Replicating cafe quality drinks - impossible?? - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
DamianWarS
Supporter ♡

#21: Post by DamianWarS »

BaristaBoy E61 wrote:+1

That much I agree with. It hasn't been hard to create espresso at home better than that in most cafés.

Latté Art has been where the challenge has been.
The cafe experience adds a lot that you can't get at home which includes the presentation like latte art and this might be why a cafe is more desired or coffee seems to taste better. I know I'm more relaxed at a cafe and that mindset definitely contributes to how you enjoy the experience. The same can be said about anything of course.

jdrobison

#22: Post by jdrobison » replying to DamianWarS »

Good point. Similar experience with steak and eating out. Making a great steak is pretty straight forward, assuming you're starting with high-quality steak. I can easily make a steak at home that's superior to just about any we might find in the best restaurants. My wife would agree, yet she enjoys the experience of ordering steak sometimes when we dine out.

Baratza: skilled in the art of grinding
Sponsored by Baratza
mathof

#23: Post by mathof »

After years at this, I make espresso at home that is catered to my tastes and is simply unavailable from cafes. For example, I like Yemen Mokka Matari beans, which I usually roast myself. I've never even seen Yemen coffee on offer at a cafe. Beyond that, when I dial in a bean, I aim for a taste that appeals to me, not someone else however expert. I continue to patronise excellent cafes (which fortunately abound where I live) in order to widen my awareness of what's available in specialty coffee, but I rarely suffer from espresso envy when I do so.

croikee

#24: Post by croikee »

You can do it. For sure. I was a barista at a small roaster up in Seattle for four years. I cut my teeth on a Linea. I now have a Bianca (2 weeks old) and a Eureka Mignon (so your grinder is better). I'm making drinks just as good as when I was a barista. Our training barista at the time went on to win US Barista Champion and competed in the world championship. So our training was legit. I even one an in house latte art competition between multiple location stores. In fact, my caps are better, I'd argue for one-off drinks the Bianca has more variables you can play with, and I've not missed the steaming power of the Linea at all.

So that is the context I'm coming from. I'm not a great barista, but I was solid. At that time our store was not yet getting into profiling etc. Grind right, dose right, understand bean age and yes, the weather, and be consistent. The linea didn't make great drinks, we did. The Linea (which I love by the way) did exactly what we asked it to do. If we asked right, delicious. Asked wrong, horrible.

For a traditional Cappuccino, you need to consistencies: Shot quality and milk quality. Doesn't have to be the best shot ever, but the lower milk volume to espresso in a traditional cap means you'll mask a bad shot less. Also, with a traditional cap, you should be able to pour latte art IF YOU WANTED to. None of this "bone dry cappuccino" crap that customers used to order. That is, if you are going more traditional. How many bar does the Mara steam at and how many holes in the tip are you using? What are you steaming it in, size pitcher etc.?

I'd say my skills were always more on the milk steaming side. I still have a tone to learn about profiling etc. Thats an area of weakness. But I can correct my shots, be consistent and foam well. IF you can do that, you can produce as good, or better, than many of the cafes out there.

One last item, if you are doing mochas (which I love) or other flavors (which is perfectly fine, its coffee, meant to be enjoyed), the quality of the flavor matters. Crap flavor in amazing coffee turns the coffee crap. I'm a huge fan of the Monin brand and I've not found anything better.

Cheers!

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#25: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

jdrobison wrote:Good point. Similar experience with steak and eating out. Making a great steak is pretty straight forward, assuming you're starting with high-quality steak. I can easily make a steak at home that's superior to just about any we might find in the best restaurants. My wife would agree, yet she enjoys the experience of ordering steak sometimes when we dine out.
Another great point; you sell the sizzle not the steak. My wife and I are definitely coming to your place for steak!

But regarding the 'sizzle', I have found that over the years my latté art has definitely improved substantially and that when that art just pops right out there and has a big presence the coffee always tastes great whether it's for myself, my wife or any other guest. It just never misses!
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"