Q: When people talk about acidity in a coffee being a positive attribute - what do they mean?
A: Oftentimes 'acidity' is related to objective pH level (think lemons and grapefruit). Coffee is low in this type of acidity. When we talk of acidity in the coffee cup we refer to the vibrancy, liveliness and fruity brightness, which is characteristic of high grown, high quality arabica beans.
Q: Quite often I'll go into a café and receive a really bitter coffee. Why is this?
A: Bitterness is often the result of 2 things:
- Dark roasting (this may be intentional to create a roasty smokiness that some drinkers enjoy - oftentimes it is unintentional!) OR
- Over extraction by the barista in creating the cup - the grind of the coffee may be too fine for the brewing method resulting in too little water running through too much coffee
Q: What is your online shipping policy?
A: We currently charge a flat rate of $9.90 shipping within Australia (sorry, we currently do not ship internationally). This excludes special size items such as machinery which is calculated on weight and destination.
Q: I hear so many differing opinions about how I should store my coffee beans at home - should I be storing my beans in the fridge or freezer?
A: Contrary to popular belief, coffee should never be stored in either fridge or freezer! The four main enemies of the coffee bean are oxygen, heat, moisture, and light. Once the beans are taken out of the fridge or freezer, the coffee will absorb the condensation when the ice-crystals have thawed. Always store your beans in a cool, dark, dry place like the pantry. Remember, coffee absorbs smells so store your beans in an airtight vacuum container.
Q: Quite often I will see coffee on shelves with use by dates 2 years out - does coffee really last this long?
A: Although 2 year old coffee may technically still be 'drinkable' it is no longer fresh. Coffee is a perishable good - you must think of coffee the same way you think of your fruit and vegetables, which no doubt you probably buy on a weekly basis. Coffee reaches its peak potential between 3 to 12 days after roasting, after which the coffee beans begin to deteriorate quite quickly. To truly enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, you need to be buying coffee fresh from the roaster in small lots. Keep an eye out for one-way valves on the packaging, and store in a cool, dark, dry place. Try to consume ground coffee within a week of grinding, while whole beans should be consumed within 3 weeks of roast date.
Q: What should be doing to clean my espresso machine and grinder?
A: One thing I always tell my customers is that a clean machine means a clean cup of coffee! Like looking after your car, regular maintenance means your machine will be producing a superior cup, and your machine will last that much longer.
Machinery and your coffee making area should be kept clean and well maintained. The flavour of your fresh coffee will always be affected by any stale coffee oils and grinds building up within your machine and grinder. Uncleaned milk steaming wands (inside and out) are very unhygienic.
Here is a summary of how you should be maintaining your home machine.
- Back flush your machine with your blind filter according to your manufacturer’s instructions.
- Using your group head brush, clean your portafilter, shower screen and up and around the group head.
- Soak your basket and portafilter (metal parts only) in Espresso clean / hotwater solution, and scrub and rinse accordingly.
- Empty and rinse out your drip tray. Any residual coffee oils can be cleaned out with Espresso machine powder/water solution.
- Clean the machine exterior with an appropriate surface cleaner for your particular machine material e.g stainless steel cleaner. Our monster cloth / barista cloth sets are excellent for wiping down machinery and buffering stainless steel surfaces.
- Wipe down your steam wand after every use with a wet microfibre monster cloth / barista cloth, and use milk frother cleaner to clean the inside of the line. Ensure you purge the wand before and after every time you use it to avoid build up of milk scum inside the line.
- Once a month, use Cino Cleano monthly clean espresso machine cleaning solution to clean out all internal areas of the machine.
- Once every three months use Cino Cleano descaler according to your manufacturers instructions.
- Brush out old grinds from your grinder with your grinder brush.
- Run a cap full of Grindz Grinder cleaning tablets through your grinder of a medium setting, the grind through 3 cap fulls of coffee beans to flush through the system. This avoids build up of oils and grinds between the blades ensuring a more consistent grind and cleaner cup.
Always flush through fresh water though the system after cleaning and re-season equipment after chemical use and according to cleaning product instructions. Hope this helps!! Happy cleaning!