THIS YEAR SKY MAGAZINE HAS SEARCHED BOTH ASTANA AND ALMATY AIRPORTS FOR GOOD COFFEE. WHEN DISCUSSING THIS AROMATIC BEVERAGE, WE OFTEN MENTION THAT CAPPUCCINO HAS TO HAVE AN ELASTIC FOAM WITH FINE BUBBLES. BUT IS THAT THE ONLY REQUIREMENT? AN EXPERIENCED BARISTA SALAVAT NURGOZHAYEV WILL SHARE HIS TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE A GOOD CAPPUCCINO.
IS IT HARD TO MAKE GOOD COFFEE? A GOOD CAPPUCCINO, IN PARTICULAR?
Just like in any other area of expertise, you need to have certain knowledge and skills. Every stage of the coffee making process can greatly affect the taste. First of all, the barista cannot wear any perfume or anything else scented because coffee absorbs scents very easily, and that might affect its taste. Secondly, all equipment – the coffee grinder, coffee machine etc.- should always be clean. The quality of coffee beans is crucial as well; it is determined by the degrees of roast, the quality of grind and the way the coffee has been pressed for it to give out the most intense taste. Espresso is the base for most coffee drinks. It takes from 18 to 23 seconds to make.
As for a cappuccino, the quality of foaming and the way the foam has been poured into the drink play a very important role. The foam should not be separated from the coffee, and if you pour the foam correctly, you will always see a drawing appear on top of the drink.
Only experienced baristas can become “coffee artists”. If you see coffee art appear on top of the foam, then the coffee was made in the right way..
ARE THERE ANY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MILK AND WATER?
The milk should have 3.2% fat, and it should be natural. That can be problematic since most manufacturers use powdered milk. It gets especially difficult in the winter, which is why the best coffee is made during the summer. And, of course, water is important as it is the main ingredient of any drink. It is best to use bottled water because water hardness, or any additional flavours that tap water might have, can greatly affect the taste of coffee. The water temperature during the coffee making process should be around 92.5-93 degrees.
ONLY EXPERIENCED BARISTAS CAN BECOME “COFFEE ARTISTS”. IF YOU SEE COFFEE ART APPEAR ON TOP OF THE FOAM, THEN THE COFFEE WAS MADE IN THE RIGHT WAY.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY OF DRINKING CAPPUCCINO? DOES IT NEED SUGAR?
People usually add sugar to it. However, cappuccino actually tastes better with no sugar. In case the milk has been foamed well, the foam should become sweet and should add some sweetness to the drink.
As for the right way of drinking coffee, it is best to drink cappuccino within the first two minutes after it has been made. The reason for that is because on the third minute the coffee begins to “die” as it gets colder- the foam starts to disappear, the drink loses its taste. Espresso should be consumed within the first 30 seconds, otherwise its taste disappears.
The main thing that all coffee fans need to remember is that you should know your limit. You should drink enough water with coffee, because coffee dehydrates you. Also, coffee affects calcium absorption, and it can become harmful if consumed on an empty stomach. That is why coffee is best to drink after having a meal, and in small dosages. Some people drink three or four cups per day, even before breakfast or instead of it. It is not surprising, then, that they might experience stomach pain after that. I repeat – know your limit.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE COFFEE? WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE STARTING TO WORK WITH COFFEE BEANS?
I hardly ever have coffee anymore because the scent is enough for me to stay awake.
Prior to working with coffee, my friend and I had developed a tradition. Every time we were at the airport, we would get coffee from the vending machine. That tradition disappeared right after I tried grain coffee and learned how to make it. A machine is simply incapable of making good coffee; it is better to trust a professional with it.
On, and by the way… The most important element in coffee making is the barista. I have watched some people destroy the final product despite having used quality equipment and excellent ingredients.
Astana Airport has changed a lot since then. There are several nice spots before and after the security check where you can find delicious high-quality coffee. Just remember all of my tips when choosing your next coffee place.