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A day in the life of Quest…

Here is a little video to show you what a typical day looks like for the team at Quest Coffee Roasters.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Enjoy 🙂

Flat White, Latte, Cappuccino, Espresso and more…What’s the Difference?

Have you ever had one of moments when you just feel like something a little different for your daily caffeine fix? You look up on the board a little perplexed with the variety, and, with a line up behind you, decide to just opt for  your usual. Our baristas have a wealth of knowledge and are always happy to help you decide, so feel free to ask at any time.  We also thought we would help out and break it down for you.

FLAT WHITE:

The flat white originated in Australia so you will be hard pressed finding the exact replica anywhere else in the world. Sure you will find variations that will give you some enjoyment on your travels but the saying “same same but different” will spring to mind. In America, for example, their version of the American latte is nearly exactly the same as our flat white.

At the end of the day, a flat white is textured milk and an espresso shot with a thin layer of foam to finish off.

The flat white will be strong in flavour, combined with that velvety smooth feeling we all know and love.

Flat White made at Quest Coffee Roasters

LATTE:

The key to a great latte is in the art of steaming/texturing the milk. Texturing milk plays a big role in creating the perfect latte. Firstly, the most obvious, is to bring the milk to the desired temperature for drinking but it also creates micro foam. You can’t make micro foam without air being added into the milk – that all too familiar “hissing sound” you hear in the café is the sound of micro foam…that is when perfection is being made.

What is in a latte? Espresso shot, steamed milk and approximately 1cm of micro foam on top.

For those of you who wonder what the difference is between the flat white and the latte…it is quite simply the 1cm layer of foam.

Latte made at Quest Coffee Roasters

CAPPUCCINO:

The cappuccino is a traditional Italian drink and some would say that it is defined by its froth. The cappuccino is typically a stronger beverage.

It has three parts and is generally made with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 textured milk, 1/3 froth, then finished off with chocolate dusting powder. What makes the cappuccino special is the equal quantities of each component.

What you will most likely notice while consuming the cappuccino is that the foam is nice and stiff to begin with and finishes with a rich milky coffee underneath.

Cappuccino made at Quest Coffee Roasters

 

MOCHA:

This one doesn’t take much to explain…a mocha is just a cappuccino with chocolate. We know what you chocoholics are thinking…YUM!

LONG BLACK:

Pouring a double shot of espresso over hot water makes the popular long black. It is similar to the Americano except that the long black retains the crema (the glassy layer on the top of the drink) and has less volume, which gives it a stronger flavour.

The barista’s job is important, as they need to monitor the shot speed so that they can produce the best possible extraction. Allowing your long black to rest, as it cools from slightly boiling to a drinkable temperature, is the best way to enjoy a great tasting long black.

The great thing about a long black is that you are able to taste the undertones, flavours and sweetness of the coffee.

Long Black made at Quest Coffee Roasters

ESPRESSO:

Many people have the misconception that an espresso is a dark and bitter to burnt-flavoured coffee. Let’s clear that misconception up for you. Espresso often forms a bold, not bitter, flavour. It is quick to make, doesn’t interfere with flavour and is often referred to as the drink of coffee connoisseurs.

The big difference is that you get the same caffeine hit you would get in any other of the espresso-based drinks, minus the larger volume of liquid. It is therefore, quick, easy and convenient and packed full of flavour.

An espresso is meant to be intense and the art of the good barista is to create a balanced flavour. There are many factors involved in making a good espresso; the grind size, temperature, freshness of the beans and the length of the shot. A little more complex than it looks, right?

Drinking espresso is the best way to experience the true flavour of the bean; mild/medium/strong, chocolate or fruity, and all those special undertones.

It is best consumed straight away, before the gassy layer dissipates and the liquid cools down. A cooled espresso will taste completely different to a fresh one.

Espresso made at Quest Coffee Roasters

MACCHIATO:

Macchiato means ‘marked’ or ‘stained’. In short, it is an espresso with a ‘stain’ of hot milk (a dash of foam). The quantity of milk is just enough to stain the colour of the black coffee.

The macchiato takes the edge off an espresso, adding a different aspect to the drink. It is worth a try for the coffee enthusiast who enjoys a strong, full bodied flavour but is not a big fan of the straight espresso.

Macchiato made at Quest Coffee Roasters

AFFOGATO:

Last but not least, the delicious Affogato. This is really similar to the macchiato. It’s a coffee-based dessert for those times when you feel like being a little naughty. It’s quite simple really…a shot of hot espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Bon appetite!

Affogato made at Quest Coffee Roasters

Our happy baristas here at Quest Coffee Roasters are all about customer service and providing you with the best quality coffee. We have grown to understand that each individual has different likes and dislikes, and the perfect coffee isn’t just as easy as ‘black and white’. We have had so many different requests over the years that it would take a lot to surprise us.

So next time you are visiting us at our James Street, Burleigh Heads café, be sure to ask for your coffee how you like it best and we will be happy to accommodate. Don’t forget that we always have 4 different types of coffee to offer you until 3pm everyday.

Your coffee your way at Quest Coffee Roasters

Burnt Coffee

Are you an early bird needing your take away caffeine fix just to make sure you can function during a hectic day? Or do you enjoy kicking back, relaxing at your favourite café on the Gold Coast sipping a double ristretto latte, while catching up with friends in the afternoon sun? We sometimes forget that the café and coffee culture we now see as normal is really only a thing of the last five years on the Coast.

New cafés and espresso bars are popping up everywhere and we are now able to enjoy their offerings of complex blends and outstanding single origin beans from exotic places like Guatemala, Ethiopia, Sumatra and Bolivia, with complicated estate names and abbreviations. The beans are roasted to perfection by a master roaster who takes great care to get the best flavour and balance of body and acidity in every batch of beans. The specialty coffee industry has definitely moved into the Gold coast and it shows no signs of going anywhere soon.

Which leaves you with 1 question:
With so many cafés on the Gold Coast, why is it still so hard to find a good coffee that doesn’t taste like it’s burnt?

First we need to get clear on what yucky burnt aftertaste actually is. The official term for that bad tasting coffee is “over-extraction”.  Some people might suggest it’s burnt milk, but milk actually smells like…well, burnt milk. You can recognise burnt milk for its sweeter taste and much thinner, less creamy texture.

Anyway, let’s just get technical for a bit. What does extraction even mean?
‘Extraction’, according to the very trustworthy WIKI, is “the percentage of the soluble coffee grounds that are dissolved in the water”. We also have to take into account which solubles are dissolved but, this has more to do with how the temperature changes over the course of the extraction. The ideal extraction yield sits around 18%-22% to get a well-extracted beautiful coffee. An over-extracted coffee tastes burnt because the bitter parts of the coffee have continued to be extracted after the sugars and acids extraction were mostly finished.

perfectly extracted coffee shot

Perfectly Extracted Coffee Shot made at Quest Coffee Roasters

I can hear you thinking, “thanks for the science class, but what does this all mean? What is my barista doing wrong?”

Here are the top three mistakes baristas make when it comes to burnt coffee:

1. First, a little more technical gibberish for you. A commercial espresso machine works by forcing steam/almost boiling water, through packed coffee grounds in the basket of a portafilter or group handle. When the water is not going through the coffee fast enough, the coffee gets over-brewed (over-extracted). It can only mean three things: the barista is packing too much coffee into the basket, the coffee is ground too fine or the barrister is tamping it too hard, restricting the water flow through the grounds. In an ideal world, every shot should be timed to make sure the extraction is spot on;

tamping too hard

Example of tamping the grind too hard

2. The group head where the portafilter locks into the machine is extremely hot. When the portafilter gets left in there too long before brewing, it will burn the coffee sitting in the basket, which results in bad tasting coffee; and

3. Last but not least, the biggest culprit and the one that is so very easy to avoid, a dirty and badly maintained espresso machine. Even the best barista has no hope of making anything half decent and consistent when the equipment they are working with is not serviced regulary.

dirty grouphead

Dirty Grouphead (this is obviously not how Quest Coffee Roasters care for their espresso machine)

Now that you know (and hopefully understand a little) of the science behind the extraction of great and not so great coffee, you can imagine the reasons why some baristas have an almost cult-like following. These baristas can extract the perfect coffee over and over again and create the perfect espresso, or the base for your favourite coffee to be enjoyed on the run or while relaxing and enjoying that great Gold Coast weather.

Written by Eve Henley.

latte art - made at quest coffee roasters

Perfectly extracted, delicious latte, made at Quest Coffee Roasters

 

 

Disclaimer:  This article was first published in QCMagazine in 2014