World Champion Barista on the Perfect Cup

November 09, 2010

Good water, the right grind and a clean machine top Austrian barista Franz Grünwald’s advice for making the perfect cup. In a recent article for Cityscape Restoranto, Lana Hall reported on the advice of the world champion barista and “certified coffee fanatic” delivered at a Toronto coffee house.

Grünwald, currently a trainer for Tchibo’s Coffee Academy in Vienna, stressed the importance of good water quality as a basis for a good cup of coffee. It should be fresh and not too hard, so coffee lovers in areas with very hard water might look into water softeners.

Blend and grind are critical. Because espresso and drip coffees, for example, are roasted differently, for the best espresso it’s important to use an espresso blend only. Similarly, the grind and grinder are very important; a different size grind is needed for the different styles of coffee, from espresso fine to percolator coarse. The grinder should be of a quality that can deliver these different degrees of grind and should be kept very clean.

Cleanliness of the coffee maker also matters, as any grit or residue could prevent grounds from processing correctly or the machine from reaching optimum temperature. The consumer should also know the differences between roast methods and timing, as various times and temperatures bring out diverse characteristics in the coffee.

Franz Grünwald was mostly addressing coffee shop baristas, from his perspective as a trainer. But all of his advice can be followed by the at-home barista too. In terms of picking a coffee machine, the consumer might want to consider a coffeemaker with a built-in water softener, if hard water is a factor. ROASTe offers several of these, one of which is for home use. Another concern might be ease of cleaning, since cleanliness is of great importance. A wide range of grinders are available to the at-home barista, but it should be possible to find one that features various level of grinds at a reasonable price.

At ROASTe, we offer everything necessary to follow Franz Grünwald’s advice. However, the flourish, finesse, artistry and ambiance are up to you.

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