Fine Dining & Everything that Goes into it: Chapter 10

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Importance of a Properly Made Espresso

Making a decent espresso or a cappuccino can be a very intricate and tedious process. A lot of people in the restaurant industry don’t know much about espresso because well, they were never taught. How hard can it be, right? You fill the handle with ground beans, stick into a machine and press a button; it does all the work. Well there’s much more to it than that; it’s somewhat of a miniature version of art much similar to cooking and mixology. There are people that dedicate their careers to studying different variations of beans and their behavior and here we are pressing buttons and watching some sort of brown slew fill the cup. First of all, the espresso machine should never be behind the bar of a Fine Dining restaurant; that’s horrible. It should be in the back where a hired Barista prepares all the coffee like drinks with love, time and dedication; something a busy bartender can’t afford to do for the entire restaurant in the midst of creations several complicated cocktails. As far as actually making of espresso and cappuccinos goes, there are several things that are all too often dismissed by restaurants that pretend to be ‘Fine Dining’ but in fact know nothing. Espresso beans like to be packed tightly so as to retain their unmistakable aroma; they also should only be ground upon need, as in per order. You should never just grind a whole bunch and use it throughout the week; they lose their potency and freshness. The handle that you use to actually brew the stuff needs to be cleaned and dried after every single use, even if those uses are literally seconds apart; espresso starts brewing when it comes into contact with water so if you shove newly ground beans into a handle that still has residue of old, used espresso, you’re not only mixing it with no-good leftovers which is bad enough, but you’re also starting the brewing process early, messing the whole thing up. ‘How to properly froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes’ is too a process of its own, which I’m not going to get into but will say that is messed up all too often by those who claim to run a ‘Fine Dining’ restaurant but refuse to properly educate themselves and the staff on something as essential as delivering a properly made espresso.

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*Introduction can be found here

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