August 21st 2018
Today I refined my latte art skills. I spent a lot of last night watching YouTube tutorials on how to make perfect latte art (I have a lot of time on my hands now, okay?) I sat on my sofa and wrote a list of notes on the envelope of an old bank statement, trying to find the little hints and tips that would make my coffees taste and look nicer.
I realise now that I left that envelope at work, and if somebody finds it they have access to all of my bank details, but to be honest I’m more worried about them having access to my coffee secrets.
I’m trying little things, like experimenting with new steam wand positioning, and dosing, distributing and tamping methods. I’m recanvasing the crema and adjusting the height from which I pour the milk. I’m even trying out a new grip technique on both the cup AND the milk jug. Simultaneously. Imagine that, right?
I tell you what mind, even though everything I just said sounds — on the surface — like a load of bollocks, it does seem to have improved the taste. The milk was creamier, the coffee was purer, and the art was finer. I realise now that I should have taken a photo of the Rosetta heart that I created on top of the espresso, but to be honest I was too keen to taste it, I forgot all about the photo. So here’s one I made last month, just for a reference.
I was even so excited by the whole process that I made an afternoon coffee. I usually only have one coffee in a work day, but today I treated myself to two, just because the first one was so A) good and B) fun to make.
Is it sad that I’m looking forward to going into work* tomorrow just so I have the chance to try making the perfect coffee again?
*I feel I should mention, if you’re reading this but don’t know me personally, that I don’t work in a coffee shop or anything. I work in an office, but the office has a barista-grade coffee machine (says the company’s HR careers page)
This whole thing has shades of the time when I spent a night watching YouTube tutorials to teach myself how to solve a Rubik’s cube. It worked though, I can solve a cube, and I’m hoping that my coffee will improve too. Because I’m a massive nerd about these things.
Until tomorrow, you may have noticed that.