The Nomenclature of Espresso
Before we get into the Barista One coursework, this lesson will remind you about the names for the equipment you need in order to produce espresso and to steam milk. To begin, we focus on the removable parts: anything that is unlatched or unscrewed daily to brew espresso and/or to clean the equipment properly.
As you follow this workflow, you’ll learn the most common part names:
- At the front of an espresso machine, where the barista stands, is the group head. This is the exit point for the hot water used to brew espresso.
- Commercial machines often have two or three groups. The group is the individual system of parts and pipes that conduct water from the boiler. Some machines have more than one boiler and are called multi-boilers.
- Baristas unlatch one group handle to make an espresso. It’s called a group handle because it is unlatched from the group head. The group handle is also known as the portafilter (from the Italian word portafiltro). It is usually made of chromed brass or stainless steel.
- Some portafilters, called naked portafilters, have had their bottom section removed. This style of portafilter makes it easy to diagnose problems involving the flow of espresso.
- The filter basket fits inside the portafilter. The filter basket is the little dish with holes in it that the coffee grinds fall into. Filter baskets come in many different sizes.
- The coffee beans live inside the hopper, which is the see-through container at the top of the grinder.
- At the bottom of the hopper is a part that can slide forwards and backwards. This is the hopper gate. When this gate is open, beans can feed into the grinder.
- The beans are ground up by the grinder burrs.