Jamie Braun is a KZN-based barista trainer and coffee consultant. #CountryCoffee is where she keeps us up to date with the latest and greatest in the local coffee scene. This week she explains some coffee jargon.
Words Jamie Braun
No, that milk is not stretching for a hectic gym sesh with his buddy. It’s a term used to describe the steaming process. When milk is steamed correctly, it stretches as air is introduced to the milk and leaves you with a smooth and silky consistency. Here are five other coffee-related terms that will have you sounding like a coffee connoisseur in no time:
Cortado: This drink has gained popularity recently and is perfect if you are a cappuccino lover wanting to slowly cut down on the amount of milk you drink with your coffee. Cortado means to “cut” in Spanish. An espresso is cut with a small amount of milk (usually a ratio of 1:2). The milk helps balance out the acidity of the espresso.
Dial in: When a barista talks about dialing in coffee, it means that the grinder has been set to the correct grind setting (fine/course) and dosage for the espresso machine. It means that the coffee is extracting perfectly. Different beans require different settings to ensure the correct extraction.
Tamp: Tamping is done after you have dosed your porta filter with coffee and before you plug it into the espresso machine to extract your shot. It is an important step as it levels out the coffee in the porta filter and ensures an even extraction (if you tamp straight, that is!)
Ristretto: An espresso is between 25-30ml . A ristretto is made using the same amount of coffee, but only half the amount of water. A double ristretto is also made in 15 seconds, but yields around 30ml of coffee. Why try a ristretto? There will be less acidity than an espresso due to the shorter extraction process.
Crema: Meaning “cream” in Italian, this is that creamy, hazelnut/ reddish-brown colour that forms the top layer of an espresso. As water is forced under pressure (9 Bars to be exact) through the coffee grounds during the extraction process, oils and carbon dioxide are released from the ground coffee. If you are using good quality coffee that is fresh, ground to the correct consistency and made by a skilled barista, then you should have a crema that lasts for quite a while.
Next week I will talk about a few common mistakes people make when making coffee and how to improve your skills tremendously with just few minor adjustments.
Until then, stay caffeinated! J
Jamie plies her trade with her fellow coffee fundis at Mokador South Africa.