The 4Ms of Espresso Preparation

Coffee Culture Baristas are nerds. There, I said it. We are nerds, and we love it. We know that coffee is a complicated and interesting beverage, and we all seek to get to know it better.

All of us on the bar have been trained to pull a good shot, and make quality lattes, cappuccinos, and other espresso-based drinks, but espresso extraction is an ever-developing art.  Recently, we came together as a company to discuss espresso at length, and learn a few things!

We began from base definitions created by the  Specialty Coffee Association of America(SCAA), a group that  was “established in 1982 by a small group of coffee professionals seeking a common forum to discuss issues and set quality standards for the specialty coffee trade. The SCAA is now the world’s largest coffee trade association with nearly 3,000 company members. SCAA members can rightfully be credited for much of the growth and success the specialty coffee industry has experienced over the past twenty-five years” (

From their definition, we are able to play and experiment. We believe that proper and healthy technique is important, but ultimately it is up to taste. Each coffee behaves differently in the espresso machine, and slight variation can alter a shot of espresso dramatically! If it tastes good, it is good.











One of the most interesting things we learned during our meeting was the “4M’s of espresso preparation”.

Think for a second…4 words that begin with M, that have to do with espresso preparation.

We couldn’t think of any either.

Thankfully we had a handout.

The words are Italian, which stands to reason.

1. Miscela = Mixture. Great espresso begins with a proper blend of beans selected with intention. When creating blends, it is important to know how the beans can and likely will, interact with eachother. A nutty, mellow Brazilian coffee may interact nicely with the sparkly citrus brightness of a Honduran coffee, or it could be disaster. Our Roaster, Garrett takes great care to ensure that our blends are balanced, interesting, and delicious.

2. Macinazione = Grinder. Every coffee shop has at least one grinder. There are several different kinds of grinders, and each will grind differently. We use Mazzer grinders. Each shop has different products from them. We are able to program some of them to ensure a proper dose (amount of coffee) each time. It’s important to use a grinder that will grind beans evenly and precisely. It’s surprising how much grind can affect your coffee.

3. Maccina = You guessed it, Machine. There are so many kinds of espresso machines. The Google image search results are staggering. Home machines, machines that use K-cups/coffee pods, fully automatic, fully manual, it’s overwhelming. We use La MarzoccoThey are made near Florence, Italy, and function beautifully. With programmable features, we are able to set water temperature, and control how much water interacts with the espresso.

4. Mano = Hand. Literally, great espresso needs to be made by hand. To take it a step further, great espresso requires the hand of a skilled barista. We have recently altered our training program and schedule dramatically so that only the most skilled baristas make drinks for you, our customers. There are so many factors that affect espresso – from humidity, to water temperature, to the freshness of the coffee, that a skilled barista is necessary in order to create something that looks and tastes good. A skilled barista must do their best to manage all potential influence on the espresso. Their hands are perfume free, they use a scale for precise measurement, they taste espresso often. We are doing our very best to create baristas that are not only technically skilled, but are passionate about the craft and culture of coffee (see what I did there?).

We love coffee. We find it exciting to learn about the 4Ms, different products, flavor profiles. and any and all other nuances in the coffee world.

The 4Ms are just one interesting part of this espresso training. These are opportunities for us to come together as a company, and move onward into the world of Specialty coffee. We will continue our staff trainings focused on one part of the customer experience at a time, so that we can nurture our craft, and cultivate passion in ourselves and our customers.

Keep an eye out for a community coffee event, a gathering of coffee nerds from all of Corvallis!

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Shout Out for Civic Outreach: Loving Local Businesses

As sponsors of Civic Outreach, we’d like to thank Linda Van Powell for her work introducing new executives to local businesses in Corvallis. What better way to welcome someone to town than take them out for some great locally roasted coffee? And then, of course, introduce them to the rest of the fantastic local businesses in town. Thanks for championing Corvallis’ family-owned businesses, Linda!

civic outreach, coffee culture, corvallis


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Spring Is In The Air…and the smell of coffee

It’s been awhile, we know, but here we are again– back on the blog! *Hoorah!*

Our favorite thing right now is the smell of roasting coffee wafting through the breeze while we’re sipping on our cappuccino on our blooming and sunny patio…dreams of summer fill our heads as we enjoy the respite of Spring Break…and we remember- this is what we need- slow down, look around, sip on GREAT coffee and relaaaax!

We’ll be back soon, so enjoy yourself, fellow coffee lover, and remember- this is your only life. Don’t waste your time with bad coffee.

Coffee Culture Roasters

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Coffee & Sunshine: Local Saturdays

With the beloved Corvallis Farmers Market in full swing, and some glorious weather hanging around, more people are spending their Saturday mornings moseying through the booths at the riverfront, enjoying our great community and all we have to offer in local goodness. While you’re downtown, don’t forget to stop by our shop on 4th & Jefferson for your pre/post Saturday Market coffee. Our beans are roasted at our Kings location and our drinks are lovingly hand-crafted by our skilled baristas. Stop in and have a chat while supporting your local coffee roasters! We can’t wait to see you!

Coffee Culture, local Roasters, downtown Corvallis

On a side note, check out our very own fancy-pants Roaster featured in the Corvallis Advocate! Whaaaat.. talk about local celebrity, am I right?? ;)


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Culture Crushes: Get Energized!

Introducing the new big thing at Coffee Culture! Try out our new cool, refreshing & fruity energy infusion drink! Sometimes your afternoon needs a booster, and this is just what you need! They come in three fruity flavors, or you can customize it to your own favorite flavor! Perfection on a balmy spring day.

culture crush energy drink at coffee culture


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Coffee is Magical.

Do your mornings feel tired and blue? Do you dread the dawn of day? Turn that shuzzah around! Mornings can be magical! Come in to any of our four locations and be delighted with these delicious morning boosters! Our Lattes, Mochas, Cappuccinos and Brewed Coffee are all finely crafted by our skilled baristas, made with our very own home-roasted beans!

coffee culture corvallis latte mocha

coffee culture corvallis cappuccinobrewed house coffee @ coffee culture roastery

You may also be delighted to find out that we are now serving our very own croissants! Along with original classic croissants we now have Nutella, ham & cheese, and strawberry & cream cheese! Mmm… flaky and light, the perfect pairing with perfect coffee.
coffee culture breakfast croissants

See you at coffee break!

…..And while your procrastinating at work, check out this awesome article from the Gazette Times about us and our new location downtown! We kind of feel like superstars. ;)

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Coffee Culture Downtown: The Place to Be!

Downtown Corvallis. Home of so many amazing destinations like Block 15, Flat Tail, Sky High Brewing.. oh wait, are we just naming all the breweries?? Well you get the idea. SO many awesome places. Everyone loves it. And now we get to be a part of it!!! We are so excited… and we’re RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM BLOCK 15!! Did we shout? Sorry. Excitement. It’s kind of like Christmas.

Coffee Culture Downtown Corvallis

Our newest little shop is literally quite little- all about making coffee taste awesome, serving some fresh in-house baked pastries (all made fresh daily at our 9th Street Annex), and room for you to walk in and maybe sit at the window. Small, but lovely. We think it’s great and we think you’ll love it too! So come down and check it out! If you’ve signed up for our Coffee Culture Club you can even get a dollar off your drink! Now THAT’S happiness.

Coffee Culture downtown Corvallis Oregon

 You’ll find us on the corner of 4th & Jefferson, we’re right between The Book Bin and Block 15, making our corner of downtown the ultimate trifecta of awesomeness.

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Coffee Culture Club: Get Your Discount On!

To receive awesome deals & discounts sent right to your phone, check out our Coffee Culture Club! You’ll get an instant $1 off your drink when you sign up! Sa-weeeet!

coffee culture corvallis



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Coffee Giveaway @ Sports Authority Grand Opening… aka. PARTAAAAY!

This Saturday April 13, we have been invited to the grand opening of Sports Authority on Circle Blvd. in Corvallis and will be giving away free coffee! We understand this is probably your dream-come-true and you’re pinching yourself right now to make sure it’s real… and I assure you, it is. This will be a very exciting event and starting at 7:30am, we will be giving away our delicious home-roasted House Brewed coffee and mouthgasmic iced Toddys. If you have not tried our iced toddy…. well. This is your lucky day. Prepare to be absolutely delighted. See you there!

iced toddy, corvallis oregon, coffee culture


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Best of Corvallis: Vote!

One of our favorite things about our community here in Corvallis is how much we love our local businesses. The Daily Barometer does a yearly ‘Best of Corvallis’ contest and everyone votes for their favorites in each category. The great thing about this one is you’re not confined to the choices they’ve provided- you can write in your own! So go ahead and take a few minutes to put in YOUR two cents about your town. Don’t forget to vote for us! ;) Vote culture

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