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.
Dr. Monika Fekete investigates the chemical and sensory effects of different brew water temperature on espresso extraction.
Do you feel like a refreshing cold brew in the summer heat? Or what about an iced latte? Whichever you prefer, there are a range of factors that contribute to their unique tastes, and the temperature they are prepared at is certainly a big one. While it’s easy to appreciate the difference between cold and hot brewed coffee, it takes careful investigation to dissect how fine-tuning brew water temperatures can affect physical and sensory outcomes.Read more
By Shinsaku Fukayama of St Ali, the 2018 ASCA Australian Latte Art Champion.
Where has the year gone? I know we say that at the end of each year but 2018 really was a blur of events and achievements for me. It all started a year ago at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo when I was crowned the 2018 ASCA Australian Latte Art Champion.
And just like that, it’s time to say goodbye to the crown and pass the baton onto the next worthy artist who, like me, gets to experience all the wonderful opportunities and challenges that comes with winning a national title. My years of hard work certainly paid off. I started writing my first BeanScene column as an Australian champion, and I leave you as the fourth best latte artist in the world – well, only for a few more months.
It’s been a pleasure to take you though some of my favourite latte art designs, many of which I created for the nationals and world championships, and set you a challenge each issue. I was amazed to see how many people attempted my patterns and sent me images of your replicated art.
It just goes to show the impact one person can have. I’m still happy if all you’ve learnt is new latte art terminology or a hand-holding technique. Now it’s time to put all the skills you’ve gained and look for your own inspiration – from experiences or images – and put it to practice in the cup. You can only try.
In the meantime, I’m going to show you my Dragonfly design. This pattern isn’t just about the insect but creating a picture, which is what I love doing most – setting a scene and making it as realistic as I can. The trick to this pattern is all about the angle you pour, and holding the cup in your fingertips because it’s one of my most challenging yet – we’re going to do it in one continuous pouring action. Don’t forget, practice makes perfect. If you don’t succeed, try and try again – I did for years, and look at where it’s got me. Goodbye and good luck.
Shinsaku Fukayama’s dragonfly
Start with your handle at 12 o’clock. Build your base and pour a three-leaf rosetta with long S wiggle movements down the right hand side of the cup. Pull up through the pattern.
With you hand in the same position, pour a seven-leaf rosetta down the left hand side of the cup. Pull up through the design.
Rotate the cup clockwise so that the handle is now facing six o’clock. Aim your pour at two o’clock and pour a six-leaf rosetta down the cup. Pull through.
In the same position, around five o’clock, pour a small C shape or drag your pour in a half moon shape. This will create the dragonfly’s wing.
Pour another C shape or reverse C shape to connect the two shapes. It’s important to make sure they’re circular. Pull up through the centre.
Underneath the first big rosetta you poured, drag your pour from the left of the right of the cup. Add a branch by pouring a short, straight drag down the cup on the right hand side of the branch.
Add the dragonfly head by pouring one dot of milk where the wings meet. Then make the body of the dragonfly with a single drag of your pour behind the head.
To enhance the picture, add a dot of milk between the branches. I like to think of these as coffee cherries on the tree. Finally, pour a large dot for the sun. Turn the handle back to 12 o’clock, and there you have it.
New Year’s celebrations have well and truly finished and some of you may have already drafted resolutions to keep your personal and professional goals on track for the year ahead. The start of a new year presents no better time than to evaluate your career, so ask yourself: what do you want?
Where do you want to be by the end of 2019? What would be your ideal job? Even if you’re dead-set in love with your current position, what skills or qualities do you want to develop? Whatever your goals are, you can get there if you start identifying them.Read more
Everyone deserves good coffee. However, for many office workers, access to professional equipment and skilled baristas is restricted.
Some choose to make their own morning coffee at home and try not to spill it on the peak-hour train. Others enjoy revert to drive-through options, while some commit to getting up 15 minutes earlier just to detour to their regular café in order to start the day right. But this option is costly, and often time consuming.
Then comes the afternoon slump with little to no extra time to exit the building or convince the boss that taking a 15-minute coffee break won’t turn into half an hour. Read more