Types of Coffee

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Types of coffee

EspressoEspresso (short black)

The espresso is the starting point for all espresso coffee - approx. 25 ml of espresso extracted in 25-30 seconds. A well-made espresso is characterised by a dark, golden crema. A further sign of a good espresso is that the surface tension of the crema should maintain one teaspoon of white sugar on its surface for 3-4 seconds before falling through.
A Ristretto, meaning ‘restricted’ in Italian, is normally only the first 15mls of extraction – it is therefore ‘restricted’ in the amount of coffee extracted and captures the sweetest, most intense characters of the coffee. The term ‘Double Ristretto’ is capturing 30 ml of espresso, made up from 2x 15 ml shots.

Long BlackLong Black

There are various ways to make a long black, but you should definitely not simply extract a normal espresso for double the length of time! I like to start with 10ml cold water, followed by boiling water (or approx. 95 degrees) to make up to around 2/3 of a cup – then pour a double ristretto on top!  Not everyone uses a double espresso, but it gives the sweetest result (normally only the first 15ml of extraction).


Some enthusiasts find an espresso coffee too strong and concentrated; in the macchiato, milk is used to soften the edge of the espresso. Using a 90 ml glass, pour your espresso shot, and add a dash of textured milk. The term Macchiato means to mark, which in this case is what we’re doing to the coffee with the textured milk.


Named after the Cappuchin monks who apparently drank coffee to help them through their prayer vigils.  The monks were recognisable because of their unique brown hood, which is brought to mind by the distinctive colour and texture on the top of a cappuccino coffee. One shot of espresso and 2 cm of textured milk. For a marbled effect, dust espresso with chocolate before pouring milk.


One of the most popular espresso-based drinks in Australia, the name literally comes from the meaning of the two words ‘café latte’. Caffe in Italian means ‘coffee’ and Latte means ‘milk’. Simply pour a shot of espresso into a 200-220 ml glass and add textured milk.

Flat WhiteFlat White

Developed as an Australian icon. For those who enjoy the strength of the cappuccino but not the foam that goes with it. Using a cup of around 160-180 mls capacity, pour in one shot of espresso and add steamed milk, including 1/2 cm of textured milk on top.

Monday, August 25th, 2008

The Mighty Grade 1 Mandheling

By Rob Stewart

I am often asked how I became a coffee roaster and I tell them that it was pure opportunity; but, if I really think about it, my passion blossomed the day I wrapped my lips around a cup of Sumatran Mandheling.

I had started a new barista gig with a boutique coffee roaster, but I was really just working to pay the rent while I went to uni. I didn’t care much about coffee until the day I had to acquaint myself with the single origins the roaster sold. So, my boss and I racked up some espressos and BANG! My palate went into overdrive! (more…)

Friday, August 15th, 2008

From Crop to Cup

By Emily Oak

beans on hessian bagThe coffee we know and love as a golden or dark brown aromatic bean, starts off very differently. For coffee, from crop to cup, there is quite a complex journey and every step will affect its final flavour.

The coffee bean as we know it, is actually the seed of a cherry which grows on the tall bushy coffee tree, with the two main species being Arabica and Robusta. Arabica makes up a large percentage of the world consumption – about 70% while the more gutsy Robusta is most commonly used as a booster in some espresso blends or for making instant coffee.To get from the cherry on the tree to the bean ready for grinding, there are a number of steps that need to occur.

The first is ‘processing’ – whereby the outer layers of the cherry are removed to reveal the bean or seed inside. There are four layers that need to be removed – the skin, the flesh, the parchment and the silverskin. The way that these outer layers are removed greatly affects the flavour of the bean as the sugars can be either transferred into or out of the bean. (more…)

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Tasting Notes From Panama

By Rob Stewart

Coffee CherriesWhen a coffee broker asked me what I thought about Panama coffee I began singing Van Halen’s “Panama”, which sadly has nothing to do with the country and everything to do with a stripper from Arizona.

I did however know that some of the best specialty coffee came from Central America, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

So I took a sample, cupped it, and with out hesitation ordered a ton; it was so good I just had to have it on my books. (more…)

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Tasting notes from Uganda and the sadly elusive Bugisu AA single origin arabica

Uganda is not only home to the endangered Mountain Gorilla and Jose Chameleon (Africa’s answer to Ricky Martin); but is also the 7th largest coffee producer in the World and 2nd largest in Africa, simply due to the massive quantity of Robusta the country grows.  (more…)