Essential Barista Tools (9 Must-Haves)

If coffee makes the world go around, baristas are the ones giving it a push in the right direction. Without the right barista equipment, though, they can’t do their jobs properly – making a great flat white is about more than just having a great machine!

Our list of essential barista tools highlights everything baristas need to knock out the perfect coffee every time, making sure you keep your coffee hungry customers happy at the same time as running a healthy business. So, what are these vital barista coffee tools?

#1 Tamper

The coffee tamp is the unsung hero of the barista’s kit because it affects how the espresso pours. Tampers pack the ground coffee tightly into a puck so that water flows evenly through the filter basket.

If the tamper doesn’t press the coffee into a tight enough pack, the uneven extraction of the coffee can result in a poor quality espresso. As a vital piece of  barista equipment, then, the tamper will be used by a skilled barista every time, and so it needs to be easy to hold and have no flaws to ensure the integrity of the coffee pack.

#2 Knock Box

Also variously called a knock bin, waste rube or knockout tube, the knock box is another one of those important barista coffee tools that a café or anywhere serving professional coffee needs to have.

The knock box incorporates a bin with a centre bar that allows the coffee grounds to be knocked out of the filter basket straight into the bin. This keeps the coffee grounds clear from other rubbish for potential  coffee recycling, while also serving as an effective way of keeping the flow of coffee traffic moving – baristas don’t have to move too far away from the machine to dispose of the grounds and they can keep in the flow.

#3 Milk Foaming Jugs

The perfect frothy coffee can only be achieved with the right barista equipment, and quality milk foaming jugs are a key part of this. A barista can have all the skill in the world, but if they’re not working with the right foaming jugs, the coffee won’t ever be as good as it can be. Perhaps as importantly, it won’t look as good as it could either.

The right milk foaming jugs for your baristas will produce what’s known as the “whirlpool” effect when the milk is steamed. This is when bubbles are broken down and create aerated micro foam. It produces the best taste but it’s also one of the vital barista coffee tools for creating perfect  latte art.

#4 Alternative Milk Jugs

As well as standard milk jugs, it’s crucial that separate jugs are kept for alternatives to dairy products such as oat, almond, coconut and soy.  Avoiding cross contamination is vital or your barista could inadvertently cause an allergic reaction or cause friction with a vegan customer.

So, along with maintaining the right processes to protect the non-dairy alternatives you offer, be sure to keep alternative milk jugs and use them appropriately.

#5 Thermometers

Warming milk to the right temperature is crucial to ensure the perfect coffee is produced every time. As another of those essential barista tools, the milk thermometer helps the barista steam the milk to a temperature of around 65°C. This is the perfect temperature for caramelisation of the sugars and proteins within the milk – higher temperatures than that can cause the milk to burn and that can drastically reduce the quality taste of the coffee.

While some baristas rely on their experience to stop steaming the milk at the right time, a  milk thermometer is a much more reliable method and takes away the guesswork from making the perfect latte.

#6 Scales

Just as the temperature of the milk is vital to replicate the best coffee every time, using a compact scale will help baristas be certain they’re grinding the right amount of coffee and adding the same amount of coffee to the filter basket every time.

Scales can also be used to accurately weigh the shots as they come out, allowing for an accurate measurement which can’t be achieved by sight alone. Again, this is an unsung piece of barista equipment, but it can make a difference to the quality of your coffee.

#7 Barista Shot Glass

While some baristas simply extract the coffee straight into a cup, the more accurate way of doing it is by using a shot glass. These shot glasses have etched markings to ensure the amount of coffee gathered during the extraction process is accurate every time. Baristas can then see they’re making the same quality coffee every time, again taking the guesswork out of making the coffee their customers expect and deserve.

As ever, when choosing the right barista coffee tools, you need to find shot glasses that work well for your staff and are easy to read and hold.

#8 Microfibre Cloths

Whenever you’re looking at barista equipment as they’re working, you’ll notice they’re using small cloths to maintain the barista’s area and clean the milk steam frother after each use.

These  microfibre cloths are more effective than normal cloths as they can more easily collect tiny coffee particles that might otherwise be missed. As part of keeping a clean area, these cloths are considered to be essential barista tools.

#9 Cleaning Brushes

Finally, to keep the  coffee machine and all barista equipment clean and hygienic, it’s important to have the right cleaning brushes for the job. Coffee grounds can get everywhere, including into every crevice of the machine, so ensure you have a brush with the right bristles to get the job done.

For instance, softer brushes are often used on work surfaces while a stronger brush is required to remove coffee grounds from the machine itself.

Essential Barista Tools from Cooksmill

Cooksmill is your one stop shop for barista equipment, whether you run a small café or a huge chain of restaurants. Our range of barista coffee tools and  syrups are available at our  superstore in Manchester or you can shop online to find a huge variety of essential barista tools for your business. With free delivery on orders over £50 (excluding VAT), you’ll be making the perfect coffee every time in no time at all.

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