The quality of the espressos that baristas prepare should be checked at various intervals throughout the day to ensure that all the variable elements of an espresso are correct and in turn produce the perfect espresso every time.
The log below is a perfect example of how to check and record espresso quality checks that have been completed. Each variable is listed at the top and a space below for verification to be recorded and to highlight any actions that are necessary for the team. An entry-level barista can complete the verification by following the guidelines for each variable, and a senior barista can make adjustments to the grinder. A barista toolkit will be needed to complete the checks. If you are a new barista or have not been trained to make changes or adjustments to the calibration of the machinery, I suggest you ask someone who is. The slightest change can significantly affect the quality of your espresso.
There are 5 variables to prepare the perfect espresso. Including the process and the product.
Grind Weight – You need to measure the weight of your grind to make sure you are dispensing the correct amount needed to pour a perfect shot. This is different from grinding beans. The dose is not how good or good it is.
By Time – Again, you need to measure how long (in time) the espresso is poured before it reaches the correct amount required for a single shot of espresso. Too long a pour will make it bitter and too short will make it watery and smooth
Fill level: as I mentioned above, a specific amount of poured coffee is required for an espresso
Cream: Cream is a key sign of how good your espresso is. The quality of your cream will be able to tell you if you pour it too fast or too slow and even if your grinds are not correct. TIP: A good cream should have a deep golden color and a thickness of around 3-4mm.
Taste: This one is pretty obvious. You will know for yourself if your espresso is good. If you don’t like it, change it until it looks good.