Maurizio Marcocci of Service Sphere discusses the role of coffee group heads, common espresso machine parts that serve a huge purpose.
To pull the best shots possible, baristas need to learn everything they can about coffee extraction. From grind adjustment to water temperature, these factors can all influence the flavour of coffee in the cup. However, while trying to grasp these complex concepts, many baristas can skip over a key component of espresso extraction.Read more
Jibbi Little takes to the skies with a fanciful flying fairy rabbit that combines two of her favourite designs.
By the time many of you read this, I will have competed in the World Latte Art Championship. For now, however, I am dedicating all my time to training. With Easter just past and me about to take flight to Germany for World of Coffee in Berlin, I thought there’s no better time than to combine these events in the form of my flying Fairy Rabbit design.
Combination actually played a part in the conception of this design. The idea behind it was really quite simple. My rabbit and angel designs were quite popular, so I thought, ‘why not bring them together?’
The result is a design that is cute and appeals to peoples’ love of fantasy and fairy tales. While the rabbit itself is front and centre in the design, elements like a tree to the side and the sun at the top add an extra level of character and scene setting.
It may seem simple at first, but the design requires multiple techniques from dragging and dropping to wrapping and rosettas, and prowess in one underappreciated discipline – manoeuvring the wrist. You can’t perform some of the intricacies of this design without being able to subtly rotate your wrist as the body, head, and ears of the rabbit curve.
Like most designs, with practice and persistence, any up and coming barista can master this pattern. In latte art, you can never stop improving and practice is key. For instance, at the time of writing, I am deep in preparation for Worlds and will stay that way until I fly out to Berlin at the start of June. My World Latte Art Championship patterns have been set for a long time, so now my focus is on developing a consistent routine and perfecting my ability to perform these designs.
While the Fairy Rabbit design doesn’t appear in my World Latte Art Championship routine, it is a pattern I enjoy and I think many of you will too. Join me next time when I delve into one of the designs I shared on the world stage.
This article appears in the June edition of BeanScene Magazine. Subscribe HERE.
Jibbi Little’s Fairy Rabbit
Build your base with the handle at 12 o’clock. In one continuous movement, draw a C-shape from the bottom of the cup, pour a drop of milk foam below the top point, and drag it down past the bottom of the C.
Turn the handle to three o’clock. Draw a small heart at the bottom of the C with the point touching the rabbit’s body to form a tail.
Turn the handle to six o’clock. Draw a seven-leaf rosetta starting from the body. Drag and pull up along the left edge to reconnect.
Pour a second seven-leaf rosetta from where the drag meets the body to form a second wing.
Pour a seven-leaf rosetta straight across from one o’clock to 11 o’clock then drag down the centre.
Back where the upper wing meets the body, drag out a thin loop that runs half the length of the wing. Do this a second time with the same end point. This should look like the McDonald’s ‘M’ with the bottom points pressed together.
Draw a circle at the top of the body and continue to wrap to form the head. Leave an empty space for the eye. If you can, use the cunning eye technique created by 2018 World Latte Art Champion Arnon Thitiprasert.
Turn the handle to nine o’clock and finish with a dot at six o’clock representing the sun.
Dr Monika Fekete explores the impact of grind temperature on extraction temperature and why shots tend to speed up over time.
Dialing in a delicious espresso shot is great way to start your day, be it at work or at home. As the day goes on, you might find that shots speed up and you need to adjust your grinder a bit finer to get the same result. It seems like your grind profile has changed.
Does this sound like a familiar story? It might be a common observation, but to date I’m unaware of a viable explanation backed up by solid data.Read more
Maurizio Marcocci discusses how commercial coffee equipment has developed over time and the new features that will lead the industry into the future.
People have always looked for ways to make their life simpler, and technology is constantly evolving to fulfil these needs. Cars and airplanes get us where we need to go, while phones and social media connect us to friends and family overseas. Coffee machines are no different. Read more
Monika Fekete investigates why milk bubbles form and how they impact on coffee quality and presentation.
Recently, I watched my coffee go cold in front of my eyes. It had been two months since I had enjoyed a proper coffee. I was looking forward to the experience as I sat at one of my favourite local cafés. However, no sooner had my coffee arrived, my newborn baby decided to test out his lung capacity and I found myself trying to calm him.
I had hoped this situation would be a one-off, but sadly it is not. My tiny son senses precisely when his mum is about to take a moment to enjoy her coffee, and duly demands attention. Consequently, I have had the opportunity to watch rosettas getting swallowed up in bubbles that slowly appear on top of my silky flat white. Interestingly, this wasn’t always the case. Sometimes many large bubbles emerged on the surface almost immediately, sometimes the micro-foam held together even after five minutes.Read more
Mocopan Coffee’s Jared Chapman explores the four variables of grinder calibration that impact over- and under-extracted coffee and why coffee is a game of constant tasting.
Taste. It’s what we’re all about in the coffee industry. Striving for that sweeter, more delicious cup of coffee. This has led to a lot of work being put into understanding the many variables that affect the flavour we end up with in the cup. With more information out there on variables like particle size distribution and total dissolved solids (TDS), it can be overwhelming for a budding barista to start to understand the basics without getting confused by all the detail. Read more
Maurizio Marcocci of Service Sphere discusses the differences in repairing versus replacing equipment, and how to tell when your machine is on its last legs.
The lifespan of a coffee machine can vary greatly. So many factors come into play, including vend amount, servicing, brand, quality of machine, user error – the list goes on.
Just like an old car ticking over in the morning or putting along on a freeway and stalling every now and then, there’s often warning signs that something’s not quite right with an old faithful machine. But how do you tell the difference between equipment that needs replacing versus repair? Read more
Dr Monika Fekete investigates the role of minerals in brew water, asking whether they influence extraction or if it’s just our taste buds.
“You must realise the power that water has,” explains Yanina Ferreyra, the recently crowned Australian Specialty Coffee Association Australian Brewer’s Cup champion. Reflecting on her journey, she stresses “water plays a gigantic role, but there is much left to discover. Working with water opens up lots of questions”. Read more
BeanScene welcomes Jibbi Little to the editorial team as she demonstrates one of her favourite floating insects.
Ifinally did it. I’m sitting here writing my first editorial column for BeanScene and it’s because I’m an Australian Latte Art Champion.
Some might say it’s been a long time coming, but no-one knows the dedication and training I’ve put into my competition career more than I. It’s been a labour of love to come back year after year and put my best foot forward to show the judges my original patterns. Each year I look for that spark, that special something that will separate myself from all the other baristas all wanting the same thing as I do – to win, of course. This year was my turn. My fifth national competition and my fifth national final.
When my name was announced as the champion, I was in complete shock, so much so that I had to wait a second before reacting to make sure I hadn’t heard wrong. When the nodding heads in the audience and emcee Ross Quail confirmed the result, I screamed with sheer excitement and joy.
Now I’m training hard to compete in the World Latte Art Championship in Berlin in June. Until then, I’m excited to join the BeanScene team and share my love for latte art with you all.
My style is creative and crazy latte art creations, so before you come on a journey with me, ensure you have the latte art basics down pat (I’m talking tulips, rosettas, drags etc) because we’re not starting at the beginning. We’re jumping straight into it and recreating patterns I’ve used on the national stage.
For my first edition, I’m demonstrating my beautiful butterfly, a deceivingly challenging pattern. Don’t be fooled by its fluttering wings – it’s not just about how many rosettas you can pour down the cup, it’s about technique – continuous movement, correct hand position, and a tricky eye at the end inspired by 2017 World Latte Art Champion Arnon Thitiprasert’s Cunning Eye technique. But it’s all in the name of fun. I want you to enjoy the challenge, practice hard, pour thousands of cups, and keep trying until you produce something that brings a smile to your face and that of your customers. So come along on the ride, and let’s try some latte art.
Jibbi Little’s butterfly
With your cup handle facing nine o’clock and the cup positioned in your fingertips, build up your base.
In the centre of the cup, pour a three-leaf tulip to create the first wing.
Underneath, pour six single tulips down the cup, with each one slightly overlapping each other in height, side by side. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a nine-leaf tulip in one go, pushing in one layer into the next down the cup.
At the base of the last tulip drop, drag your pour in one long line along the right hand side of the pattern until the start of your first tulip.
Continue the same drag and in one fluid movement pour a 10-leaf rosetta down the right hand side of the cup, in a tight squiggle action, or lots of little ‘S’ shapes.
At the end of the rosetta, continue the drag of your pour up along the left hand side back to the top of the rosetta, but leaving a gap between the crema and white of the milk foam. This will form the butterfly’s wing.
Rotate the cup handle to three o’clock. Pour a seven-leaf rosetta and pull up on the right hand side to create the butterfly’s body.
To create the butterfly head, pour a semi circle or Q shape at the end of the body. Then, fill the middle with another pour, leaving a little gap of the coffee crema to show contrast. This will give the illusion of an eye.