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Troubleshooting your Home Barista Questions - 6 Week Home Barista Bootcamp Episode 6

Troubleshooting your Home Barista Questions - 6 Week Home Barista Bootcamp Episode 6

Over the last 6 Weeks, we have learnt enough to shift the way you make coffee at home forever. From sourcing delicious specialty coffee, extracting the best out of it, matching it with delicious, velvety milk to keeping our equipment clean - the habits you've formed over the last week 6 will hopefully set you up to brew great coffee well into the future.

 

This week, we recap everything we've already learnt, troubleshoot some of the problems you've been facing at home on your equipment, and hopefully cement your new-found home barista skillset. This one will be a lot easier to ingest by watching the video, but the written content is also here for you if you'd prefer to read.

 

 

Episode 1 - Intro

Main Takeaways:

Freshly roasted coffee - Brewing is best 1 week after roast through to about 4 weeks.

If possible, grind coffee just before you make your coffee.

Weighing your dose and timing your shot make it a lot easier to brew coffee consistently.

 

Feedback - This was week one so the main feedback from you guys was that you were excited to get started, and quite a few of you ordered some coffee or started a subscription so thank you for that!

 

Episode 2 - Extracting Better Espresso

Main Takeaways:

We talked about our espresso recipe which is our Dose:Yield and Flow rate. Remember that a good starting point is a a ratio of 1:2 that runs for 26-32 seconds.

 

We also talked about adjusting the grind - if we are outside of this flow rate. If you’re faster than 25 seconds then you need to go finer, and if you’re slower than 33 seconds you want to go coarser.

 

Feedback:

Tamp pressure - The best way to think about this is to push down until you feel the tamper isn’t collapsing the coffee any further. When you first start pushing you’ll feel the coffee collapsing. the moment you like it’s more like you’re just pushing the tamper against the table, that’s it.

 

Preinfusion - A few people asked about if preinfusion was counted in the extraction time of 26-32 seconds. Preinfusion is when the machine allows water to flow into the puck at low pressure, before ramping up the pressure to the 9 bars we associate with espresso extraction. For me the goal of preinfusion is to saturate the puck so that when you hit 9 bars, it’s more likely to run through the puck evenly rather than channeling. If using preinfusion I tend to keep it to 4-6 seconds.. It will effect your total time a little but I wouldn’t start the timer AFTER preinfusion.

 

Grinders with a Timer - This was also a great question. When you’re using an automatic grinder that has a timer, manually dial in the grind setting first. After your coffee is dialled in, then adjust the timer so that you’re getting the correct dose. The timer is just telling the grinder to run for a certain amount of time - but if the burrs are closer together less coffee will be able to pass through the grinder in that time. If the burrs are further apart, more coffee will grind in the same amount of time. So manually dose out your dose consistently, get your flow rate right, and then adjust the timer on the grind so that when you hit the preset button it delivers the dose you’re after.

 

Episode 3 - What the Froth!?

Main Takeaways:

Texturing Milk - we talked about using a quality milk. Especially important for alternate milks as not all of them are designed to work well with espresso.

Talked about Getting the angle of the steam wand in the milk jug correct to get the whirlpool going, and also how much air we need to add to the milk.

 

Feedback -

One question regarding to milk texturing was this one about having really thick dry foam on top of the milk. In this situation the whirlpool is not working for you, or potentially you’re overheating the milk. Get your whirlpool going from the get go, and add your air while the milk is still cool, this way your frothy milk will be incorporated into the milk for a silky velvety texture.

 

Episode 4 - Pouring

Main Takeaways:

In this one we discussed pouring the main coffees - Flat Whites, Cappuccinos and Lattes. All of these coffees are single shots in a normal size cup with varying amounts of textured milk. For a cappuccino we have a lot more froth and in order to get this in the cup we pour closer to the cup to allow that froth to fall in. For the lattes and flat whites, we texture the milk a little thinner and pour from a bit more height to set the cremates.

 

Feedback:

A couple of people asked for clarification around the number of shots, or mentioned that in their country the standards were a bit different. That is the fun thing about coffee, in different parts of the world there are different interpretations, and this can even happen from cafe to cafe too. The main thing is understanding what tastes good to you… you might like the strength of a single shot, or a double shot. At the end of the day it’s your coffee and if it tastes good to you, perfect!

 

I also teased a Latte Art Bootcamp. You guys sounded stoked on this one and I’ve already started developing how this will run. I’ve got a surprise in store to help do this bootcamp in style too!

 

Episode 5 - Cleaning

Main Takeaways:

 In this one we went over the importance of keeping your equipment clean, how often you should clean out your portafilter, the group head and backflushing.


I also talked about water and water filtration - which is MASSIVELY important for both the taste of your espresso and for the longevity of your machine.

 

Feedback:

I got a few questions - this one about murky water sounds like a water quality issue. They said that the manufacturer of their machine didn’t recommend descaling, if this is the case I’d definitely recommend getting the machine professionally serviced.

 

I got another question about cleaning the grinder. This too is important but depending on your grinder can be a job you have to be quite careful doing. The main issue can be when you’re putting the grinder back together, making sure that you seat everything very carefully, and being super careful when you’re tightening the collar to your grinder that you don’t skip the thread. If you do the burrs will be misaligned which will lead to uneven grind, which as we know will not be good for your extractions at all. If you want to learn more about this you can check out an old video I did on cleaning my mazzer mini - I’ll add a link in the description.

 

Conclusion

So this brings us to the end of this 6 Week Home Barista Bootcamp, and I hope that you’ve learnt so much to improve your coffee making at home over the last few videos. I know that in my videos I mention a lot that the best way to support me is to buy my coffee, and thanks to all of those of you in Australia who do that, I do appreciate it a lot.

 

What I ask if you’ve watched this whole video series though is to do something different. If you think that you’ve learnt a lot from the series, just share the series with someone else you know who loves coffee.

I’ve been building the Coffeefusion community for a number of years, and I really want to double my subscriber count by the end of the year so that I can devote more time to creating content. I really enjoy making videos and more importantly helping people all over the world improve the coffee they are making. If you’re watching but not subscribed, hit that subscribe button for me and lets see how far we can take this channel by the end of 2020. I’ve got a lot of ideas lined up for content for the rest of the year and I’d love to see you along for the journey!

 

In a few weeks I’m going to be starting the 6-Week Latte Art bootcamp, so I look forward to seeing you for that one, and in the mean time…

 

Keep Frothin’!

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