blog from the ceo & superbarista of phoenix coffee, home of the best baristas in cleveland, ohio

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Twisting tamp of new baristas

On Tuesday, during part two of a nine hour training program for our new baristas, I think we perfected the new Phoenix standard of the twisting tamp. Per Dennis Skitzki, our ever-opinionated Espresso Wizard, the twisting tamp seems to be a good methodology for producing an evenly packed particle matrix in the filter basket. We still use the standard 40 pounds of pressure, but while applying pressure, we also twist the tamper about 120 degrees. The first two or three shots we made were awful, but those are generally the sacrificial ones that we give to the spirit of the espresso machine anyway. The machine hadn't been used in a day or two, so it always takes a bit to re-adjust. Then, we were cranking. Even with three newbies pulling shots, wow, some of them were fantastic. I happen to think the twisting tamp was at least partly to "blame".

James Hollis comes to us from Ohio Citizen Action, as well as a previous stint at Arabica. He has really cool Harry Krishna tattoos. But that's not why we hired him. He also has great attention to detail and aced the Espresso Quiz and drank way more espresso than I have seen one person consume at one time, except for maybe Kiley or Carl. James will be working at the Superior Avenue cafe. Welcome, James!

Temeka Payton has a varied and dynamic background. She recently graduated with a degree from John Carroll University. She is a drummer in her church band, has ROTC experience, and a very inquiring mind and probably does love coffee more than life itself. Temeka will be working at the Lee Road cafe. Welcome, Temeka!

Wes Johansen is an art history student at John Carroll University. Wes is a Cleveland Heights native, and is very bright and attentive. He has already been studying his Barista Bible, asking good questions, and has quickly mastered the concepts of over and under extraction. Wes will be working at the Lee Road cafe. Welcome, Wes!


Anonymous Siliconslave said...

Hi there, been reading your blog for a bit and thought i'd post to ask if theres any chance of you posting your espresso quiz so some of the home coffee geeks can have a go :)


7:21 AM, August 24, 2006  

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