We work with and supply a wide variety of coffee machines and coffee consumables – here are some of the Companies we work with:
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What is a ‘Coffee Barista’ ?
A ‘barista’ is of Italian origin, and in Italian, a barista is a male or female “bartender”, who typically works behind a counter, serving both hot drinks (such as espresso), and cold alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Baristas generally operate a commercial espresso machine, and their role is preparing the shot and pulling the shot; the degree to which this is automated or done manually varies significantly, ranging from push-button operation to an involved manual process. Machines range from manual (lever), where the pressure is applied by hand, to semi-automatic, where the pressure is applied automatically but brew time is selected by the barista, to automatic, where the brew time is also preset (but preparing the grinds is still manual), to super-automatic, where the barista need only load the beans and push a button, but is otherwise completely automated. Espresso is a notoriously finicky beverage, and thus good manual espresso making is considered a skilled task. Further, preparation of other beverages, particularly milk-based drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes, but also non-espresso coffee such as drip or press pot, requires additional work and skill for effective frothing, pouring and most often latte art.
Preparing the shot involves adjusting the grind of the beans, dosing (the amount of coffee used in the shot), tamping (pressing down the espresso in the basket), and often other preparation of the grounds (such as leveling, tapping, or stirring), with the goal of obtaining a desired extraction. Good espresso-making is valued by connoisseurs.
The barista usually has been trained to operate the machine and to prepare the coffee based on the guidelines of the roaster or shop owner, while more experienced ones may have discretion to vary preparation or experiment, and a seasoned veteran will of course need little training beyond specifics of equipment and beans used and the shop’s preferences.
Skilled baristas acquire knowledge of the entire process of coffee to effectively prepare a desired cup of coffee, similar to how a sommelier is familiar with the entire process of wine making and consumption. This knowledge includes the correct operation, maintenance and programming of the machine, grinding and tamping methods, extraction times, water temperature and quality, micro milk frothing, free pouring, latte art, roasting, coffee plant cultivation, drying methods, correct storage, renewable methods of disposal, recycling of the coffee and packaging used.