10 tricks to recognize a good coffee at the bar

10 tricks to recognize a good coffee at the bar

In Italy we think we are the best coffee connoisseurs in the world: here is a small guide to move in the right direction.

Also this year Turin Coffee was held in Turin , the event that the subalpine city dedicates to coffee lovers (who are practically all Italians), but above all to the culture of this drink. Yes, because in Italy it is easy to say coffee : we believe that the best in the world is our espresso, but in reality the best is drunk in Australia, in Japan, sometimes in London. We think of it at the top because we insist on the rituality of tradition, of the tazzulella , but in the meantime, to name one, in our country the SCA has only existed for a few years: it is the most authoritative world association for the promotion of excellence in the world of coffee. .

The Specialty Coffee Association (the definition indicates green coffee beans produced in particular microclimates with specific attention to every aspect of their growth), represents thousands of coffee professionals, from producers to baristas from all over the world, promotes excellence through innovation, research, training and communication.The Specialty Coffee Association represents coffee professionals and contributes to product culture It contributes to the culture of coffee by promoting a high quality product , a type of artisan roasting and above all by proposing the discovery of fine single-origin coffees (precisely the specialty coffees) and new methods of preparation in Italy that are little known, if not snubbed (V60, Chemex, Aeropress, French-press, Siphon). In short, there is more than espresso.
But the classic coffee of the bar remains the most loved (and consumed) by Italians. So we asked Stefania Zecchi, Membership Coordinator Sca Italy, the secrets to find out if the espresso from our favorite bar is prepared and served in a workmanlike manner.. Phases 7-8-9-10 are up to the consumer-taster to recognize a good coffee

  1. Cleaning the bar station : paying particular attention to the steam wand for milk – the one for cappuccino – and the presence of cloths and sponges that must not be kept on the worktop.
  2. Cleaning the filter (i.e. filter holder and arm): must be done at the moment with a brush or a rag used only for coffee.
  3. Grinding on the spot and pressing from top to bottom of the correct amount of blend for the espresso.
  4. Purge: very  important to let the water flow from the special shower to eliminate residues of previous extractions.
  5. The service : cup, spoon and saucer must be absolutely clean. The bartender must always and only touch the handle of the cup.
  6. Before tasting the coffee, a glass of water must always be offered: the mouth will be cleaner and the coffee can be tasted better.
  7. The cream : the foam on top of the coffee should be hazelnut with reddish streaks.
  8. The elasticity of the cream:  evaluate it by moving it with the spoon towards the edge of the cup.
  9. Aromatic evaluation : move the cream to the side with a teaspoon and bring the cup to the nose to appreciate the aromatic sensations of the coffee.
  10. The tasting : first the so-called Slurp is done, sucking a small amount of drink between the teeth and nebulizing it on the palate. Then you take a sip and try to distinguish sweet, sour and bitter, trying to understand the balance of the cup . Clearly, a mono origin can be unbalanced, for example an Ethiopia will be more fruity, a Brazilian blend will have the aroma tending to chocolate.

In short, all that remains is to test this handbook of essential rules and go hunting for a good favorite coffee.

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