Our roasting process

People often want to know how we develop a coffee recipe. It’s a valid question, especially since we know all the effort that goes into crafting an Italian espresso blend. The creation of the finished product requires careful planning and a good dose of theoretical knowledge.

Developing an espresso recipe

People often want to know how we develop a coffee recipe. It’s a valid question, especially since we know all the effort that goes into crafting an Italian espresso blend. The creation of the finished product requires careful planning and a good dose of theoretical knowledge.

Enrico Serena, Barista’s master roaster and co-founder, has travelled to Italy to meet with fellow coffee craftsmen and discuss coffee roasting and confection. These rendezvous back in the old country allow Barista to stay up to date on the latest developments in Italian coffee making.

Our R&D team is in charge of creating new recipes according to a strict protocol. The team also works on recipes that need to be adjusted when we receive new shipments of green coffee beans ready for roasting.

The protocol begins with a cupping (or tasting) session of the coffee beans based on their origin in order to determine their organoleptic properties (aroma, taste, texture, colour, fragrance, etc.). It stands to reason that the features we are looking to create in our recipe are determined in advance.

Next comes a rather complex testing process. It is a laborious step during which we must identify the perfect proportion of beans from each origin and the exact roasting temperature and time. Blends are generally made of beans from 3 or 4 origins.

Before it is tasted, the coffee will need to rest to release its CO2. During the tasting, an evaluation chart is completed based on the predetermined criteria, so that we may arrive at a general impression of the product.

The roasting trials and subsequent tastings go on until the desired features are obtained. The recipes are always tasted by target groups to make sure the recipe corresponds to the established criteria.

Some recipes are obviously more complex to develop than others, not to mention that the roasting must be done in exactly the same way every time, regardless of factors that can cause variations (temperature, humidity levels, harvest, etc.).

Each espresso recipe is the result of a long process of evaluation and development, which explains the unique flavour of each blend.

To learn more about Italian coffee roasting

What is an espresso?

The 2 questions that often come up during our training workshops for the general public are “What is an Italian espresso?” and “What does a barista do?”

5 essential elements of a godd espresso

Here are the 5 key factors involved in making a great espresso.

Roast profiles made easy

Brown, black, medium brown, blond, medium brown…with such a variety of roast profiles, it can be easy to get confused. Yet each of them has its own specific characteristics. Here they are divided into three main categories.

The 5 essentials for good espresso

A unique blend

Espresso blends are made up of two essential elements: a clever combination of beans from various origins (generally from the 5 major growing regions in Africa, South America, Central America, Indonesia, and India) and the unique expertise of an Italian master roaster. These blends are unique to each roastery and are often the result of extensive research and development.

Understanding the intricacies of each type of bean (through a process called ‘cupping’ which evaluates unique characteristics during the harvest) is a complex affair. Developing an original blend that lives up to the standards of Italian espresso is nothing short of an art!

Italian roasting is done slowly to help ensure that the product is as homogenous as possible, with the final result being a well-balanced, medium-coloured roast.

La torréfaction italienne, c.-à-d. sa cuisson, est généralement plus lente afin de permettre une meilleure homogénéité du produit. Le résultat final est un café plus balancé et de couleur mi- noire.

The Grind

Grinding is crucial for ensuring the perfect brew and for producing a nice tiger-striped crema, which will majorly influence the taste.

A grind that is too coarse will let the coffee flow too quickly, resulting in little to no crema, whereas an overly fine grind will produce a very bitter flavour.

Short espressos should be brewed for 20 to 25 seconds. Click here to see our recipes.

The Machine

To make the best coffee, using a commercial espresso machine is highly recommended. Why? Because the quality of its parts allows for optimal heat retention and distribution.

That said, residential espresso machines are an excellent alternative for at-home brewing, with cutting-edge technology that make them very smart and practical.

Espressos should be brewed at around 92 degrees Celsius.

The Barista

Ultimately, the person preparing the coffee is the most important in creating a great cup of coffee. They must know the proper dosage (approximately nine grams per serving), how to adjust the grind, and how to maintain the equipment (espressos should always be brewed in a clean machine). While you do not need to be a professional, you can still do your part to maintain your machine.

The Water

Hard water (water with high levels of calcium) can affect the coffee’s flavour and even damage the machine. This is why we strongly recommend using a filter to soften the water and prolong the lifespan of your machine.

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Café Barista inc.
9150 Meilleur, Suite 105
Montreal, QC
H2N 2A5
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514,381, (CAFÉ) 2233