As hoteliers, restaurateurs, café owners, or anyone else who serves coffee, we all want to serve only the best. Even after picking state of the art machines and premium coffee, there are other factors to consider to make sure you consistently provide a top cup of coffee. From storage and preparation to machine maintenance, read on to find out 8 of the most important factors that influence coffee quality for your customers.
1. Freshness of the coffee beans
One of the most important aspects of a good coffee is the bean itself. The fresher, the better! After roasting, the coffee beans start to go stale with exposure to oxygen. Coffee roasters usually try to prevent the oxidisation process by packaging coffee beans in gas-flushed bags to prevent oxygen getting in but allowing carbon dioxide out.
Other factors that can cause coffee beans to go stale are light, moisture and heat so it’s important to store your coffee correctly once the bag is opened. Check out our tips on keeping your coffee beans fresh so you can ensure you’re serving only the best coffee!
2. Freshness of the grind
Once whole beans are ground, they will only last one hour before going stale. Grinding coffee makes it more vulnerable to the elements that cause it to spoil, so it’s important to only grind your coffee as and when you need it. If not, you run the risk of serving stale coffee that lacks the flavour notes and aromas that your customers expect.
Contrary to some common advice, keeping ground coffee refrigerated will not lengthen its life – it can expose the coffee to moisture and absorb the odour of other foods.
3. Coffee grind size
The coarseness of the grind also has an important effect on coffee quality. Brewing coffee that is too coarse can result in weak, highly acidic coffee. Coffee that is ground too finely will have the opposite effect and can cause an overly bitter coffee.
Different brewing methods require different grind sizes, so it’s important to find the right size for how you are preparing coffee for your customers. Once you find that perfect grind, keep it consistent so that you are always serving the best coffee you can.
4. Gram throw
The gram throw (or dose) refers to the weight of dry, ground coffee used in the portafilter. Whilst the amount can vary from 7g up to 22g, the most important thing is to keep the dose consistent to ensure great coffee is served to your customers.
5. Water quality
Water makes up to 98% of the components found in a cup of coffee, so it’s pretty important when it comes to making the perfect cup! It’s always best to use filtered water for the ideal taste and it can help to keep your coffee machine in better condition.
Look after the water filter in your coffee machine to prevent mineral build-up and descale your machine monthly. Your customers deserve it!
6. Pressure in the coffee machine
‘Espresso’ refers to a method of brewing coffee where water is pushed through a compact puck of ground coffee using an espresso machine. In order to compact the ground coffee, a consistent amount of pressure should be applied – usually 9 bars. Anything below this will not extract enough solids from the coffee grounds, meaning you will lose overall quality.
7. Soft or not tamping
Tamping is important to create a puck of coffee with even density in the portafilter basket. This means that the water will travel evenly through it, as opposed to flowing through any sparse cracks too quickly and missing out on collecting all the delicious coffee flavours.
The ideal amount of pressure is 15 kgs but, as always, consistency is key.
8. Cleanliness of your coffee machine
Your coffee machine is producing a consumable product, so for hygiene and health & safety reasons you need to clean your coffee machine on a daily basis.
A sparkling clean machine will also ensure you serve the best quality coffee; it will be free from any residual milk, old coffee or other spillages which can contaminate the end product.
There are so many factors that can influence the quality of the coffee you serve to your customers, but one thing is clear; keep it consistent and you won’t go far wrong.
Do you have any other questions on serving great quality coffee? Let us know in the comments!
Tagged with: coffee • coffee beans • fresh • packaging • quality • storage