Barista: a stylish, lover of coffee with the ability to turn dry coffee grounds into liquid gold.
A trip to your local espresso-extracting, crema-creating, microfoam-making coffee connoisseur is a nice treat. But it’s unrealistic to expect that each of us has the time and energy to make a special café trip every single day in order to get a daily dose of the good stuff. So, what if you could complete barista training at home, learn how to recreate the magic of your favourite beverages, and become your very own on-demand coffee maker? Our top 4 home barista techniques will help you do just this with just a little helping hand from your very own Nespresso coffee machine.
1. True technique begins with the right tools
A true barista loves the process of creating coffee just as much as, tasting the end product and can appreciate the beauty of a great coffee machine. Finding the right coffee machine for your personal taste and preferences will absolutely result in a better-quality coffee. Here are some of the things you should ask yourself when considering which coffee machine is right for you:
- Would you like a machine that allows you to heat milk yourself using a steam wand or an automatic milk frother that does the work for you?
- What type of coffee would you like to make? Nespresso has a range of machines on offer with the ability to create different sizes according to your personal preference.
- How much space do you have at home for your machine?
Find the right coffee machine for you with our complete guide
2. Get your spin on
If you’re using a steam wand you will need to practice getting your ‘spin’ going. This is when the milk literally spins inside the jug. It creates a cyclone effect and sucks down any larger bubbles to create microfoam. Mastering the milk heating process is one of the key requirements of any barista and until you master this process your coffee will lack that certain something. Like all things, practice makes perfect here.
Pro Tip: Purge your steamer after every use to avoid water and milk build up. If you own a Creatista, this process is automated.
For those who are looking for a perfect foamy finish from the first time they use their machine, a Nespresso Aeroccino3 milk frother is a great alternative to the steam wand. It will provide a consistently professional finish at optimal the drinking temperature.
3. Unleash your creativity
One of the most admired qualities of the humble (or not so humble) barista is the ability to create a work of art within a cup. This skill is not reserved for the highly trained and with a little practice can easily be replicated from home using either your steaming wand or Nespresso jug frother. For the best results, use the following technique:
- Stir or gently swish and manipulate the milk gently before pouring to ensure an even consistency throughout. Don’t be scared to remove any over bubbly milk from the surface using a teaspoon.
- Start your pour high above your cup. This encourages the milk to penetrate all the way through the espresso. Then, slowly bring the jug closer to the cup as you begin your design.
- When your cup is up to three-quarters full begin moving your hand holding the milk jug from side to side. You’ll notice a pattern emerging in the milk. Once the cup is almost full, pour the milk slowly and gently through the centre of the design. This will create a leafy effect.
Once you’ve mastered this basic design, you’ll be ready to attempt some more complex works of coffee art.
Pro Tip: More intense blends of coffee will provide a deeper colour contrast for your art.
4. Get to know your coffee
For the true at-home barista, coffee-making is far more than just a means to an end. Learning about what you’re drinking will strengthen your barista game and will help you to train your palette to identify roasts, origins and blends. Nespresso capsules differ in intensity, richness, aroma and so much more. If you taste, test and consider your experience when enjoying the different blends that are on offer you’ll be talking about, and selecting coffee like a pro in no time. See our Coffee Bean Guide for more.
Baristas may seem like wondrous beings with some sort of unattainable level of skill and creativity. But in reality, by using these five techniques you too can become a creator of insta-worthy, deliciously professional, barista beverages.
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