Life Life

07/10/2018 - 08:29

Swan on a cup of coffee

Even the burn scar on the left hand is reddened, the smile of Le Anh Tuan, a 22- year-old barista (coffee maker) is still radiant. Working smoothly by the coffee brewer, with exquisite shakes, a beautiful swan appeared on the Latte-Art cup (a favorite type of espresso beverages) in just a blink of an eye.

Barista is Le Anh Tuan’s passion

Collecting pieces of gold

It was not easy for Le Anh Tuan, a student at the Hotel Faculty, Hue Tourism College to become a skillful barista. "The college can not teach us all. Even our teachers are conscientious, they can only provide us with basic knowledge. With that foundation, I have to keep on learning for further improvement. "

Since the goal was set, Tuan started the process of acquiring knowledge for himself. On the first day "stepping into life", the boy born in 1996 encountered many difficulties. Tuan recalled : "It would be a day that I never forget, which was bitter and extremely disappointed. I came to 10 coffee shops in total where all the owners required me to have over 2 years of experience. I tried to persuade them but I was still not hired."

On the second day, luck was on his side, Anh Tuan met the kind owner of a restaurant. Understanding Tuan’s passion for becoming a barista, she decided to hire Tuan on the next day. Le Anh Tuan's journey of collecting golden pieces of knowledge began.

The 22-year-old man started his practice and searching for deeper knowledge. From the simplest to the most sophisticated coffee machine in Hue City, Anh Tuan has worked through them all. In addition, with his solid background in English, this barista could access many foreign resources. "

Tuan said: "In addition to looking for materials, I also regularly watch live TV programs of barista and bartender competitions. From those great competitions, I learnt to perfect my skills. "

The barista has achieved admirable results. In 2016, Le Anh Tuan won the third prize at the 9th National Vocational Training. In August 2017, this young man won the stylist prize at the Barista-Bartender Friendship Competition in Danang. In 2017, Le Anh Tuan was also honored to receive the certificate of excellent students in the field of culture, sports and tourism in accordance with Uncle Ho’s guidelines in the period from 2015 to 2017 of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Artistic work

Not only the passion

A beautiful swan spreading its wings on a cup of coffee is not just ... coffee and milk. The delicate essence, the remarkable skill of the barista, the empathy of each barista will bring us an Latte-Art cup with vibrant images such as roses, tulips, hearts, ferns ... To get the gorgeous swan, a professional barista needs to go through five basic steps: choosing coffee beans, grinding coffee, choosing milk, stirring milk and forming image.

"Hue people often choose coffee with strong and bitter flavor. Thus, the proportion is usually 70% of bitterness, 30% of sourness. Arabica and Robusta are the two commonly used beans," Anh Tuan said. In addition, to preserve the aroma and the original taste of coffee, machinery is an efficiently supporting tool.

"When studying at school, the chances of accessing machines for students were not much. Therefore, when I went to work, I was always aware of the proficient use of these devices. Whether they knew how to operate or not, the barista might accidentally burn themselves since the machine temperature could be up to 1000C," said the Hue man.

Pasteurized milk is the perfect choice for Latte-Art. "Fatness, viscosity, and the essence of fresh milk make a better pattern," said Tuan. "This is the kind of milk that helps people not feel too much fatty". After choosing the right type, stirring the milk is an important step that determines the softness of the pattern. "Each machine will have different capacity and operation. When stirring, depending on the ingenuity of the hands, and the empathy of the mixer, the milk whirlpool will tell the barista when to stop," Anh Tuan shared.

The last step is to form image. While watching the barista carefully turned off the fan before making a cup Latte-Art coffee, we could somehow understand their job. Each cup of coffee is a long journey of hard working and commitment. Within a blink of an eye, a swan was swinging on the top layer of foam. We did not know that, in order to control the pouring of the milk on the latte foam, every barista had to choose. "Without a beautiful cup of coffee, the barista would never have an average cup of coffee. It can only be ... a bad one," Anh Tuan confirmed.

To spread the love and passion to those who love the job, this 22-year-old man is still working patiently. Le Anh Tuan has brought useful information about barista to everyone through social networking site: We Are Art Lovers From Coffee & Beverages. This gentleman is gradually asserting himself on the path that he had chosen.

Story and photo: Mai Hue