brewing your coffee manually, remember that the best coffee to water ratio is 60 g of coffee per 1 liter of water. Try to stick to the optimal ratio unless your customer wants his/her coffee stronger or weaker.
4. Using pre-ground coffee
When you become a barista you might think that it’ll make your workflow faster if you grind your coffee in advance. No, that’s wrong. Don’t grind too much coffee even if you have a grinder with a doser – don’t let the grounds go off. As soon an the grounds come in touch with the oxygen, the chemistry is merciless. It’ll most probably result in a badly tasting drink. Grind as much coffee as you need for one or two drinks.
5. Wrong coffee storage
If you want to keep your freshly roasted coffee beans fresh, keep them in a hermetic container in a cool dark place, but not in the fridge or freezer. Keep it also further away from ovens, microwave ovens and radiators.
6. Using old coffee
Fresh espresso changes every day, it ages and releases gasses. Always keep in mind how old is your coffee. It determines the dose, the timing, the output. Old coffee tends to lack body, be thin. It also lacks acidity and results in a dull drink. When you dose older coffee, it’s a good idea to updose a little (up to 21 grams) to compensate for the gas loss.
Becoming a barista is a great way to earn money in a job that you'll love. There are certainly plenty of benefits in being a barista.
Barista Training Academy is your premiere online barista training resource for learning how to be a barista, how to land a job as barista, and all the aspects of starting your career in retail coffee. For more information visit our blog.