Barista technique and Trading

I start my day with a cup of coffee, everyday. A cup of freshly ground, and brew Espresso or Long Black is essential. I am not a coffee expert, but I am a coffee lover. I have my grinder and Espresso machine at home. Barista technique breaks down into three time scales and skill levels:

The first is the minute or so spent grinding and making the shot. The key here is acquiring the skills to make shots consistently. One should be able to turn out four or five in a row with virtually the same timing, volume, color, crema and taste. This skill is a physical thing, that is, it’s a matter of training and practice rather than learning.

The second is the time spent carefully tasting an espresso or series of espressos, identifying the flavor balance and defects, and making adjustments to ones pull or machines to correct them. The “dialing-in” process for a new blend usually requires a series of shots to get a satisfactory result, and can proceed over several days to fine tune it. To do this well, one needs to have experience in tasting and analyzing good espresso. One also needs to know how changes in extraction variables and machine settings affect the espresso’s taste.

The third is acquiring experience and informed preferences with a wide range of coffees, blends, espresso equipment, and alternative techniques. If you or someone you’re serving wants an espresso with a specific pallette of flavors; you will know how to provide it. Home roasting and blending helps in this. So does visiting good cafés and roasteries, and talking with the knowledgeable people there.

I see a lot of similarities to trading. What do you think? Start making coffee…

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