In this online barista training course, you will know how to correctly level your coffee in a portafilter and tamp the coffee to get nice and even coffee stream without any beading. If you want to become a barista and you have no experience so far, this course is perfect for you to get started.
Barista’s routine is made up of a sequence of short but important actions. To be a good barista you need to master the basic techniques of coffee preparation like distributing and tamping your coffee before you actually lock a portafilter into a coffee machine’s grouphead.
In the previous article, we talked about the subtleties of coffee grinding and even dosing. Now let’s have a look at what comes after that.
After you dose you coffee and get an even mound in the center of the portafilter, you will need to level or distribute your coffee. Levelling is an action of manual evening out and distributing the grounds in the basket.
The purpose of levelling is to facilitate even compression of the grounds during tamping and to reduce excess waste and overdose.
You should never avoid levelling. The only case you might not level is when you use a more dense heavy coffee and a doserless grinder and you have a lot of headspace. In this case you can get a very even amount of coffee in the center and on the sides of the basket with lots of headspace.
- Find the finger that works best for you, it might be your index finger. Twist and turn your finger to move coffee around the basket.
- Level your coffee in the direction of North, then South, then East and eventually West. If you have long fingers, you can reach all the way across.
- With the last push, push any excess grounds off into the knock-box.
Try to minimize the amount of waste. The coffee has travelled a long way to your coffee shop and it’s really priceless.
If you want to become a barista you also need to pick up a proper tamping technique.
So what is a tamper? A tamper basically consists of a handle (can be metal, plastic or wooden) and a metal base. It is used to compress the coffee evenly and ensure a smooth consistency in the coffee.
Choose to work with a tamper that fits you personally and that feels like it was tailored to your hands.
- When you tamp hold your tamper like a door knob.
- Place a tamper flat in a portafilter and turn your entire body to hit 30 lb of pressure more easily.
- Push the base of the tamper with the meat of your thumb.
- Tamp your coffee with only one smooth motion applying an even pressure.
When tamping coffee it’s important to watch how you hold your body. Never bend your wrist to prevent any wrist damage.If the wrist is bent and the shoulder is unbalanced and it will cause shoulder pain quickly and damage your wrist.
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