C’era una Volta – 4M


Once upon a time, someone had the good idea of systemizing basic criteria for coffee making. Few remember, but most coffee enthusiasts and baristas have heard about the 4M. Even if not exhaustive, they provide useful categories to describe what goes into making good coffee.


There is the “Miscela,” the choice and the blend of the beans and their processing. Most coffees are a blended collection of beans that comprise each other’s characteristics associated with certain geographic and topographic locations. Only a few coffees are not blended “single origin.” The process of roasting is essential to the production of a consumable coffee (blend) and so is the timespan from when the beans were roasted to consumption.


Then there is the “Macinatura,” the grind. How evenly in size and to which size the roasted beans are ground will determine the quality of the extraction of coffee. Each batch of roasted beans is different and requires a readjustment of the grinder.


The “Macchina”, the coffee machine, is what we are specialized in. By way of tradition and experience with coffee making everyone more or less agrees now, that to achieve optimal taste, extraction of coffee from the grounds should last 25-30sec, at a pressure of 8 to 10 bar and a temperature between 195-205ºF (90-96ºC). A good coffee machine is adjustable to these requirements.


The fourth and most important “ingredient” is the “Mano,” the hand that makes the coffee. With experience, taste, knowledge, and ambition the good barista orchestrates all the controllable variables to a perfect coffee drink in your cup.

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