Spot the errors in my barista routine [video]

Beginner or pro barista, all are invited to share.
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Postby HB » Jun 14, 2015, 10:05 pm

I made several short videos yesterday as part of the Speedster Espresso Machine Review. In the video below, I am preparing 3 cappuccinos at a reasonable pace of 3-1/2 minutes. Watching the video more critically, I noticed several errors in barista technique. Did you spot them?

Note: I'm only counting errors in barista technique; do not count my fashion mistakes or calling out the wrong name as Twitter/Facebook commentators did. :lol:
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Postby Prescott CR » Jun 14, 2015, 10:31 pm

You are a brave man :)

I'd prep the milk before the shot, but it didn't really interfere with what you were doing.

That machine does have a '3 on the tree' look and feel to it :) - your guide to exceptional espresso
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Postby keno » Jun 14, 2015, 10:32 pm

Here is what I noticed:
  • No screen flush in between shots
  • Not rinsing out the milk pitcher
  • Drink proportion appears to have too much milk (but that's just my preference)

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Postby canuckcoffeeguy » Jun 14, 2015, 10:37 pm

Does not flushing between shots to clean the shower screen count?

And not rinsing the milk pitcher?

That's nitpicking though. :wink: Since you were serving drinks in sixth gear!

Porsches + speedster + coffee. What else could one want? :D

Edit: I see Keno noticed the same errors. I drafted my post before I saw his.

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Postby Moxiechef » Jun 14, 2015, 10:50 pm

Fingers on the lip of the cup.


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Postby HB » Jun 14, 2015, 11:04 pm

Good catches so far. There are several others. As for the pitcher rinse, there's no nearby sink. Years ago when I covered SCAA competitions, no sink or rinse equipment was provided. That may have been OK for competitions, but I think the health code requires it for a cafe.
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Postby keno » Jun 14, 2015, 11:05 pm

Okay, if we're really going to nitpick, looks like you were standing on one leg and leaning over to the left when tamping - not great posture for an even and consistent tamp. Lol! :wink:

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Postby TomC » Jun 14, 2015, 11:37 pm

Ehh, results are more important than methods but I imagine if you were on bar all day you'd get some arm strain from pouring so high, and the top half of the cup is off limits to a barista's hands. Brad and John got to taste your fingerprints :o

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Postby aecletec » Jun 15, 2015, 12:49 am

In addition to above:
Does re-using old grounds count? They weren't idle for long, though.
Dirty water on the working surface.
Grinder seemed too far away from edge of the bench to be used comfortably for extended periods?

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Postby Beaniac » Jun 15, 2015, 10:14 am

I see you double tamping. I'm not saying it's wrong but I don't like it.

The two steps in the process I think should be done instantly are purging and wiping the steam wand, and discarding a used puck. But I believe the speedster has a cold touch wand, so it can handle the few seconds more.

Also I like to purge and wipe the dispersion screen in between shots, but that has been mentioned earlier.

The milk pitcher doesn't got emptied between shots 2 and 3, might have been empty though.

Also I see you're not as OCD as I am on wiping the portafilter ears. I keep a shaving brush on my knockoff drawer to empty and clean portafilters. Before and after loading. So that I don't use my hands, although I personally find hands on the coffee and cup fine I only consider hands IN the cup a sanitary issue.

Last but not least, I wipe the driptray service. I hate wet and/or dirty bottoms of cups. Just something in my routine, dirty driptray or not.

Pretty much all I can see further is ergonomics. I would consider it a nightmare doing 45cappus an hour and bending down- or over the counter like that for the milk and ground coffee for every shot. I leave the carton on the bench for any series of shots.

But all in all you are doing a very nice job. I like the multitasking and I see you keep a good eye on more than one thing at the same time.
I catered a company of 13 (mostly cappuccinos) just yesterday and Its not easy on a single group.