How to Make Barista Coffee: Get the Right Barista Tools & Coffee Machine Accessories
‘How do you make quality barista coffee?’ This is a question that comes up a lot when the conversation turns to coffee, like people expect there to be a magical secret.
The truth is… there is no secret, no magic trick. Just good ol’ fashioned tools, knowledge and practice. In saying that, making sure you have the right barista tools and equipment is going to make a tangible difference to the quality in your cup.
Obviously you need a great espresso machine, a phenomenal coffee grinder and fresh roasted coffee beans. You also need exceptional tools and accessories. This is why we have compiled an Essential Barista Tools and Equipment List - a checklist of all the essential and high-quality coffee tools you need to “barista”.
The Essential Barista Tools and Equipment List
-Coffee Tamp (either regular stainless steel or calibrated)
-Knock Bin/Waste Tube
-Espresso Machine Cleaner
-Dosing Scales (optional)
-Espresso Shotglass (optional)
The coffee tamp is important because how you tamp your coffee will affect how your espresso shot pours. Most people enjoy using a standard stainless steel tamp and relying on their own judgement for applying pressure. For commercial locations and home baristas, calibrated tamps are becoming more commonly used. A calibrated tamp allows you to set a pressure threshold, for example 10 pounds of pressure, and as you tamp you will hear a click once you’ve applied that amount of pressure. This ensures you are consistently applying the correct amount of pressure when tamping, avoiding over-extraction and wrist injury.
See our range of Coffee Tampers.
The tamp mat is a thick rubber mat that you place on your benchtop and is used for tamping coffee. The mat absorbs the heat from the portafilter and the pressure from tamping, preventing damage to your benchtop.
See our range of Tamp Mats & Stands.
In a café setting you are likely to see baristas using a certain type of cloth, it’s a microfiber cloth, used specifically for picking up all the little coffee particles out of the basket.
See the Rhinowares Barista Cloths.
Milk jugs, also known as pitchers, are used to steam/froth milk. They come in a range of stainless steel and Teflon-coated colours, specially designed to aid in producing micro-foam. Milk jugs are available in 360mL (12 oz.), 600mL (20 oz.) and 950mL (32 oz.) sizes.
See our range of Milk Jugs.
Knock Bin/Waste Tube
The knock bin, also known as a waste tube or knockout tube, is usually a round or square bin with a bar across the centre at the top. You ‘knock’ the coffee puck (grind) out of the portafilter basket and straight into the bin using the centre bar.
See our range of Knock Bins.
Having a milk thermometer is really important. Milk should be steamed to a temperature between 60-65°C, this is the temperature at which perfect caramelisation of the sugars and proteins in the milk is achieved. From temperatures of 70°C and hotter, not only does the milk burn, but recent studies have shown possible health risks. Plus, even perfectly textured milk will go bubbly once it’s too hot, so a thermometer is a really important to have and commonly overlooked.
See our range of traditional stick thermometers and temperature tag thermometers.
Espresso Machine Cleaner & Grouphead Brush
It’s important to get high quality cleaning products designed especially for espresso machines and for breaking down coffee oils and fats that build.
Dosing Scales (optional)
Dosing scales are a must for commercial locations and optional for home users. We do recommend them though, because it will help you troubleshoot your espresso grind properly, allowing you to weigh your grind and espresso shots for optimal quality and performance.
See our range of Dosing and Coffee Scales.
Espresso Shot Glass (optional)
Espresso shot Glasses are heat resistant glasses with widely used espresso volume measurements and designed in height and width to sit perfectly under any group. Highly recommended for commercial cafés, as well as home users.
See our Rhinowares espresso shot glass.
Getting the right coffee tools is half the barista battle won, after that you just need to practice your skills in using them to produce delicious espresso shots and silky smooth milk.