Coffee guru reveals how to make the perfect cup
Toronto got a taste of Viennese coffee culture this week with a visit from Franz Grünwald, a world-champion Austrian barista and certified coffee fanatic.
Grünwald took over the counter at Timothy's World Coffee on Danforth Avenue for a few hours Monday for a one-on-one demonstration and discussion.
Grünwald, who has over two decades of experience in the coffee industry and currently works as a trainer for Tchibo Coffee Services' Coffee Academy in Vienna, shared his top tips for a perfect cup of coffee with PostCity.com:
- Since 98 per cent of a cup of coffee is water, water quality is a big deal. Not only should it be as fresh as possible, but Grünwald says Toronto's tap water is too hard for an ideal cup of java and recommends the use of a water softener.
- The blend is crucial. If you're an espresso enthusiast, you need to be using an espresso blend, which is roasted differently than, say, a filter blend.
- Grinder! Grünwald advocates for a good-quality grinder, kept as clean as possible. Also, check your grinder settings. Espresso beans need a very fine setting, while beans ground for a French press need to be coarser.
- Your machine, be it French press, percolator or anything in between, should be squeaky-clean. Any grit or residue and your coffee machine might not process the grounds properly or reach the optimum temperature for brewing.
- Know your roasts. A dark roast is generally bolder, with a sugary taste, while a lighter roast is more complex because the oils haven't been destroyed by longer roasting times.
Grünwald also spoke about the "third wave" coffee movement, which goes beyond the era of the Starbucks grande cappuccino and focuses on coffee cultivation, roasting, preparation and service as an artistic form.
This is the movement that brings you coffee connoisseurship and extravagant latte art.
Grünwald says the movement is about coffee quality, and all the couches and free Wi-Fi in the world can't compensate for that.
"Some chains just have bad beans and bad product," he says.