Do you add boiling hot water to coffee? How do you make the perfect espresso? Whether you like to brew coffee at home or try a new speciality coffee, baristas have all the answers to help with your caffeine fix.

New research published by Costa Coffee to celebrate their annual global Barista of the Year competition, revealed that of those people who drink coffee, 86% of people in the Midlands do so daily. Midland coffee drinkers are habitual in their drinking habits with three quarters (76%) having one first thing on the morning, two thirds have one late morning (66%) as well as over half of coffee drinkers in the Midlands (54%) have a cup in the afternoon.

The taste of the coffee is vital for consumers as the new research reveals that the majority of coffee drinkers in the Midlands (93%) think that taste is the most important factor when choosing a coffee to drink, with under two in five (37%) saying smell.

When it comes to trying new coffees (such as a cold brew or an alcoholic brew), the survey has shown that London coffee drinkers are the most adventurous (74%), in contrast to Midlands (50%), Northern Ireland (37%) and the South West (39%) who are the least adventurous.

All the recent developments in the coffee industry, encapsulating flavours, technology and the coffee drinking experience may well be influencing the perception and perceived career opportunities that a Barista has to offer too. As interestingly, of those coffee drinkers surveyed it was found that over half of Midland coffee drinks (54%) would select being a Barista as their preferred profession, other than selecting waitressing or bartending as a profession.

The Barista of the Year competition, which takes place in London next week, highlights the important skillset of Costa’s baristas from all over the world. Luke Antinoro, Laboratory Assistant for Costa Coffee and former finalists says: “Being a barista is more than just making drinks, it’s impacting on someone’s day – making a customer feel happy. As a barista, I thoroughly enjoy learning about coffee and all the aspects of its preparation, as well as flavour trends to inspire us to create our own signature drinks. This is why the Barista of the Year competition is so important, as Costa wants to showcase their barista’s and highlight their importance in the industry. Baristas have technical knowledge, creativity and a passion for coffee which makes them all unique.”

Some barista techniques for brewing the perfect cup of coffee at home include;

  • Serving a crafted coffee in a proper porcelain cup to experience it at its best – as the cup keeps the coffee warm for longer so you can take your time drinking the coffee and savour every last drop.
  • An espresso shot only remains in its perfect state for around 15 seconds. This means that when preparing favourites such as the latte or cappuccino, the milk is always prepared first so that the coffee can be used as soon as it’s been poured.
  • When serving an Americano, baristas always serve the espresso shot on top of the water, rather than topping the espresso up with water. This is to preserve the precious crema on the surface of the Americano and ensures that it isn’t burnt by the water.
  • The barista’s top trick is with the cappuccino. They roll an espresso ring gently around the edge of the cup before pouring over the frothy milk, ensuring that with every sip of the silky drink you can taste the delicious coffee blend.