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A few questions about commercial Coffee making.
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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > A few questions...  
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Raradir
Senior Member
Raradir
Joined: 23 Jul 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Whitby, UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Jul 23, 2012, 3:01am
Subject: A few questions about commercial Coffee making.
 

Ok so first of all "Hi Everyone" my first post in these forums. Ok so I work in an Italian Restaurant, mostly behind the bar, so when it comes to Coffee's, it comes down to me. Ok so I know the basics of everything and can make coffee, probably not too great standards, but thats why I'm on here as I really want to improve my skills, and really want for people to say things like "great coffee". So down to my questions, I'll make them easier to read by putting them in a list.....

  1. Keeping Milk Cold? So when my bosses use the machine, and I admit me aswell, there is alot of left over milk in the Jug. Now one of my bosses insist I put the jug of milk in the fridge, but it just seems strange putting hot milk into a fridge to use later, as going from hot to cold has gotta be bad right? as my other boss just either uses the hot milk again and gets huge bubbles or just tops the milk up a bit, so what is the best way? as you can tell we have no good coffee makers where I work, my manager is Italian and he can't make good coffee's, which shocked me lol, hence me wanting to improve my skills.

  2. Quantity of Milk? Ok so since I work in a busy Restaurant, we get alot of Coffee orders, like last night for example, I got an order for, 3 Cappuccinos, 2 Latte's, 2 White Coffee's and 1 Black Coffee. So this question only really concerns the Cappuccinos, I can never get the right amount of milk in the jug, I either put too much in or too little, so I was wondering if there was a technique to get the right amount in the jug to say make 3 or 2 etc

Thats it really, as I'll be using alot of the techniques from the "How To" guides. I just want to say I make a superb Liqueur Coffee, but you can't blame me for wanting to learn some skills to make my coffee's the best of the place, and for people to notice the difference when I'm not working. Also like many bosses mine are 100% scrooge's and will not pay for me to go on a Baristas even though I've been with them for 2 years, so I'm having to learn myself.

Well Thanks for listening, and I hope to be using this forum alot to get tips from people, and eventually give them.

-Raradir
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Jul 23, 2012, 5:07am
Subject: Re: A few questions about commercial Coffee making.
 

Hi and welcome.

Well, the short answer is only steam enough for the drink at hand. Milk only REALLY works well once for making foam.

If you try to add some more milk to what has already been used it is kind of like (as you work in an Italian Restaurant) adding more pasta to what was left over from the last order then cooking it all over again or having some left over pizza dough that has been baked, breaking it up and adding it to new dough and baking again, the results will not be good, pasta can only be cooked once and the same is true for pizza dough AND MILK!

Coffee is cooking, steaming milk is cooking. It is one thing to make enough milk for several drinks at one time VS taking leftovers and adding new food to them and cooking again, it just will not give you a good product mixing old and new.

Your second question is more of something you need to learn by doing. You might try to steam for each drink but then you get into a time crunch, but to my personal way of thinking, this is the best way to go.

As to getting too much milk in the pitcher, if you are making several of the same drinks, sure, steam enough for all the drinks if practical and if there is some left over, toss it and start fresh with the next drink. Think of your costs. Milk retails for about $3.50 a gallon give or take. There is 128 oz in a gallon, if the price is $3.50 per gallon, the cost of each ounce is (3.50/128) $0.027 or $0.03 per oz (at a retail price) so how much $ are you REALLY throwing away if you have 6 oz of milk left over after making, say 2 caps (a cap of 2oz espresso, 2 oz milk and 2 oz foam) ? In this case you have steamed TWICE the volume you need. You tossed $0.18 worth of milk and you charged $8 for the drinks, are you ahead or are you breaking the bank by tossing the milk? Is a high quality drink worth it or is the profit margin really that small, if it is, add $0.10 to the sale price of the drinks and you are MORE than even.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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RichardCoffee
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Joined: 2 Dec 2010
Posts: 128
Location: Long Beach
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: gaggia baby twin, mini...
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Roaster: weber grill with rk drum,...
Posted Mon Jul 23, 2012, 6:08am
Subject: Re: A few questions about commercial Coffee making.
 

I suggest you go to Metropoliscoffee.com and click on CoffeeU.  They have some terrific training videos there on the subjects you're interested in.  Since they are professionals, maybe they'll help persuade your bosses.  
Another thing, try it yourself.  I think you'll find that left over milk reheated doesn't taste very good.  What's more, I'd guess that milk is in the danger zone far too long re: the possibility of developing food poisoning.

 
Bean2friends
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Raradir
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Raradir
Joined: 23 Jul 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Whitby, UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Jul 23, 2012, 7:18am
Subject: Re: A few questions about commercial Coffee making.
 

I throw out the milk when the bosses arn't looking, I should mention the two bosses actually own the restaraunt. But if they see me throwing the milk out I get threaten to fire me lol, also theres no way in hell anyone can convince them to send us to a Barrista course, as we need new phones for the place for bookings, which a new set of phones are like 20 max, but they still won't pay for that lol
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SteveRhinehart
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SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Mon Jul 23, 2012, 1:10pm
Subject: Re: A few questions about commercial Coffee making.
 

Do they realize that heating and cooling milk like this is practically incubating bacteria? That one rogue cough or sneeze can introduce a harmful germ to the perfect playground of warm, sugary fluid. Granted, the high heat of steam can kill off quite a few bugs, but even Pasteurization requires tens of minutes of processing, and you're surely not heating the whole pitcher (i.e. the spout that you pour everything out of).

Also, as mentioned, milk is cooked when it is steamed. That cooking is not reversible, sugars have been converted, and the milk will only scald if heated further. It's not worth keeping around and cooking again. So yes, use fresh cold milk for every drink, dump and rinse the pitcher when done, and if they threaten to fire you, threaten them in kind with a health inspection.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 7:26am
Subject: Re: A few questions about commercial Coffee making.
 

Raradir Said:

I throw out the milk when the bosses arn't looking, I should mention the two bosses actually own the restaraunt. But if they see me throwing the milk out I get threaten to fire me lol, also theres no way in hell anyone can convince them to send us to a Barrista course, as we need new phones for the place for bookings, which a new set of phones are like 20 max, but they still won't pay for that lol

Posted July 23, 2012 link

Clearly they are not interested in quality and it sounds like moths would fly out of their wallet if you opened it. If YOU care about quality coffee, do what you can while you are there and do your best but be looking for a job someplace else that really does care about quality coffee.

I would venture to say that if they are really as "tight" as you say, then there are likely other places that are not up to a good standard either.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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BrianCoffeeCooke
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Leeds
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012, 7:12am
Subject: Re: A few questions about commercial Coffee making.
 

I think the best way to avoid this problem is to get used to how much milk you need for a certain number of drinks. Particularly if you are making cappuccinos you need enough milk in the jug to get the air moving through it, but any more than 1/3 of a jug and you risk the jug overflowing with foam. If you are making a number of drinks I would just suggest that you use a couple of jugs (I assume this restaurant has move than one jug?) Also if you get an order where you are making cappuccinos and lattes, the technique is different for heating the milk anyway so it would be best to use separate jugs and separate batches of milk to accommodate the two.

I hope that helps!
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