Daniel and I went to learn fundamental barista skills at Australian Barista Academy this morning. I enjoy having a good quality black coffee and always wanted to learn more how to taste coffee and operate coffee machines. How interesting so many factors play a role in making good coffees!
1. First of all, you need to have fresh roasted coffee beans to make good coffee. So buy roasted beans from local coffee shops, not from supermarket. It reaches its peak flavour and aroma about 24 hours after resting, which allows excess CO2 trapped in coffee beans to dissipate. It also starts to lose a developed flavour and aroma after about 3 weeks. So knowing when your coffee beans are roasted should help when you need to use them by for best coffee.
2. Be aware how to store your beans – keep them in cupboard (dry, cool, away from sun). Grind coffee beans and use straight away since oxidation changes flavour.
3. Measure a good dosage every time for a quality control and consistency.
4. Nice even firm tamping pressure facilitates the extraction speed. Harder tamp = more resistance = slower flow rate
5. 4 stages during extraction: ristretto -> caramel colour -> blonding -> pale, less creamy stream. It should take about 28-32 seconds, not too fast nor slow.
6. Taste your coffee 🙂
It was fun making coffees and frothing milk, but definitely need more practice. It’s tempting to buy a coffee machine!
After the barista course we were starving, especially after all that coffee tasting on empty stomach. We had a quick lunch at home just to get something in our stomach. Then I made this beautiful cinnamon rolls for afternoon tea. It smelled wonderful around the house – that’s why I like baking.
To make 8 little cinnamon rolls
400g self-raising flour + extra for kneading
1 packet of dry yeast
a pinch of salt
200ml warm water
A heap table spoon of cinnamon powder and brown sugar for filling
extra cinnamon, sugar powder, rose water, vanilla extract for cinnamon glaze
Flour is different depending on what brand you use or even from packet to packet, so adjust the amount of water and flour accordingly. Mix half of the flour, yeast, salt and water in a large bowl and set aside. Yeast will do its own thing making bubbles on the surface. Then you need to add the rest of the flour into the mixture and start kneading gently for about 5-10 minutes. Let it rest again until dough is double sized. Roll out the dough, sprinkle filling all over and then roll up the dough tightly. Cut into 8 pieces and place in a round baking pan. Loosely cover the rolls and rest again until they are doubled in size. Bake in the preheated oven 180 degrees for 25 minutes. Once it comes out of the oven top your cinnamon rolls with glaze. I didn’t use butter or oil, but used a bit of brown sugar. If you want sugar free, use honey or maple syrup or agave syrup. To be honest though, brown sugar makes nice caramel flavour matching with cinnamon. I served with iced pomegranate drink – yum!