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Thread: Call THAT espresso!!!

  1. #1
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    Call THAT espresso!!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I buy a daily latte at work --- parting with $2 for that I dont mind, as the deficiencies of the espresso are masked by the milk.

    Never, never, do I buy an espresso --- on the principle that it aint worth parting with $2 for a 30- 60 ml beverage of dubious quality.

    But today, I threw caution to the wind, and joined by work colleague for a coffee. She has a long black.

    The barista seemed knowledgeable, from my previous visits to the establishment.

    So I asked for a "double, 60 ml espresso thank you".

    I got a single, 30 ml job with a pale crema which dissipated before my eyes. "Perhaps he didnt hear me, eh"

    It was bitter. Oh, so, so bitter. And coming from a commercial Wega two-group machine.

    My policy was vindicated. Its now back to lattes only from cafes.
    ---And I am an espresso drinker of long, long standing, too.

    Silvia, I love you more after my unfaithful but short-lived affair.

    --Robusto

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    I stick to tea when I go out. Im currently hooked on rooibos or honeybush. The flavour is very delicate, and quite resistant to temperature, so its nearly impossible to scorch it with too hot water.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    You are a gamer (so much potential for another grammar debate for that word ;)) man than I. I dont even drink lattes at cafes unless I know they have an excellent reputation. So at the moment that is 2 cafes. There are others I want to explore but just havent had the chance yet. Mineral water is my preferred option at cafes that I dont know, or cafes that I know are no good.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Gamer passes.

    Same here now. Cant drink coffee where I used to.

    The only coffee Im game to drink out at the moment are from Hazel and Renzo (Di Bartolis).

    I havent found the time yet to try some of those recommended here.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Actually, I had a Double Ristretto in a cafe in QVB lower floor... Fresco Espresso I think it was... it wasnt a bad experience - pleasing actually - nothing stood out, perhaps a slightly fruity taste, low acidity, managable sourness - mouthfeel was middle ground... The person serving me had no clue what a Ristretto was (even though they have it on the menu - funny hey) but the barista knew what I wanted... the crema was lacking but overall isnt too bad... followed by a flat white - too bad it came out as a Latte in the end...

    It can be had... but it is rare as robusta pointed out...

    Marc

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    I have a regular customer (who is also a good friend!) and if the espresso I pour for him when I am at work even looks like crapola, I will pour again until its satisfactory. I pretty much always get the thumbs up from him! And if its not thumbs up, its find out where Ive gone wrong, ie is the machine clean, how old are the beans, have I tamped it right, is it dosed correctly and you get the idea!

    And theres not ever a pale blonde in sight! :D

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by scoota gal link=1169639920/0#5 date=1169698918
    And theres not ever a pale blonde in sight! :D
    So the rumours are true then. Everyone down there really is tanned! ::) ;D :D


    Java "Lots of pale blondes up here!!" phile

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by scoota gal link=1169639920/0#5 date=1169698918
    I have a regular customer (who is also a good friend!) and if the espresso I pour for him when I am at work even looks like crapola, I will pour again until its satisfactory. I pretty much always get the thumbs up from him! And if its not thumbs up, its find out where Ive gone wrong, ie is the machine clean, how old are the beans, have I tamped it right, is it dosed correctly and you get the idea!

    And theres not ever a pale blonde in sight! :D
    Now THAT is service, Scootagal. Every alleged barista and cafe owner should take note.

    --Robusto

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Yeah, I usually avoid ordering any coffee when out, cause I feel rude if I dont drink it and leave it there.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Its a pitiful shame. Theres some mighty expensive hardware sitting on those cafe benches. Three- and four-group machines with volumetric dosing, pressure gauges, temperatue control and all the rest.

    Machinery just itching to realise its potential to make excellent coffee.

    But add cheap beans and untrained staff to the mix.... and we get a poor excuse for coffee.

    To make it that bad at home with our domestic machines, wed have to try really hard.

    Pity.

    --Robusto

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1169639920/0#9 date=1169708661
    To make it that bad at home with our domestic machines, wed have to try really hard.
    I have had plenty of bad coffee at peoples houses but at least they dont charge you 3 bucks for it. But you are correct with such impresseive equipment at some cafes it is a shame they dont throw some coin at training and fresh beans as well.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1169639920/0#9 date=1169708661
    Three- and four-group machines with volumetric dosing, pressure gauges, temperatue control and all the rest.

    --Robusto
    AHHH

    Volumetric dosing - the instant coffee manufacturers invention to make their coffee more acceptable. ;)

    How many times do you see a barista lock in the pf, push the dose button and do something else until it is finished.... did it pour in 15 seconds...or 45?.... was it blonding well before the end?

    Who cares... theres 30 ml of something in the cup, throw in some milk and call it a coffee!!

    Volumetric might be great for busy cafes, but it often results in sub standard product... different baristi tamp to a different pressure, they ideally would use a slightly different grind as well....are the beans ageing so the grinder needs to be adjusted?.... but not to worry (unless like Corey at Epic you spend ages getting all your baristi to do the whole process EXACTLY the same)...

    Just push that button and out comes 30 ml.... job done!! ::)

    (and yep, I have a La Cimbali dosetron.... but use the machine as a semi- auto)

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1169639920/0#9 date=1169708661
    To make it that bad at home with our domestic machines, wed have to try really hard.
    Or.... Insert earplugs, put on a full-face bike helmet with a blacked-out visor and have someone kindly point you in the general direction of the coffee bench :o

    Mal.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Ive only seen a tamper used in one cafe. Everywhere else its the lift up to the grinder method.

    As to the volumetric dosing....Thats interesting. On the occasions Ive tried to make conversation with the 12-year-old baristas, asking them what volume the machine is set to, they answer that they do not know.

    They dont know how many mls theyre extracting hour after hour, day after week after month. You would think that out of idle curiosity alone, let alone taking an interest in their work, they would attempt to find out.

    "The boss sets it" is the reply.

    Sets and forgets. Perhaps when the cafe is first open, and never gain.

    --Robusto

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1169639920/0#1 date=1169640317
    I stick to tea when I go out. *Im currently hooked on rooibos or honeybush. *The flavour is very delicate, and quite resistant to temperature, so its nearly impossible to scorch it with too hot water.
    Sounds nice, Nunu, but....call me eccentric, *the stingy person within me prevents me paying money for a dab of slightly coloured and flavoured hot water. **I dont like paying for something that comes relatively free out of a tap (water, that is) *8-)

    At least with a cappuccino or latte you get the benefit of a hefty dose of milk. And that doesnt come free from the tap! ;D

    --Robusto

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    When I first joined CS I reported seeing a tamper used.
    It was at a "café" in a Westfield.
    The coffee maker guy practically jumped onto it to get all his body weight into the tamp.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    His name wasnt Schomer, was it? Hes into 50 lb force.

    --Robusto

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Schomer weighs 50 lbs?

    Eat some food for petes sake!

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1169639920/0#7 date=1169700804
    Quote Originally Posted by scoota gal link=1169639920/0#5 date=1169698918
    I have a regular customer (who is also a good friend!) and if the espresso I pour for him when I am at work even looks like crapola, I will pour again until its satisfactory. I pretty much always get the thumbs up from him! And if its not thumbs up, its find out where Ive gone wrong, ie is the machine clean, how old are the beans, have I tamped it right, is it dosed correctly and you get the idea!

    And theres not ever a pale blonde in sight! :D
    Now THAT is service, Scootagal. Every alleged barista and cafe owner should take note.

    --Robusto
    Myself and my staff wouldnt serve a bad looking espresso to anyone, regular or not.

    LE

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1169639920/0#13 date=1169749961
    Ive only *seen a tamper used in one cafe. Everywhere else its the lift up to the grinder method.

    As to the volumetric dosing....Thats interesting. *On the occasions *Ive tried to make conversation with the *12-year-old *baristas, asking them what volume the machine is set to, they answer that they do not know.

    They dont *know *how many mls theyre extracting hour after hour, day after week after month. * You would think that out of idle curiosity alone, let alone taking an interest in their work, they would attempt to find out.

    "The boss sets it" is the reply.

    Sets and forgets. Perhaps when the cafe is first open, and never gain.

    --Robusto
    If you ask my staff what measurement or time the shot is they would also tell you that the boss set it, however i start work 1 hour before everone so as to set the grind and timing of the shot. if it needs changing then i do that as needed. the less people that mess with my machine the better, as long as they can tamp well & tell a good shot from a bad shot they dont need to know how to change it.

    LE

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Ive been making coffee professionally for over 20 yrs, and I am only now just starting to reach a level of satisfaction with my espresso coffee!

    Doesnt say much for the pimply kid making coffee at the local franchise...

    P *;D

  22. #22
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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sketchy link=1169639920/15#19 date=1169980264
    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1169639920/0#13 date=1169749961
    Ive only *seen a tamper used in one cafe. Everywhere else its the lift up to the grinder method.

    As to the volumetric dosing....Thats interesting. *On the occasions *Ive tried to make conversation with the *12-year-old *baristas, asking them what volume the machine is set to, they answer that they do not know.

    They dont *know *how many mls theyre extracting hour after hour, day after week after month. * You would think that out of idle curiosity alone, let alone taking an interest in their work, they would attempt to find out.

    "The boss sets it" is the reply.

    Sets and forgets. Perhaps when the cafe is first open, and never gain.

    --Robusto
    If you ask my staff what measurement or time the shot is they would also tell you that the boss set it, however i start work 1 hour before everone so as to set the grind and timing of the shot. if it needs changing then i do that as needed. the less people that mess with my machine the better, as long as they can tamp well & tell a good shot from a bad shot they dont need to know how to change it.

    LE
    You might have missed the point Robusto was making.

    Also, "if it needs changing then i do that as needed"

    How do you know when its needed?



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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    I think one of the problems with volumetric is that is teaches people bad things about coffee. why do they always have 6 buttons? It gives untrained barista the idea that more coffee equals stronger coffee and teaches nothing for the idea that anything past a 30ml shot is going to be rubbish. Ive seen people press the big cup button for a long black and let the machine fill it. really if your going to have it on a machine you only need four buttons. a double and single ristretto and a double and single espresso.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    I think the point is that baristas should know what they are doing, irrespective of who sets what on the machine they use.

    --Robusto

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Just because it has volumetric controls doesnt necessarily mean you must use them.

    Anyone can push a button...

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1169639920/15#24 date=1170073399
    Anyone can push a button...
    I think youre being overly generous.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1169639920/15#25 date=1170078534
    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1169639920/15#24 date=1170073399
    Anyone can push a button...
    I think youre being overly generous.
    My cat can push a button...

  28. #28
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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Good thread this one 8-)

    I think it all comes back to the type of people that café owners want to employ or can afford to employ... With most, "its just a job and those big shiny things are just machines". If the owners dont have the passion, how can you expect the PBTC to be any different? Thats why the recommended café list in CS is well.... So short :-?.

    Mal.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Many cafe owners would rather employ a cute young woman/man who looks pretty/handsome behind the machine than an older woman/man who has a passion and some dedication and interest in what they are doing.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Sad but true :-?

    Mal.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    With the understanding that the coffee is going to be below-par in any case, my primary wish for a cafe experience is: *SPEED.

    I dont want to be waiting in a long, disorderly queue at the counter to have my order taken... *Darting out of the way every now and then as the waiters collect a trayful of cups to take to the tables.

    And having had the order taken, I dont want yet another long wait, staring at the rows of paper orders, *looking despondently at each coffee being made, trying to mentally match the quantity with the number of people sitting at tables, let a lone standing at that disorderly queue.... trying to work out where mine is in all that.

    Walk in, order, get served, get out. *Anything else---like good coffee, is a bonus.

    --Robusto


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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    I can relate to that experience you have described Robusto. When I used to frequent a coffee shop near where I live to get a takeaway. Always feeling like you were in the way no matter where you stood when you were waiting for a coffee that was always pot luck how good it was going to be. But now I just have it at home or make a special trip to a quality cafe that I know wont let me down and I am more relaxed as it is not a takeaway anyway.
    Obviously quality can still come at speed with the top cafes whether you are sitting in or taking away. I know when I sit at Mecca in Sydney it is amazing to see the flow of people that they can produce quality coffee for with speed as well. Obviously there are other cafes around that can achieve this and do it well but they seem to be few and far between.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by lucinda link=1169639920/15#26 date=1170079293
    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1169639920/15#25 date=1170078534
    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1169639920/15#24 date=1170073399
    Anyone can push a button...
    I think youre being overly generous.
    My cat can push a button...
    How good a coffee does it make?


    Quote Originally Posted by lucinda link=1169639920/15#28 date=1170081518
    Many cafe owners would rather employ a cute young woman/man who looks pretty/handsome behind the machine than an older woman/man who has a passion and some dedication and interest in what they are doing.
    Dont say that.
    Ive got an interview on Friday for a barista job.
    Young and handsome I no longer is.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    If that works our Thundergod you willl have to let me know where it is. I may be able to add another cafe where I will actually buy coffee instead of just coke :)

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Thundergod arent you a black belt in Karate?

    You could always set up your own MA school.

    Or as a barista people could order a haito Latte ;D

  36. #36
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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Thanks for the idea Cindy but I already run a small dojo.
    I have never charged the exhorbitant prices the modern sharks do.
    And these days running costs like insurance keep going up.
    Providing I dont lose money and can keep passing on the knowledge, that has generally been the way I operate.

    Im old fashioned I suppose.
    Although I do have my Level 1 Coaching Certificate from the Australian Institute of Sport.
    So Old Values + Modern Training Methods = Best of both worlds.

    I cant expect the parents of my students to support me whilst I have this unemployment problem.
    Besides which, the area I service is a low income one.
    Im already dreading the rent increase next year.
    They put it off this year because Im their best customer but next year will see an increase for sure.

    Now to get back on topic, hopefully I can get a short run at the barista job and not get any complaints like Robustos opening post.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Let us know if you get a trial, Thundergod, along with where and when. Maybe some of us can come in while youre there and make a fuss about how great the coffee is. ;)

    There are still places out there that prefer a mature person who knows what they are doing. You certainly know your coffee. Good luck. :)

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Id rather an older person passionate about their coffee than a young person whos there as eye candy. I have seen that around Perth too and for a coffee snob it is a false approach that should be met with appropriate disdain. Of course if the young person is passionate about coffee that is fine - it is that I want in someone making a coffee for me.

    After all, Im there for the coffee!

    I am just a little more than half the age of most of the team I work with. One colleague is 66 and could have retired but he enjoys his work and is good at it. Id rather have him and his experience based insights on my team right now than a young ethusiastic graduate full of energy. Energy we have - thinking skills are to be highly valued for me right now.



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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1169639920/0#9 date=1169708661
    Its a pitiful shame. Theres some mighty expensive hardware sitting on those cafe benches. Three- and four-group machines with volumetric dosing, pressure gauges, temperatue control and all the rest.

    Machinery just itching to realise its potential to make excellent coffee.

    But add cheap beans and untrained staff to the mix.... and we get a poor excuse for coffee.

    To make it that bad at home with our domestic machines, wed have to try really hard.

    Pity.

    --Robusto
    I have tended to find that young girls masquerading as Baristas in many cafes allow a quick and generally pretty accurate visual assessment of their skills - The larger the assets generally combined with a lowish top and a short skirt the less chance of anything relating to decent espresso. But hey it gets the customers in just like the coffee cow girl barely clad story from the good ol hue hess of hay.

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    So an attractive, fashionably dressed female isnt capable of barista skills???????????

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Viviane link=1169639920/30#39 date=1170453011
    So an attractive, fashionably dressed female isnt capable of barista skills???????????
    Vivi,

    Of course they are.... but from my experience the selection criteria for many of these jobs reads something like....

    1. young, attractive, fashionably (not sure thats the word Id use) dressed female
    2. Barista skills desirable - but not essential....

    Believe me, the old expression "sex sells" is alive and well ;)

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1169639920/30#40 date=1170453598
    Quote Originally Posted by Viviane link=1169639920/30#39 date=1170453011
    So an attractive, fashionably dressed female isnt capable of barista skills???????????
    Vivi,

    Of course they are.... but from my experience the selection criteria for many of these jobs reads something like....

    1. young, attractive, fashionably (not sure thats the word Id use) dressed female
    2. Barista skills desirable - but not essential....

    Believe me, the old expression "sex sells" is alive and well ;)
    I know what youe saying, but I cant help thinking that this attitude could have you walking past the best espresso youve ever tasted. That criteria would be for the cafe that is being run purely for profit. It would be a shame if someone who is young, attractive and an excellent barista misses out on a job at a "serious" coffee shop (also being run for profit, but dedicated to good coffee) because the owner is worried about how she will be perceived by customers.

    As far as "fashionably dressed" goes, I wasnt actually saying that fashionable is always attractive..... :P

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    If you look at the pictures on their website, every one of the baristi look like absolute tarts. Obviously you can attempt to train anyone. A good barista shouldnt have to flaunt their wares to sell the product. Its whats in the cup that counts. If theyre hiding behind the machine making coffees, what do you see anyway?

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Viviane link=1169639920/30#41 date=1170454881
    I know what youe saying, but I cant help thinking that this attitude could have you walking past the best espresso youve ever tasted. That criteria would be for the cafe that is being run purely for profit. It would be a shame if someone who is young, attractive and an excellent barista misses out on a job at a "serious" coffee shop (also being run for profit, but dedicated to good coffee) because the owner is worried about how she will be perceived by customers.
    Vivi,

    Epic here in Perth is a good example..... Corey has employed very attractive young women ( and Im sure most female customers would think the men were OK as well) - but they are all excellent baristi..... one of the women is even the State latte art champion - and makes a great espresso as well....

    But you wouldnt go past Epic - It just looks like a place which serves great coffee - a combination of the decor, the smartly and professionally dressed staff (and the line-up of synessos is a bit of a give away ;))...... It has all the vibes of a great coffee house.

    Generally you can tell if the staff have been employed for other than their barista skills - management want them to flaunt their main assets...... and a serious barista (male or female) wouldnt want to work there- and I wouldnt want to have a coffee there either. ::)

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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Yep, I guess the difference is in the establishment itself. If the place looks professional, then youll take a chance on whoever is in there being able to produce a good coffee. As far as the type of cafe that I mentioned in my last post, run purely as a business, I cooked in such a place for a little while about a year ago. The owner had a girl there, young attractive and fashionably dressed, on the coffee machine. Shed had no real training, but was interested in coffee so did the best she could. This girl has left, the owner is advertising for a new "Barista", however I know hes going to wind up with a kid who is young, attractive and straight out of school.....

    For the record, Im not young, Im old enough to be these kids mother. Used to be considered attractive, but I never let that stand in the way of a job. ;)

  46. #46
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Viviane link=1169639920/30#44 date=1170459590
    Used to be considered attractive, but I never let that stand in the way of a job. ;)
    Im sure a lot of us blokes would still consider you very attractive there Viv, in mind and body 8-)..... More to attraction than just first appearances ;)

    Mal.

  47. #47
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Agreed Mal.

    (Viv is far from unattractive.)

  48. #48
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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Thank you, gentlemen, your lovely comments are one of the reasons I like this site so much. :)

  49. #49
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Went to a barista interview today.
    I wasnt too worried about getting the position because from what I understand the hours might not suit me and I am hoping that full time Quality Assurance job comes through.
    I dont want to leave someone in the lurch by starting work and then leaving very soon after.

    That aside, when I got there the first question was had I worked in a coffee shop before.
    Answer - "No."
    Reply - "See you."

    Well theres a challenge. So despite not really wanting the job, I asked if he was at least going to test me out.
    So he said OK make him a coffee. Anything. A flat white he decided.
    In my haste to make a good impression I did not notice what the machine was other than a 2 group auto.
    When we got to talking about whether I knew how to work the grinder, it turns out he doesnt know what brand/model it is.
    I asked how many clicks and which button was set for a single shot.

    Now the scary bit. The milk.
    There were two 1 litre jugs in the fridge. With milk still in them.
    They were the only jugs he had.
    I took a deep breath and decided to heat what was left in one of them.
    The tamp looked a little uneven but the pour went OK I suppose.
    The beast had some steam power!.
    By the time I moved my hand to feel the temp it was done.
    Next thing this guy said to me was "Now you can drink it". *;D

    So we sat at a table and had a chat.
    His English was not very good and I struggled to understand him completely.
    But I showed him a picture of My Expobar and Macap.
    Im sure he thinks Im mad but he was impressed enough with my flat white effort and the picture didnt hurt.

    Anyway, despite my telling him that I might not be available by the time he might need me (seems business is very, very quiet at the moment), he still told me he might give me a call if trade picked up.

    So it would appear that I could have the job if I wanted it but damn I shiver thinking back on those few minutes.
    The milk. <Shudder>

    He tells me his idea of a long black is to keep running the shot until the cup is full.
    Unless of course they want a strong one; then you do the same but with the double basket. *:o

  50. #50
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    Re: Call THAT espresso!!!

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Well Thundergod....

    What can I say.... ::)

    surprised by your experience - nope (probably similar to many coffee shops around Perth..... but I dont think too many would make a long black like that).

    And at least you didnt have to reheat the previously textured milk sitting on the drip tray..... but maybe if they were busy :(

    My daughter starts at a cafe end of this week (coffee making experience - nil, other than watching me on the odd occasion).....

    She asked me to show her how to make an espresso and how to texture milk...

    I told her to wait until after they showed her how they wanted it done - then she could practise on my machine..... I didnt want to teach her any bad habits ;) ;D ;D Maybe Id better buy some old stale beans to emulate the coffee they no doubt use....

    but I dont expect to be able to consume the results - not because she is making it - but because she will be making it "their way"...... At least she knows what each style of coffee is called and what they look like (when properly made).

    Should be an interesting exercise. :o :o



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