In search of a barista how-to
August 13, 2012 1:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a full color book of espresso drink making techniques. Bonus points if it includes info on latte art.

I've been working part time at a coffee shop for about 4 months now, and really love it. I'm fairly good at the majority of the drinks, but really want to amp up my game. Also, I'd kinda like to get better at training people, and be able to talk about the science of steaming milk, etc. Plus, everyone behind the bar wants to learn latte art! :)

I have a copy of Bean There, Drunk That and honestly didn't find it that impressive. While some stuff is there about temperature, the overview of drinks is really really basic, and the illustrations are grainy and black and white. I'm not necessarily looking for recipes/recipe inspiration (tho that would be fun too!), more techniques, history, and science.

(Also, if anyone has any book recs featuring sassy baristas with elite espresso skills, lay them on me! We have a book club. :D )
posted by spunweb to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How about Espresso Coffee - Professional Techniques by David Schomer, the founder of Espresso Vivace in Seattle? While it's not full color (at least I don't remember it being very colourful) it's got a lot of science and information on technique in it.
posted by un petit cadeau at 1:39 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: Gimme Coffee has a book based on their in-house training manual. "60 images including 28 color photos."
posted by zamboni at 1:42 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: Based on the texturing milk excerpt from that Gimme Coffee book, I'd second the recommendation. That bit right there is the hardest part, and none of your best wrist-jiggles will get fancy art without properly foamed milk.
posted by carsonb at 1:54 PM on August 13, 2012

My fiancé, who manages a cafe and is a trained barista, suggests anything by Scott Rao. Since you're interested in espresso, you probably want The Professional Barista's Handbook, but Everything But Espresso is also supposed to be an excellent resource, should you decide to expand your reading. I don't know how many illustrations are in those, but OCLC cataloging records (thanks, library school!) indicate that they both have at least some color illustrations.

Fiancé also noted that latte art is really best learned by video (if not in person), so if you want to supplement what you're getting at work, YouTube might be your best bet there.
posted by divisjm at 3:36 PM on August 13, 2012

Seconding Espresso Coffee - Professional Techniques. It's not heavy on latte art but it will teach you a lot about how to make a good cup of espresso.
posted by kdar at 6:35 PM on August 13, 2012

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