How 'Spro Can You Go?
But it's a little different with espresso where highly pressurized water is forced through finely ground and tightly packed coffee, pushing out the oils and gasses. And with such a forced extraction, coffee particles become volatile, exaggerating the smallest of variables into major factors; such as roast date, weather conditions (humidity and temperature), equipment temperature, and the list goes on.
It's a baristas job to reign in all of these variables that would make for a bad shot, and manipulate them into something that is delicious! We have two main variables that we use to help us achieve this: dose (amount of coffee) and grind (particle size). Usually these two will go hand-in-hand in kind of a teeter totter fashion; low dose + fine grind or high dose + coarse grind.
These parameters can change in as little as ten minutes! And the only way to determine these parameters is by taste! So when you see us tasting shot after shot, we are in the process of finding that sweet spot, which is called "dialing in".
Now you can see why this is a tricky question for a barista: We drink a lot of coffee, but usually just not a whole cup at a time!
How do we handle drinking that much coffee?
Water, water, water! Hydration is key. And a little barista trick to cure the coffee shakes: Bananas!