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

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Espresso Quiz

A few posts ago, a reader asked if I could post an espresso quiz, similar to the one I give new baristas when they are beginning to assimilate information as part of their education program at the Phoenix Roastery.

So here goes...

1. What are the three colors that espresso crema should ideally have?

2. What is the acceptable brew time for a correctly brewed espresso, according to Specialty Coffee Association standards?

3. If an espresso shot brews for too long (expresses too slowly) then is the shot under or over extracted? What adjustments might you make to your grinder or your packing technique to adjust for this?

4. Coffea arabica is grown at what range of altitudes?

5. A single shot of espresso should be how many ounces?

6. What is a ristretto?

7. Espresso was "invented" in what decade?

8. A macchiato contains what ingredient, other than espresso, and in what approximate quantity and form? It's also helpful here to know what "macchiato" means in Italian. Hint... what Starbucks serves as a macchiato isn't one.

9. What country produces the largest annual crop of coffee, and is also a popular blending coffee, in espresso blends as well as drip coffee blends?

10. When coffee is ground properly for espresso, it will produce shot times within the acceptable parameters asked about in question #2. What should the ground coffee feel like when rubbed between your fingers?

Those of you who would like to have a go at this, please post your answers as a comment, or if you're shy, you can email to me at
I will post answers next week!
Have fun!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll play, because I'm a 50 year old barista wanna-be. Then when I'm done please put me out of my misery.

1 red, brown and I don't know muddy?

2 Gone in 25 secs

3 I'll go with overextraction. Grind a little courser, tamp a little lighter.

4 Changes in altitudes, changes in attitudes, if we couldn't laugh we would all go insane. 1800 and 5000 feet.

5 1 to 1.5 oz.

6 No espresso for you. Better yet just pour .75 oz in my cup and spank me.

7 In the 0's, the nineteen 0's.

8 No tell me it's not true, Starbucks makes up shit! Mark my espresso with steamed milk maybe about half as much espresso.

9 Brazil

10 Nitty gritty dirt

11:09 PM, September 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Genuine question,
Would it be difficult for a very well experienced barista from new zealand to find a job in sweden in the summer? -im going there in june with my swedish boyfriend and need a job...
Are espresso coffee shops popular in sweden? in the city that i live in (christchurch) in new zealand, you would find over 5 coffee shops when walking around a city block...
and do many baristas that work in sweden actually know how to make coffee? Im confident that im the best barista in the my workplace 'The Coffee House'.

can you answer any of these questions? it would really help me out. thanks, Aimee Fox

8:13 PM, January 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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2:32 AM, March 26, 2009  

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