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16/04/2011

Coffee Making & Grind Adjustment Procedures

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So much fuss is made about making coffee, and let me tell you - it's not that hard! Follow these simple procedures and you'll be ahead of 90% of other cafes.

Firstly...a coffee procedure:

  1. Check Coffee Order Docket
  2. For white coffee select the appropriate type of milk jug (Regular, Skim or Soy)
  3. Fill the jug to the appropriate level (depending on the number of coffees) with Fresh Milk
  4. Move the steam wand to point toward the grill and purge the wand by letting steam through it
  5. Move the steam wand again and insert it 2cm into the milk in the jug
  6. Fully depress the steam handle to initiate texturisation of the milk
  7. Once Texturisation is complete switch off the steam handle
  8. Immediately wipe the Steam wand with a clean damp cloth
  9. Purge the steam wand to remove milk from within the wand
  10. Hang Milk Cloth onto right steam handle
  11. Remove Appropriate Group Handle from Machine
  12. Knock old Coffee out of Group Handle into knock drawer
  13. Hit Group handle against cloth of bench to further remove old grounds
  14. Ensure all coffee is out of handle otherwise rinse using machine
  15. Place group handle into Cradle of Grinder 
  16. Pull forward once for each 8oz dosage
  17. Tap the Group Handle to Level the Coffee Inside
  18. Press the Group handle firmly into the tamping mechanism & Twist the handle to compact the coffee
  19. Brush the top of the group handle with hand to remove excess coffee grinds
  20. Rinse water through machine using manual flow button ( * )
  21. Place group handle immediately into group head, select glass and press the appropriate button to make coffee
  22. Finish Making Coffee by adding milk
  23. Serve Coffee with Saucer and Spoon (on right hand side)

And if you'd like to get REALLY technical, here's how the coffee grind should be adjusted:

About the grind

The Grind is a vital part of the coffee making process. When the grinder is first turned on in the morning a small amount of coffee should be ground and then tested.

How to tell if the Grind is correct

The coffee should pour in a steady narrow stream It should appear to spiral slightly It should take 25-30 seconds to pour The Crema should be golden in colour and should not immediately dissipate. Three shades of crema should be visible.

How to tell if the Grind is poor

Grind Too Coarse

  • The coffee will take less than 25 seconds to pourIt will pour in a waterfall like flow
  • It will make a popping noise as it pours
  • There will be little or no crema

or

Grind too Fine

  • The Coffee will take more than 35 seconds to pourIt will drip out rather than pour.
  • The Crema will be very dark and uneven

What makes the Grind too fine or too coarse?

  • The Weather is the main contributing factor to fluctuations
  • Whilst many coffee shops are located within air conditioned premises others experience fluctuating temperatures and differing levels of humidity
  • When the weather is hot and humid, the beans effectively "sweat", releasing oils which cause the grind to be stickier than normal This causes the grinds to clump together which makes it more difficult for the water to push through the grinds.
  • The opposite is true for cooler weather as the absence of oils allows the coffee to be dry and to stay separate. Thus, when the water is pushed through it meets little resistance and flows through too quickly 

How to adjust the grind

If the coffee is pouring too fast then the grind is too coarse and needs to be made finer. Push the lever no more than 2mm in the direction of the arrow which says "Finer", grind more coffee and test.

If still too coarse repeat, but do not be tempted to move the lever more than 2mm at a time
If the coffee is pouring too slow then the grind is too fine and needs to be made coarser.

Push the lever no more than 2mm in the direction of the arrow which says "Coarser", grind more coffee and test.       If still too fine repeat, but do not be tempted to move the lever more than 2mm at a time.

Continual Adjustment

To ensure perfect coffee the grind must be continually adjusted throughout the day as the weather and temperature change.  A good barista will continually monitor the pour of the coffee and adjust the grind accordingly.

Let me know if you have any questions about the glorious process of crafting an espresso coffee!

Cheers,

TCN

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Craig Reid is one of Australia's top business improvement consultants and is a former owner of one of Sydney's top breakfast cafes.

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