The Evolution of a Coffee Barista’s Kit

The evolution of a coffee barista's kit

As consumers have become more and more engaged with where their coffee comes from, the climate it’s grown in, the way it’s brewed, and all the fine nuances of its taste; so too have the demands for a wide range of tools and equipment, configured to develop the perfect pressure, temperature and channelling, in order to create a consistent cup of coffee every time.

Speciality equipment is now just as important to baristas, as premium beans are in creating the highest quality serve of coffee.

Even just twenty years ago, the modern global demand for speciality coffee which we see today may have seemed unlikely in its growth trajectory, yet the demand for beverages made by expert artisans shows no signs of slowing pace.

The gap between the expectations of high street coffee shops and speciality, independent coffee retailers is closing too, meaning demand for trained baristas and a wide range of sophisticated barista kit has never been so high.

Furthermore, each barista will have their own unique choices when it comes to tools. A flat or convex tamper, wooden or steel? Which variety of jug will they find best for creating creamy, textured milk, and will it vary from wand to wand? How consequential are these choices, and how can we imagine that present and future technologies will offer new tools and opportunities for the barista to express themselves even further?

When the western world was first introduced to coffee in the 17th century, as it travelled out of Africa and the Middle East, carried by Venetian merchants who had first learned of the beverage in Istanbul and other trade hubs, the direct infusion methods used to produce it, using little more than a pot and boiling water often left the drink overexposed. Perhaps not through inattentiveness; more likely a desired outcome as coffee was still such an exotic, rare commodity. If the Venetians could see the way we make an espresso today, the methodical approach would seem so very alien to them; globalisation affords us the luxury of choice of a wide variety of beans, from vastly greater distances than they would have travelled.

Before long, coffee connoisseurs would begin to use cloth filters to separate the grounds from the liquid, and soon after percolators would become in-style throughout Europe as a reliable way to create coffee that had been exposed for a more balanced amount of time. Other methods such as flip-pots and syphon brewers gained some popularity. Much like in our current time, demand for top-grade coffee drove demand for a wider range of coffee making equipment.

As coffee continued to spread throughout Europe, popular among artists, writers and students, so too did the different methods of brewing and roasting it. Grinding the beans into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle was held in favour, and it wasn’t until the early 18th century that the French began experimenting with and popularising mechanical grinders like the burr grinders widely favoured with baristas today.

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At the end of the 19th century, the first patent for an Espresso machine was awarded to Angelo Moriondo of Turin, and whilst this was considered a giant leap forward towards the kind of Espresso making preferred today, the method was not fully perfected, his invention not yet pushing even 2 bars of pressure.

It would be almost another 20 years before Luigi Bezzerra would refine his design, to include much of the barista equipment we recognise today. Tamped cakes of ground coffee, inserted in a portafilter, delivering espresso at an impressive rate, to satiate the Italian thirst for coffee, albeit still inconsistent compared to modern standards.

Following the rapid technological advances of the first half of the 20th century, Espresso machines grew exponentially as the premier commercial coffee of choice for consumers. These newer machines were capable of pushing up to 9 bars of pressure, making large boilers obsolete and drawing a rich crema from the grounds, consisting of emulsified oils and rich organic materials which were before lost.

A new wave of innovation pursued; computerised components began permitting for precise measurements of both temperature and pressure, giving baristas more room to improvise and distribute their attention to details across every stage of the espresso-making process. PID control systems began to be introduced, stabilising the water temperature in many machines. This ensured that fluctuations in water temperature, which could lead skilled baristas to pull bad shots – through no fault of their own – became a thing of the past. To expedite espresso making further, most modern commercial machines are fitted with double boilers, allowing for steam and water to be dispensed simultaneously, so attentive baristas can both froth milk and create espresso together.

Introducing the Iberital Vision, launching at London Coffee Festival 2019

When considering historic trends and present momentum, there seems little doubt that the modern barista continues to seek ever more precise, reliable and innovative technology. This will in turn enable them and their art to fulfil the thirst of an ever-savvier consumer.

[1] Kenneth Davids, Espresso: Ultimate Coffee, Second Edition, St. Martin’s Press

[2] William Harrison, All About Coffee, The Tea and Coffee Trade Journal Company

[3] British Coffee Association, http://www.britishcoffeeassociation.org/about_coffee/coffee_facts

Discover the Kinto Range

Discover the new range of Kinto

Discover the Kinto Range Now Stocked in the UK by Jaguar Espresso

Jaguar Espresso, the UK’s leading independent supplier to the coffee trade are delighted to have recently introduced the Kinto range to their comprehensive collection of products. Both beautiful and functional, with a focus on usability and aesthetics, the Kinto range features products across coffeeware, teaware and glassware.

Stocking over 20,000 products for the coffee trade including espresso machine spare parts, barista supplies, cleaning products and much more, Jaguar Espresso are well known as a one stop shop for over 3,000 resellers.

Helen Taylor, Director at Jaguar Espresso Systems says “The Kinto range is a fantastic fit for our carefully curated line up of branded products. The Kinto brand is unique in its approach to create a beautiful balance of traditional Japanese form with modern, clean, sleek lines, using original textures and shapes rarely found in the UK.  Jaguar are the exclusive UK agent for the Kinto brand and we’re very proud to bring this carefully selected premium quality range to our trade customers.”

Kinto was established in Japan in 1972 and source the highest quality materials available to manufacture original products that are used worldwide across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Jaguar Espresso are making the full range available for registered trade customers to purchase online at www.jesuk.com.

From elegant kettles designed for a stress free and comfortable experience, the Kinto pour over kettle has a spout shaped for precision pouring control, a hinged lid for fluid movement, and a handle shaped for pouring comfort. The brand also marries unique design with real functionality. For instance, the top rim of the porcelain brewer, with its bold metallic look, is designed to stay cool so it can be picked up without a handle.

In true slow coffee speciality style, the quality of the Kinto range is not only suited for professional use, it also makes a beautiful addition to home interiors. The elegant designs are created to blend into living spaces and enable users to carve out a few pleasurable moments of quality time by brewing and savouring a fresh cup of coffee.

 

The Kinto range offers a striking collection of mugs including:

  • Metallic-look porcelain mugs that both look and feel good. The rounded rim makes drinking from them a pleasure with a handle that is designed to fit users fingers perfectly.
  • Dual colour porcelain mugs, featuring two colours of layered glaze that creates an original, eye catching range of mugs that are specially shaped to fit snugly in users’ hands, with wide arched handles making it super comfortable to pick up and drink from.
  • Single colour porcelain mugs, glazed in calming colours, the single colour effect delivers both a unique and classic look.
  • Stackable porcelain mugs. With their matt glaze and smooth clay texture these mugs are simply stunning. Stacking different coloured mugs together is great for not only space savings, but creates an eye-catching and visually pleasing display on counter tops.
  • Mugs with original sign paintings.  Engaging vintage look mugs with original paintings on the side, each painting has been individually drawn by hand to make them distinctive and packed with character.
  • Kinto cold brew tumblers are a delightful range of thick glass, embossed tumblers in three calming colours include rose, blue and gold, just perfect for providing a cold glass of coffee during the warmer summer months.

 

The Kinto coffeeware brewing range also includes:

  • Coffee carafe sets which includes carafe, choice of plastic brewer or stainless steel filter and filter holder.
  • 2 cup coffee brewers; for use with either paper or stainless steel filters, the Kinto coffee brewer is compatible for use with all Kinto servers and mugs. Each brewer conveniently features the number of cups clearly imprinted on the side for ease of use.
  • Cotton paper filters, for use with any Kinto drip brewer, delivers mild, clear tasting coffee while retaining the used grounds.
  • Coffee servers and jugs; made from heat resistant glass and designed to work with all Kinto brewers and include the use of white dots on each server and jug to indicate when two or four cups of coffee have been reached, eliminating the need for guesswork.
  • Coffee Jug sets, a complete brewing set that removes the needs for scales or guess work whilst still offering exacting results. The complete set includes a permanent stainless steel filter, a brewer and glass jug.

 

Other Kinto Coffee accessories loved by resellers include:

  • A stylish porcelain paper filter stands that hold up to 60 filters
  • Kinto coffee canisters capable of holding around 200g of coffee beans, designed to block sunlight and keep contents flavourful for longer.
  • Kinto Coffee measuring  spoon, a super stylish coffee spoon made from teak with an oil finish.

The Kinto range further extends into teaware, glassware and related accessories.

To access the full range, Jaguar Espresso are welcoming bonafide trade customers so register for a trade account online.  Approved trade customers will join over 3,000 resellers accessing over 20,000 products online, including the exclusive Kinto range.

The Jaguar Espresso team take great pride in delighting the trade, offering a wide range of benefits to our customers including;

  • Fast, next day delivery. Order up until 6pm for next working day delivery across mainland UK
  • Access to a true one stop shop and a huge range of espresso spares and accessories
  • True trade prices and savings on bulk buys across some of the world’s biggest brands
  • A dedicated customer service team on hand to support the needs of our trade customers

Register online today for a Jaguar Espresso Systems account or contact [email protected] via email for sales support or advice on the Kinto range.