Barista Tips, Tricks and Videos

Barista Video Tips

Wondering how to make great café style and specialty beverages? Here are some barista tips, tricks and videos from DaVinci Gourmet. Please sign up for our DaVinci Gourmet “Flavor Every MomentBlog for new tips and tricks, recipes, product news and industry events.

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Frappé Fixes

Wondering how to make the ultimate blended ice frappe drink? A simple trick to remember is what fits in the cup before you blend, will fit after you blend. So a common practice is to measure your ingredients by using the cup you are serving it in.

  1. Fill cup with ice
  2. Add milk or water (liquid component) to the bottom line (or 2/3 full) on the plastic cup.
  3. Add recommend amount of Frappé mix to the blender for the size the drink being made
  4. Add contents of cup to blender
  5. Blend for 30 seconds
  6. Pour back into cupCommon Issues with Frappes can be:
  • texture – too runny or too thick
  • over or under filling the cup
  • unblended ice chunks
  • powdered mixes caked at the bottom

Frappé Tips

  • If your frappé blended drink is a little too thick, just add a little more liquid. If your frappé is too thin, add a little less liquid or try more ice. It is amazing how as little as a ½ oz of milk can drastically change the texture & outcome of the beverage being made!
  • Remember, everything but the frappé mix is going into the cup to ‘measure’, so you will not have the problem of over or under filling the cup once blended.
  • A quality high performance blender can make all the difference in the world when it comes to blended ice drinks (and overcome that ice chunk issue.)
  • Another tip here is to let your ice thaw some before putting it in the blender.
  • If your frappes tend to have powder mix caked at the bottom and sides of your blender, how do you avoid that? Always add your milk/liquid to the blender first. Then, always add the powder next. This gives the powder a chance to mix with the milk & hydrate, rather than if you add it on top of the ice. When you put the powder on top of ice, as it blends, it gets thrown to the sides of the blender before it is hydrated. This causes the dry powder to sick to the damp sides of the blend.

Be consistent with it. Notice that even the order of product being added matters. And remember, practice is what makes frappe consistency possible.

Flavorlicious Iced Teas

Flavored iced teas are gaining in popularity with consumers. The benefits for baristas include:

  • give your customer more hot weather options
  • offer more low cost per serving drink offerings with higher margins
  • keep your menu fresh
  • create some excitement and lift sales

If you offer customized teas, you can simply brew iced tea, have it chilling in the fridge, then when a customer places an order, easily add the flavored syrup of choice to the tea or even add some flair by using a cocktail shaker to give the flavored iced tea hand-crafted appeal.

For example,

Pomegranate Iced Tea: 16 oz serving:

  1. Combine 7 oz chilled iced tea with 1 fl oz DaVinci Gourmet Fruit Innovations Pomegranate Syrup
  2. Stir or shake
  3. Pour into a 16 oz cup filled with ice

Alternatively, if you have a very fast paced operation you can prepare flavored iced tea in bulk. Simply combine 3 gallons of tea with two bottles of DaVinci Gourmet Fruit Innovations syrups. This product line was specifically formulated to work well with cold beverages. Using an iced tea urn, you just pour your syrup of choice into the urn, then add the tea. Give it a stir to ensure the flavor is mixed in well. Then, just dispense into a serving cup with ice.

Swirled, Not Stirred

In any successful café or restaurant operation, time is critical. Taking the time to stir sauces used in a drink can be time consuming & can make a pretty pour look less appealing. For your next latte or specialty café beverage, try swirling your sauce and/or syrup together with your espresso before you pour in the milk or ice. It really works well to get the items mixed and reduces the need for spoons (less items to wash). More swirl, less stir. Wouldn’t Mom be proud?

Sticky Sauce Situation

Sometimes when using a sauce in a drink, a barista may find the sauce can stick to the sides of the cup, making it nearly impossible to stir the sauce completely into the drink. Here are 2 solutions for you:

  1. If using syrup & sauce, put the syrup in the cup first, followed by the sauce. Since the syrup is much thinner, it will not get stuck to the cup & will also prevent the sauce from doing so.
  2. When making an iced drink, add some milk (or liquid of choice) to the cup first, just a small amount will do.

This way you are able to stir the sauce into the liquid (milk, soy, espresso…whatever it may be). Always add the ice last. Ice makes it very tricky to stir in anything, especially a sauce.

Of course don’t forget to drizzle the top of your drink creation with your favorite DaVinci Gourmet Sauce for that finishing touch.

Iced Coffee Tips

Who doesn’t love iced lattes, mochas and coffees? Ever get an iced espresso drink at a café and it is watery with very little ice?

There are a few easy tips you can use to prevent watery iced coffee drinks.

  1. First, while this might sound silly to some people, don’t steam milk for an iced drink. Just used cold milk from the fridge.
  2. Second, think about the order of ingredients going into your cup.

Often times you’ll see this order: 1) ice 2) chocolate/flavor 3) espresso 4) milk. This causes a few issues. Not only will hot espresso immediately melt the ice, the espresso will also take on a funky flavor from being shocked. In addition, if there is chocolate sauce it will stick to the bottom of the cup & not mix in well. Try pouring the milk into your cup first. Then you can add the syrups & sauces, and then add the espresso. This brings the temperature of the espresso down and will help delay the melting of the ice. Plus it will also make stirring in sauces or flavors much easier. Finally, add the ice – now it will not melt.

The Case of the Curdling Raspberry

Ever ask yourself, “Why does my drink curdle when I use raspberry syrup?” Considering it is one of the the most popular fruit flavored syrups used in drinks, many baristas are often puzzled by this phenomenon.

Citric acid derived from fruit is used to make many flavored syrups. Often times the level is so low, you’d never know it was even in a syrup. But, some fruit flavors need more citric acid to have that perfect tart fruity pop. This is why raspberry syrup can cause a drink with milk or cream in it to curdle.

So, what can you do to avoid curdling? DaVinci Gourmet Classic Raspberry Syrup is formulated with a lower citric acid level, so it can be used without worries in milk based drinks. Still curdling?! The two causes are hot milk or soda water. If making a drink with hot milk, introduce 1-2 oz of cold milk and swirl into the syrups. Are you using other syrups or sauces? Swirl them all together to lower their citric acid as a whole. Now add the steamed milk on top. You can also use less raspberry syrup (like when making a raspberry mocha) or use more milk or cream (like when making a raspberry cream Italian soda). It works! Give it a try on your next Raspberry or fruit flavored concoction.

Have a tip? Still wondering how do I….? Shoot us an email to and we’ll have one of our drink specialists take a look. Or contact us or post on one of our social channels. Also be sure to subscribe to our blog where we’ll keep you in the loop on new barista tips, tricks, and videos.