Working under pressure? Doctor, lawyer, Indian chef, head of tribe at home or office, the pressures of life getting you down? If you think you’ve got pressure take a moment to think about the life of a barista, now that’s a job with a lot of pressure, 8-10 bars to be exact. That’s how much steam pressure is needed to pull the perfect shot of espresso. 9 bars, the typical accepted pressure for brewing espresso translates into 8.8 atmospheres of pressure or 130 pounds per square inch. The barista must control that pressure to extract the rich and subtle flavors from the coffee beans to yield an exceptional cup of coffee. It takes skill, finesse and calibration to make a good espresso. The right grind, filling, tamping and fixing the portafilter in the brew basket, the texture of the milk, the quality of the crema, underextracting, overextracting and all the while the pressure is building.
So let’s all STOP complaining about our lives and RELAX. We can learn a lot from our friendly neighborhood barista. We just need to let off some steam and use that pressure to our advantage and in the end we too may learn how to pull that perfect shot of life.