Why good baristas are just as important as good coffee.

Baristas are more crucial to a good cup of coffee than the coffee beans. For a company whose main trade is in coffee beans it might seem like a nonsensical thing to say…..and yet we say it all the time!

Make no mistake; we’re paying plenty of attention to our coffee but we also know how many factors need to come together to make a great cup of coffee. It’s about so much more than just the beans.
Baristas should be highly trained & respectful of the hard work that’s gone into growing each & every bean in their bags of coffee. At Paddy & Scott’s we invest thousands every year not only on training our own baristas but as many others as possible who are making coffee with our wings on the bag. We have a team across the UK dedicated to training & ensuring quality from our trade customers & their teams. Sounds like a lot of effort, right? But here’s why we think it’s worth it: We can put our time, effort & love into growing, processing & roasting a great quality coffee but all that work can be ruined in seconds by falling into a few common pitfalls.

Storing coffee correctly will ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible. A stale coffee will taste ashy or sometimes metallic so it’s important to get it right. Ideally use freshly ground coffee, especially for espresso & store coffee beans in an airtight jar.

Extraction time
How long coffee is in contact with the water used to brew/extract it has a huge bearing on the quality & taste of the coffee. A good barista will be paying close attention (down to the second) to how long coffee is extracting. This ensures the taste of the coffee hits the sweet spot in between acidic & bitter.

Water quality
Water is the means by which flavours are extracted from the coffee so if water quality is low this will show up in the finished cup. Filtered water delivers a better flavoured cup of coffee & will also save filter & espresso machinery from limescale damage.

Brewing method
Using the same coffee in an espresso machine & a cafetiere will produce very different results. In fact some coffees are better suited to one or the other. Make sure to find out the best way of using your preferred brewing method & experiment with the amount of coffee & extraction time etc to find the very best result for the coffee you’re using.

We’ve written before about how to spot a great barista & they are, indeed so crucial to getting a great cup of coffee. Even at home there are so many of those things you can do to make sure you’re really getting the best from your coffee beans.
So yeah, we do care about the quality of our coffee beans. But we’re also passionate about training baristas to deliver perfect cups of happiness every time.

Originally written on behalf of Paddy & Scott’s & printed in Bury Free Press.