Although you’ve tried everything, you still haven’t managed to figure out the secret to making coffee as good as at the bar. You’ve tried a variety of blends (from Arabica to Robusta, then to less popular ones like Liberica, Excelsea and Stenophylla).
You switched from the typical ground coffee to coarse beans. You have also tried varying the temperature, quantity and quality of water. In fact, a friend who is an expert in this field has repeatedly told you off for using tap water, claiming that bottled water is more suitable.
In spite of all these measures, you are still far from the taste that for you represents the perfect coffee similar to the one they make at the bar.
But how will coffee bars ever achieve such an exceptional result?
Let’s see it together.
Whether you have ordered a long, short, macchiato or cappuccino, the result is the same. Your favourite coffee shop is always able to meet your needs when it comes to coffee breaks.
No matter how much time you spend observing the various steps the skilled barista takes before serving you that delicious end result, there is always a missing link or step that you are unable to replicate.
Don’t worry, in this article we’re going to reveal a few little tricks that will help you avoid making any more mistakes.
The right mix and the right amount
Let’s dispel a myth right away.
There is no such thing as the ideal blend for everyone.
There are those who love to drink a coffee with a strong taste, those who prefer a less strong flavour and those who can’t even drink it unless it has a slightly burnt taste.
The truth is that the choice of which type of coffee to use depends solely on your personal taste.
While variety does not follow universal rules, there is one essential consideration that you should definitely take into account and that concerns the amount of coffee to be used.
Either use too much coffee or too little.
Have you ever thought about this?
Here’s the trick: the amount of black powder you use must match the filter.
To give you a concrete example, you will need 10 grams of powder if you use a coffee pot for two people.
Well, now we come to the crucial point. Pressing. Should coffee be pressed or not?
Although most Neapolitans say that it should not be pressed (otherwise you will get a burnt drink), our idea is that it should actually be lightly pressed. Not too much. To do this, you can help yourself with an external tool that baristas also use and which is called a pressino.
Is there an ideal water for making good coffee?
Sorry, the answer is no.
All you have to do in this case is rely on your personal taste. Avoid tap water if it has a limey taste. Also avoid distilled water. Instead, prefer bottled mineral water, even better if it has a mild taste. Avoid sparkling water. Contrary to what some people claim, the end result will not be a creamier coffee at all.
Well, having clarified the fact that the presence of minerals in the water is an important factor in the success of a good coffee, let’s now clarify the quantity factor. The rule about the importance of moderation also applies here. Leave a small empty space and remember that the coffee should never come into contact with the water. To do this, fill the lower part of your moka pot up to the safety valve.
We live a hurried life. Very true. But that’s no reason to try and rush the natural timing of things. Especially not coffee. Making tasty coffee is an art and you must therefore be an artist. Avoid setting the flame very high, you risk burning it. Instead, the fire should be low. If you are in a hurry, do something else in the meantime. But not something that distracts you too much. Another big mistake is to put the coffee on and forget about it. You have to know when it is time to put it out.
How to make coffee as good as at the bar
OK, you’ve read the article so far and you feel like putting all the tips I’ve given you to use.
The result has improved slightly, but you are still a long way from what you consider to be the ideal coffee taste, i.e. coffee from the bar.
Because although there are some tricks that allow you to prepare a good coffee at home, there are some typical bar techniques that make the difference.
An essential trick for maintaining the original aroma of coffee is to grind it shortly before using it. As soon as it is ground, the powder loses its aroma in a short time. To drink a drink with the original aroma, you only need to grind it before drinking it. For this purpose, bars have large transparent cruets containing the coarse, unground beans.
In addition to the grinder, a barista has other essential tools. The filter holder, for example, has to be washed with a small piece of cloth during preparation, removing excess powder, and also afterwards. The manual press is also widely used to press the powder well.
The right coffee machine
But it is the coffee machine that makes the difference. Some bars use the automatic espresso machine and others the traditional lever machine. But which professional machine should you use to make coffee like at the bar at home?
While with the former, the coffee preparation process is automatic, the latter has some mandatory steps that the barista must respect in order to make a successful drink. For example, the so-called cleaning phase, i.e. changing the water, so we can be sure that the water is always clean. In addition to this, the pressure changes during the various phases of coffee extraction and this allows us to obtain the perfect temperature to extract the best properties from the ground coffee.
Our secret trick
The Pontevecchio lever coffee machine fully respects the tradition of craftsmanship. Thanks to some essential elements such as a cylinder and a piston working together, the quantity of water will be optimal (as well as the cleaning).
All these are essential elements to obtain a perfect coffee. Moreover, apparently insignificant details such as the wooden presser and the bare filter holder are actually fundamental pieces for the success of our favourite drink. At Pontevecchio we know that making an excellent coffee is an art as well as a passion, therefore we have designed three professional lever coffee machines for every need.
Come to discover among our variety and find the most suitable for you.