All of Our Blog Posts
A science professor told BH that with espresso, “in technical terms you have Forchheimer flows instead of good old Darcy flows”. What’s that? Keen readers of this series will remember Darcy’s law from our discussion of bed depth in espresso. Darcy’s law is an...
In our bi-weekly poll on the BH Facebook-group you asked us, "Can you please summarise Cafe Imports’ Water Activity Paper?", which is based on years of cupping and data logging by the influential green coffee importers. And we said, "Yes we can." Here is this week's...
Can You Please Summarise Cafe Imports’ Water Activity Paper In our bi-weekly poll on the BH Facebook-group you asked us, "Can you please summarise this impressive research paper", which is based on a huge amount of cupping and data logging by influential green...
Dose is one of the fundamental variables of any brew recipe, yet probably the one that is most often overlooked. Most of us probably tweak the grind size or yield very regularly, but always use the same dose. In fairness, this is often for a good reason — it makes...
Any time you’re reading about chemistry, you’re going to come across chemical formulae and equations. You might well remember these from high school chemistry, but if it feels like a distant memory then this refresher might be useful. This post goes out to the BH...
The Maillard ‘reaction’ is actually a whole series of chemical reactions that are crucial to creating the characteristic flavours and brown colour of roasted coffee and many other foods - including chocolate, toast, and grilled steak. The reactions are named after...
Does having flow restrictors in my machine mean I get the same flow rate regardless of where I have my pump pressure set to?
The short answer is: no. Flow and pressure are linked, so all other things being equal, increasing the pressure will increase the flow out of a restrictor. However, the physics around flow is complicated, especially when you start to factor in a coffee puck. First, we...
What is the difference (if any) between a mineral salt, a dissolved mineral, and a mineral ion? A salt, in chemistry, refers to any ionic compound (IUPAC, 1990). For example, table salt, sodium chloride, is an ionic compound composed of sodium (Na+) and chloride...
Geisha, or Gesha, is a highly prized variety, with a distinctive jasmine aroma, and bright fruity acidity. These distinctive characteristics mean it has dominated coffee competitions, and become infamously expensive as a result. Geisha beans are often quite large and...
‘Seasoning’ of a group head refers to the practice of making one or more ‘sink shots’ after cleaning an espresso machine - that is, shots that are thrown away with no attempt to taste them. Advocates of seasoning claim that the first shots have an unpleasant metallic...
Coffee grounds are inherently slightly sticky. We rely on this fact during tamping to hold a puck together, and to create a good ‘seal’ between the edge of the puck and the basket. Unfortunately, this also means that coffee grinds can stick to tampers and tools, in...
Tldr: we found a statistical difference between using the OCD and finger distribution, and between palm tapping and finger distribution — but no significant difference between palm tapping and OCD. But we’re going to continue researching and have some cool ideas for the next experiment.
At the beginning of 2017 I posted my predictions and promises for the year. Here’s my report on how they stood up over the 12 months (ratings out of 10).
Here’s what I’m promising we’ll knock out of the park for 2018.
In August we posted a survey to the Barista Hustle Facebook group. Along with our community moderators, we were thinking how to be more active and intentional about fostering a community environment, one which every single human feels safe and comfortable participating in.
Coffee brewers— both professional and enthusiast— love to make things complicated. Complex multi-step brew recipes and brewing devices with some unique feature have become standard. Fancy new features on espresso or brewing machines are demanded without any evidence of their necessity (hello pressure profiling).
We aim to engage in meaningful, professional, friendly discussions surrounding coffee. A fundamental goal of Barista Hustle is to help the world make better coffee — and there is a lot that falls under that umbrella. So we want to talk about the deep and meaningful, the scientific and technical, the broader industry-wide topics, and the smaller individual level aspects. We want to talk about all the important stuff.
To enable these conversations to happen in a positive, respectful, and equitable manner, we have a few guidelines.
Two months ago I was embroiled in a twitter battle …
While extraction theory, EK alignment, and particle size distribution are all worthy topics of discussion here at Barista Hustle, these all mean nothing if you’ve not got a shop to experiment in. Jared Lawler gives us a fascinating view on the business side of coffee, with a solid list of points to consider.
Our Barista Hustle water recipe was and is a useful starting point for building water, giving you a good chance of success when brewing up coffee at home. For those willing to dive a little deeper, we can get far more specific.
There are two main types of coffee brewer – drip, and immersion. They each make coffee slightly differently, but one of them is far more efficient. Here’s why!
Inspired by “Water for Coffee” by Maxwell and Chris. This is the Barista Hustle water recipe!
We donate $1 from every package we send, for each and every subscriber, every month, and every online purchase to Cool Earth
Help develop your palate by trying this simple experiment that will allow you to taste differences in extractions side by side
These interactive calculators will help you understand the effect of adding water to coffee from the perspective of strength (Total Dissolved Solids, or concentration
The Cowculator figures out the precise breakdown of coffee, fat, protein and sugar in your milky drinks.
Information on consulting services offered by Barista Hustle
An introduction to Matt Perger, founder of Barista Hustle.
The BH Slack has been suspended. Turns out thousands of people in Slack isn't conducive to productive conversations. We'll see you on instagram though! 🙂
**This position has been filled by a wonderful human**
2017 is shaping up to be a massive year for Barista Hustle and the coffee community at large. The following is a few of my predictions and promises for this year and beyond.
The story behind the Barista Hustle tamper.
A while back I talked about the potential value of having a button in your cafe that asked customers a simple question
It’s 2016 and there’s still a lot of misinformation and anti-intellectualism surrounding refractometers for coffee. Here’s a couple phrases I’ve read recently, and my rebuttals
Understanding Roast Development and Colour.
Terms of service
The most in-depth article on grinding coffee, ever.
This week marks 1 year of Barista Hustle. A good opportunity to look at what has happened so far, and talk a little about
The Espresso Compass is a little more complicated than the Brewed Coffee Compass.
The Brewed Coffee Compass is very simple to use: Brew it – Taste it. Find on compass
A slightly more conversational and open-ended post
Understanding more about the EK43 and why it makes coffee taste better. Part 3.
Now that I’ve covered what a refractometer is and how it works, it’s important to understand what it can and cannot do.
A lecture called ‘VST:WTF?’. It’s a two hour long foray into the science of measuring coffee with a refractometer.
Super-automatic espresso machines are getting better. I think it’s safe to say that in the not-too-distant future, they’ll be able to make coffee as consistently as a well trained barista.
Jam funnels ain’t just for jam. Learn how to also use them for a solid distribution technique with the EK43.
A calculator for espresso equilibrium temperature
How important is precise machine temperature control on a busy bar?
Guests can only express what they want in the terms they know, and for many coffee consumers, the number one term they know is bold.
Why we don’t recommending spinning when tamping
Interview with 2014 World Barista Champion, Hidenori Izaki
Tamping for espresso is riddled with an incredible amount of folk-knowledge
Back in the 2013 World Barista Championships, I used a tamping style called ‘nutation’ for all of my espressos – this is why I don’t recommend it.
The most important difference between coffee service in Australia and the United States.
Breaking down espresso distribution technique.
To celebrate 10,000 subscribers, Matt did a live Q&A.
To celebrate 10,000 subscribers, we’re doing a live Q&A this Friday.
We dive deep to get to the buttery-bottom of the Bulletproof Coffee craze.
Coffee is a drug, and its service is determined by the habits and rituals of addicts.
The finale of our series on Espresso Recipes
Time is the third variable in our espresso equation, and the last one that you should be manipulating.
Yield is a compromise between extraction & strength. More of one comes at the expense of the other. If you’re ever frustrated by espresso, this may be why
Tipping as an institution has all sorts of problems.
Why people tip, how to maximize your own tip earnings, and why that all can be problematic.
After Strength, the 2nd step to every good espresso recipe is yield. Yield is the amount of espresso in the cup after extraction. It’s measured by weight though—definitely not volume.
In this continuation of our Espresso Recipes series, we break down one of the most oft-misunderstood concepts in espresso: Strength.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America announced this week that they were planning to cancel the US regional Barista and Brewer’s Cup competitions in favor of a single national championship.
Hold your espresso dose steady, unless you want to make more or less coffee.
Professional barista service starts with looking up at the guest.
There’s a farm just North of Melbourne that produces the best milk I’ve ever tasted.
An interactive calculator for finding the exact breakdown of your milky coffee drinks, plus some exciting Hustle news!
Exciting news to share: Alex Bernson is officially coming on as the Editor of Barista Hustle.
Milk is complex. This post breaks milk down and explains each of its components: fat, sugar, protein and “ash”.
What if the act of pouring a beautiful design on the top of a milky beverage actually reduced the quality of flavour?
You can stop worrying about sloppy, soggy, watery pucks because there’s nothing wrong!
A guide to conducting the Barista Hustle espresso extraction experiment.
Every coffee is some kind of blend. This post details how processes at the farm affect evenness, with help from producer Aida Batlle.
An exploration of the ‘dark art’ of blending coffee.
Testing distribution methods for espresso is turning out be quite a journey. This post is another step toward understanding what’s actually going on between the grinder and espresso machine
Discussing the significant rule changes to the World Barista Championship.
Distribution and the portafilter. Discussing different methods
This is a post about how to talk about coffee roasts. It isn’t a post about how to roast coffee (although there’s some nuggets in there).
This is a condensed version of a talk I gave in Shanghai and Taipei last year for Tamper Tantrum
The concept of an even extraction
The 80:20 rule or “Pareto Principle” states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes
In this post I’ll be covering how to increase or decrease the overall extraction of a brew from a theoretical standpoint
Basic extraction theory and the tastes associated with over, under and ideal coffee extractions.
If you’re wondering what The Hustle is and how it works, you’ve come to the right place. T
A tamper for use with the EK43.
A brief post about why I aim for higher extractions.
Why using a refractometer creates harmony and balance between barista and roaster.
Analysis and explanation of graphs illustrating the EK43’s superiority
Understanding more about the EK43 and why it makes coffee taste better. Part 2.
Why the Mahlkonig EK43 is better at making coffee smaller. Pt 1
Video of Matt Perger’s 2013 World Barista Championship routine.
A video detailing the steps in using a refractometer
Explaining why your espresso bar will be grossly inconsistent if you’re not using volumetrics or weighing every single shot’s dose and yield.