Previously on The Blog About Nothing... in London!

  • stamaria Santa Maria
    Best Pizza in London
  • tapcoffee Tap Coffee
    Coffee time in Warren St
  • exmouthespresso Bean Review
    Exmouth Espresso Blend
  • kurobuta Kurobuta
    Japanese Tapas
  • oddonos Oddono's
    Gelato in Chiswick
  • smokehouse Smokehouse
    Mouthwatering Burgers and BBQ
  • firehouse No 197 Fire Station
    Complete disaster
  • irisandjune Iris & June
    Independent Coffee Shop in Victoria
  • coffeeguide The Not Official London Coffee Guide
    Humble take on the independent scene
  • dumdum Dum Dum Donutterie
    They don't have Cronuts but they do Cros
  • bonanza Bean Review
    Bonanza's Espresso Blend
  • moo Moo Cantina
    Lomito Time
  • chorbizarre Chor Bizarre
    Restaurant with personality
  • squaremilebelen Bean Review
    Square Mile's Belen Espresso
  • ottolenghi Ottolenghi
    Not as good as usual!
  • quantus Quantus
    European cuisine in Chiswick
  • pearlliang Pearl Liang
    About Time for a Chinese

I want to be a barista [On The Road: Caracas]

As a Venezuelan we love to drink coffee, it's in our culture, everybody has had at least a latte (cafe con leche) or a filter one (guayoyo), having said that, the complacent patron back home, never asks for the perfect espresso, and even less complain for a bad coffee they receive. But now thanks to Pietro Carbone curiosity and Italian roots things are changing. Pietro is educating the consumer, showing them what a good espresso should be, the basic differences between coffee and its correct preparation, even a little bit of history and trading economics on the topic. 

Coffee time
Calibration time
I won't go too much on the production, but it’s shocking how a country with the resources and capabilities to be one of the top coffee producers is lagging behind massively. Taking USDA figures for 2011, if we compared ourselves to our neighbours, Brazil produced 3,270 million kg, while Colombia 511 million kg, Venezuela production have been declining and now it’s 41 million kg shocking isn't? 

Filtre preparation for a Guayoyo
But what is a perfect espresso? 

Looks easy but it's quite complex topic, first let's check a bit of history, the espresso was born in Italy, in 1884 Moriondo's patent was discovered by Ian Bersten, a machine described more like a coffee brewer rather than a espresso, then in 1901, when Luigi Bezzera owner of a manufacturing company wanted to reduce the break time of his employees, after playing a bit more with pressure and boiling water he constructed and improved the machine, then Pavoni bought Bezzera patents and started to produce the machine industrially. 

Preparing a Ristretto or a Corto
But how to make the hazel brown to dark brown cream, the mathematical approach to get the 25 millilitres of coffee recognised as espresso is to brew 7 grms of grounded coffee during 25 seconds in the machine. According to Talleyrand the recipe is black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love. The type of coffee, it will depend on the barista, what type of blend they use (Arabica and/or Robusta), probably a secret just like the coke formula or the McDonalds sauce, the grains are roasted at the darkest possible, around 14 minutes when the beans starts to smoke, giving the beans a caramelised, dark, and oily aspect. The beans have to be grinded to the right specification, it’s basically a trial and error until you are getting 25 millilitres in 25 seconds, and obviously the right equipment to produce it. 

Bean roasting demonstration
Final roasting for an espresso
I spent one amazing morning getting all these concepts and practising on the machines, Pietro is a great facilitator, with extensive knowledge on the subject, if you don’t like coffee I assure you will love it after the session. Two courses so far, a basic for principles and how to make the perfect espresso and an intermediate one focusing more on Latte Art, a must if you’re in Caracas and want to learn more on the topic or if you need any equipment as Pietro distributes espresso and coffee equipment as well. 

Pietro Carbone
In action
Practising latte art
Marisol with some of the creations
Coffee reminds me the Seinfeld episode “The Phone Massage” 

Jerry: You're still thinking about this? 
George: She invites me up at twelve o clock at night, for coffee. And I don't go up. “No thank you, I don't want coffee, it keeps me up. Too late for me to drink coffee." I said this to her. People this stupid shouldn't be allowed to live. I can't imagine what she must think of me 
Jerry: She thinks you're a guy that doesn't like coffee 
George: She invited me up. Coffee's not coffee, coffee is sex 
Elaine: Maybe coffee was coffee 
George: Coffee's coffee in the morning, it's not coffee at twelve o’ clock at night 
Elaine: Well some people drink coffee that late 
George: Yeah, people who work at Norad, who're on twenty-four hour missile watch. Everything was going along so great: she was laughing, I was funny. I kept saying to myself keep it up, don't blow it, you're doing great

Carbone Espresso
T: +58 212 261 7044
Coffee Training and Equipment
Approx Damage: BsF 700pp (Basic Training Course)
Area: Altamira
Borough: Chacao
Twitter: carbonespresso

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