You could say we’re a little obsessed with coffee at Watergate Bay, and to be honest, you’d be right. We love it! That’s why we take it so seriously. We like to know everything about the coffee we use at Watergate Bay, where it’s sourced, how it’s shipped, who roasts it, and of course, how to brew it.
Starting with some good, old fashioned theory, Origin Dave talked the team through under and over extraction when brewing. With over 400 flavours in one cup of coffee it’s crucial to brew it correctly to achieve the perfect taste.
He explained that under extraction will leave you with a weak, dull, easy-to-forget cup of coffee that has been brewed too fast, meaning a lot of the deep flavours of coffee are thrown away instead of poured into your cup.
Whereas over extraction has a distinct lack of sweetness, the coffee will taste bitter and acidic leaving a long-lasting flavour after you’ve finished your cup. Cue, dreaded coffee breath.
To brew the perfect cup of ‘Joe’ the team needed to find the middle ground between over and under extracted; the perfect balance of flavours that complements one another and excites the palate. And to do this, there is a fool-proof formula.
1: choose the correct grind size – if the grind size of the coffee is too coarse water will filter through it too quickly, meaning the brew will be under extracted. If your grind size is too fine the water will struggle to filter through the coffee resulting in over extraction.
2: fill the portafilter to the correct level – how much coffee you allow in to the portafilter can drastically change the taste of a brew. Trial and error is your best method here for finding the right level.
3: tamper the coffee, so it’s compact but not squashed – you still want water to be able to filter through the coffee so don’t compact the grind too much.
4: allow hot water to filter through the ground coffee for between 20-25 seconds – this is the optimum time, any shorter or longer and the taste of your coffee may be rather unpleasant.
‘You can be severely allergic to coffee but still brew the perfect cup’.
Then it was the team’s turn.
Each member of the team took a coffee machine to trial the formula until they thought they had it spot on. Dave tells us ‘never rely on the settings used by the person before, always trial and taste as the slightest change in settings on your coffee machine can dramatically alter the taste of the coffee you brew.’
Some brews tasted great!
Others, not so much.
Once the gang had mastered this process it was onto latte art. Dave showed the team how ‘easy’ it was to create hearts and leaves, but before this you need to warm the milk to the right temperature and consistency.
Overheating the milk will burn it, and under heating will leave your coffee cold.
After several attempts at latte art, the team were competing for the best cup and willing Dave to judge it. He, however, remained neutral telling the team they were the best judges of their own coffee.
Leaving enthused and excited to brew coffee The Beach Hut team are getting ready for the Best Barista of Watergate Bay challenge coming soon!