A Barista's Perspective: Respect the Bean

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ola Persson is the Nestlé Professional coffee expert. A barista with 15 years of experience, he knows coffee from the plantation to the cup. 
 
A glass coffee mug on a table
He is passionate about helping our customers transform a good cup of coffee into a great cup of coffee and leveraging knowledge into action to provide a competitive advantage. Ola is also an artist, musician, DJ, and author of several books on coffee creations. 
 
Ola Persson's signature
 
“The bean continues to teach you more.” 

Ola Persson, Barista, Nestlé Professional

 

A word from our Barista

My favourite coffee always changes. Today my favourite is a soluble decaf because it is less bitter and has a natural sweetness and acidity, which is perfect for some of my coffee creations. But if you ask me next week, I would probably have another favourite. This is why I love to work with coffee, because it has so many variations.
 
Respect the bean
It takes three to five years to harvest a crop of coffee. Beans are harvested only when ripe, and almost every one is picked by hand. Then they are perfectly roasted, ground, and brewed to offer a purely natural beverage for your wellbeing. 
 
So much work and expertise goes into growing a coffee bean, and it’s up to you to keep that passion alive when you serve it. Just as you wouldn’t start cooking with poor quality ingredients or serve food on a splattered plate, coffee should be served mindfully. Here are some tips to give you a competitive advantage against those who fail to respect the bean.
 
  1. Always look at the cup of coffee to ensure it looks great: no spills on the saucer, crema is red-brown (not white), cappuccino foam looks fresh. You can even dress it up with latte art or a sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon.
  2. Engage with the drink and the customer. Always serve with a smile and mention your customer’s name if you know it. If you don’t know it and they are a repeat customer... learn it. When you know what your repeat customers want, you can reduce your waste, better manage your orders and make them feel special by having their order ready earlier. This enhances the sense of wellbeing for your customers and creates a positive experience at your establishment.
Setting the bean scene
Your restaurant setting can attract certain types of coffee-drinking customers. Do you want to appeal to an audience that wants intimate one-to-one connections? Set up small tables with no more than four chairs. Would you rather be the most popular meeting place for a village or school campus? Create open seating for a large number of people. This will create a welcoming environment where individuals can expect to meet others to talk.
 
What makes the perfect cup?
Coffee enjoyment is very personal, so the best coffee is the one you like. A good cup of coffee reaches most of the taste buds on the tongue. The initial extraction of coffee provides salty, sweet, slight acid, and bitter notes. If a coffee bean is extracted too long, it will create an unpleasant sensation we call a “grab in the throat.” This will typically leave a coffee cup half full (and potentially prevent someone from becoming a repeat customer).
 
Our Barista Ola Persson creating another delicious drink
 

A few of Ola's favourite recipes

 
CAFFÉ MOJITO (COLD)MADE IN INDIAFRAPPE COCONUT (COLD)
1 double espresso 
30 ml sugar free Mojito mint syrup
2 lime wedges
3–4 mint leaves
Crushed ice
1 pinch of saffron
5 grams sugar 
500 ml milk 
4 servings espresso coffee
1 double espresso 
250 ml milk
20 ml sugar free coconut syrup or 40 ml Malibu
6–8 ice cubes
Chocolate sauce for decorations
Make a double espresso and put it aside to cool down. Put the lime and mint leaves in a glass and mash them with a muddler. Then pour the syrup into the glass and fill it with crushed ice. Pour the cold espresso over the ice. Decorate with mint leaves and a straw. Don’t forget to mix the drink before you serve it.
Mix saffron and sugar into milk. Heat and froth the milk to about 60ºC/140ºF. Make espresso according to package directions. Pour the saffron milk over the espresso. Makes two drinks.
Drizzle the chocolate sauce in a wave pattern on the inside of the serving glass. Put all other ingredients in a mixer and mix to a milkshake consistency. Then pour the drink into the sauce-decorated glass and garnish with some grated coconut.