10 things your barista isn't telling you

We've ten juicy secrets about your daily caffeine fix that all baristas know, but won't let on to their customers.

1. Bigger cup doesn’t mean more coffee

At Starbucks, a venti cup and a grande both contain two shots of espresso, the venti just has more milk. So if you want a bigger caffeine fix, don’t just boost the size of your cup, you need to add an extra shot.

2. Vegan cakes aren’t necessarily good for you

They might have no animal produce in them, but all cakes in coffee shops are packed full of sugar and fat. If you want something healthy with your caffeine fix, stick to the fresh fruit salads.

3. Pulling an espresso is an art

The best espresso is pulled in between 18-22 seconds. The temperature must be just right and the grounds must be packed to a precise firmness so that the water filters through at exactly the right speed to absorb the right levels of flavour.

4. A pretty latte is a good latte

That leaf carefully sculpted into the foam on your latte not only looks good, it shows that your cup has been made properly. A leaf or heart design will only hold when the foam is just the right consistency and the espresso shot has been pulled well. So you know you’re going to have a truly tasty coffee.

5. Question the quality of your coffee

Ever taken a sip of a branded coffee in a café and been seriously disappointed with the taste? You’re not the first and won’t be the last. Independent coffee shops sometimes buy cheap coffee and pass it off as respectable brands. To be assured of the best quality, stick to a café with a good reputation with baristas who know their stuff.

6. You are the reason for the wait

Customers who chat on their phone right until they get to the tills and then take ages to decide what they want are the cause of coffee shop congestion. You can streamline your morning caffeine fix by knowing what you want before the barista asks you. Plus be ready to pay and you’ll make it out the café even quicker.

7 Starbucks coffees aren’t always authentic

In Italy, a real macchiato has just a touch of milk foam and no sugar. But in Starbucks, it comes with lots of sugar and flavoured syrups. If you’re ordering a coffee anywhere except a major chain, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before you order. Although you never know, you might like the real thing better. Plus if you’re not in Starbucks, don’t order like you are. Look at the menu of the café you’re in and order something off that.

8. Please goes a long way

Because a barista makes each coffee fresh, the more polite you are, the better quality your cup is going to be. No matter how tired you are, saying please and thank you will assure you get a better coffee.

9. Burnt milk smells like almonds

A good barista will know exactly how hot to steam the milk for your coffee. If they overdo it, your cup will smell like almond. Unless you’ve ordered a coffee with almond syrup and you catch a whiff of marzipan, send your cup back because the milk is burnt.

10. Don’t stir things up

The flavours in more complicated coffee-based drinks are more powerful if you don’t disturb the layers carefully created by the barista. Blend things together, and the more subtle tastes get lost. So for better flavour, drink without mixing.

Also worthy of your attention:

Journal: Can caffeine make us healthy?

Journal: Is Taste of London a rip off?

Journal: The secret killer in your food

Journal: I’m never going to Starbucks again 


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