What makes a good barista? Well, where should we start? Customer service is a good one. It’s their responsibility to brew and advise customers on the best products that will meet their needs. But, you also have to include skills and knowledge. How you interact with coffee impacts the final flavor. With the right resources, you can make coffee at your home. But, some people continue to purchase from their favorite Nashville coffee shop, because the final product is far superior. We have a few tips from baristas that will help you achieve a better cup of coffee.
How Your Barista Can Improve the Taste of Your Coffee
1. Use filtered water.
Minerals and other compounds can alter the taste of your coffee. Many experts and coffee geeks (a.k.a. baristas!) will tell you that using filtered water is a good way to get a pure tasting cup of joe! Purified water won’t alter the flavor profile. Instead, you’re left with a smooth, delicious taste of your favorite roast.
2. Don’t use the beans the same day they are roasted.
We can’t blame anyone who loves the smell of freshly roasted coffee. But, it’s in your best interest not to use them the same day. Let your bean mellow for at least four days to achieve their full potential. Some baristas will tell you to wait a little longer. Maybe a week? Whatever you choose, don’t use them sooner than four days.
3. Keep an eye on the expiry date.
Don’t use expired coffee. Don’t see an expiry date on your beans? They are probably not a good investment. While the jury is out on how long it lasts, most baristas agree they shouldn’t last longer than three weeks. If you buy pre-ground coffee, keep them in an airtight container to prolong their shelf life.
4. Use burr grinders for your beans.
Freshly ground coffee is the best for a perfect cup! Getting the full flavor profile from a bean means using the best equipment, and baristas agree on burr grinders. They are more advanced than blades and evenly grind the beans for beautiful flavor. Interested in buying a new grinder? You can check out this article for some recommendations.
5. The water temperature means everything.
Boiling water isn’t good for your coffee. It can rob the grounds of essential flavor or scorch the beans. 198 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperatures for coffee brews. Just so we’re all on the same page boiling water is 212 degrees and way too hot. If you use a kettle, let it sit for about 30 seconds before pouring.
6. Ice-coffee cubes make a big difference.
Not all coffee shops offer coffee cubes, but if you are craving an iced coffee at home make cubes from your brew. As the water melts, it dilutes the flavor of your drink. Using coffee cubes means you don’t lose the integrity of your drink as the ice melts. It does require a little forward thinking and pre-planning, but trust us when we say it will be worth it this summer.
7. Don’t store your beans in the fridge or freezer.
We can see how the concept came to fruition. Putting something in colder temperatures prolongs the shelf life. But, it’s not recommended for coffee beans. The delicious taste will be affected as the beans absorb the odors of other foods. You’re best bet is an airtight container set out on the counter.
8. Use a scale to get the perfect cup.
The extra mile is never crowded! The perfect cup is possible by taking the time to use a scale to weigh out ingredients. We’re talking beans and water. Trying to pour free-hand could leave you with something too strong or too weak. Use a scale to deliver between 19-27 grams of coffee for every 400 grams of water.
9. Prepare your filter.
We’ve talked a little about the importance of wetting your coffee for pour over brewing, but wetting the filter is a good practice for brewing. This step is especially important if you are doing a pour over. Why? It removes the flavor from the paper. Did you know there are coffee brewing competitions amongst baristas? Do you know what they do to improve their chances of winning? Wetting the filter. No point in drinking coffee that tastes like paper.
Best Coffee in Nashville
There are more ways baristas can help. Visit one of our Tin Cup locations in Nashville to meet with one of our coffee experts. We believe knowledge is power, and we are well-versed in everything coffee. Together we can walk through your likes and dislikes of coffee and introduce you to your new favorite cup.
Our two locations are easy to access no matter where you are in the Greater Nashville Area. Looking for a great Music City skyline view? Stop by our Madison location or grab a cup of coffee during your next shopping trip at Opry Mills mall!