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8 Seconds is Too Short Campaign

August 1, 2006 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Uncategorized

The restaurant down the street from our office has a popular coffee bar. I was just down their enjoying one of those Blizzard drinks and I watched a “barista” make a shot of espresso that lasted all of 8 seconds.

Eight seconds is too short!

The guideline for a proper brewed espresso is between 25 and 30 seconds. Don’t believe me? See CoffeeGeek.

So I have been thinking a little bit about this whole concept of barista education, and I’ve come to the conclusion that while coffee shop owners and restaurant owners probably do not care, it might be interesting to have a barista training workshop. Maybe someone should think about doing this. I’m thinking that coffee shop owners and restaurant owners would pay to have each of their new barista hires attend this workshop. Maybe it would cost $50 and there would be 4 to 8 people in a workshop.

Most specialty industries require some education, so why not coffee? If the guy making your drink at a bar didn’t know how to make it, you’d be appalled. It should be the same at the coffee shop.

8 comments

  1. 9:06 am // August 1, 2006

    Jason says:

    Someone needs to organize a Barista Jam in your area. Find a local shop that takes the responsility and the art of espresso seriously and have them host one. They are a great way to build community within the local industry and also learn tons of stuff.

    ..just a though.

    ..be bold

  2. 9:54 am // August 1, 2006

    Chris Tingom says:

    Now that’s what I’m talking about! That’s exactly what needs to happen.

  3. 11:39 am // August 1, 2006

    Austin says:

    I find it odd that more people dont get training. Even though i have worked at multiple coffee shops I still wanted to make sure we got some proper training before we opened our shop. We throw out any under or over extracted shots. I would agree with more training though. More is always better. No reason to be arrogant about the coffee one serves.

    On a similar but unrelated topic. I went into our shop today and had a cappuccino and it tasted horribly acidic which is not normal for our espresso. Its normally really smooth and i couldn’t even drink this one. (I actually threw out two) It has been lank humid up here. Does anyone know if that does anything to the coffee. Is this just my tastebuds? This blog needs a forum.

  4. 2:12 am // August 2, 2006

    Jason Haeger says:

    Austin, how clean is your equipment? Was this on a new portafilter? Was the portafilter properly seasoned before pulling these?

    Was less/more coffee used in the basket? Was the tamp a little lighter? Was the shot a little quicker?

    Humidity can effect the grind setting, which can in-turn effect the extraction. Was the flavor more “acidic” or more “sour” (read: under-extraction) ?

    There are just too many variables in espresso to be able to narrow it down that easily.

  5. 10:24 am // August 2, 2006

    larry says:

    I agree with Austin, a forum for AZ Coffee would be a great addition!

    To wet peoples appetite to what is possible with dedication, training, technique and imagination, one needs to look no further than…

    Click here

  6. 2:00 pm // August 2, 2006

    Austin says:

    Ok the problem was figured out later which is wierd and will sound quite dumb. It turned out that one of our employees put WAY too much bleach in the desanitizing water the night before when cleaning the glasses. So the cups dried with a heavy amount of chlorine on them. We didn’t realize this until right after i left some girls ordered iced americanos and the bleach flavor was really noticable.

    So all the cups were washed and balance was restored to the universe. Those girls had seconds on the americanos, and I had a very nice cappuccino this morning.

  7. 2:34 pm // August 2, 2006

    Chris Tingom says:

    That’s awesome. The realities of running a business. Sometimes you get bleach. I love it.

  8. 4:48 pm // August 3, 2006

    Raymond says:

    If any coffee house owners out there want free employee training come see me at Red Rock Foods. We offer our customers free training sessions all we require is you use one of our product lines. Raymond (480) 557-7625

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