The Perfect Shot

Sacred Grounds Newsletter

Issue 2: The Perfect Shot

Written by Nadime Alamaddine (instagram: @dee_alam): Sacred Grounds Key Account Manager

There are many descriptions of a ‘perfect’ shot, but a wise man once told me, “The perfect shot can be described in one word – ‘balance’”.

He also went on to say,

“If you are brave enough to peek behind the door of ‘balance’, there, you will discover the many doors that open to all its complexities. It’s the first sip, the oozing lava-like texture, the heavy toffee-like sweetness, the flash of citrus acidity, then the gentle mellowing, then wait … was that spice? And gently as the door closes, the warmth and lingering finish.”

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When I train my team, I train the following formula:

  • 24 grams in, 40 grams of liquid espresso out.
  • The extraction time from start to finish is 30 seconds.

But why? Why is it so important to keep this formula?

The answer is simple – consistency!  We want to make sure that with every sip of coffee, each and every customer gets that feeling of a warm hug from someone they love.

The Roaster

Every roaster has their own brew method to extract coffee. But do we know why it started or how it got to that brew ratio? I would like to introduce you to Sacred Grounds’ head roaster – Gilles Gaborit. Gilles is the mastermind behind every roast, ensuring he provides you with ‘perfection’ for your perfect shot.

Gilles has 30 years roasting experience, 15 of them with our affiliate company Voodoo Coffee Company. It’s safe to say he has a serious passion for coffee. This man is driven every day by the coffee industry, constantly searching for perfection in his work.

The task of developing each roast profile is not an easy one; it’s not as simple as mixing beans together and hoping for the best. Every roast profile needs to be tuned depending on the origin being roasted. The purpose behind the roast is all about capturing the magical ‘balance’ of flavour.

Every time Gilles roasts coffee, he has a critical eye and strives to achieve this balance. Everything that Sacred Grounds roasts has to be specific in achieving the best result and setting parameters for consistency.

In other words, the perfect shot goes beyond the barista, it starts from the very beginning – where the bean has originated from and how it’s treated before it gets into your cup.

A bad barista will dump coffee in a cup and if it tastes bad blame the roaster.

Whereas a good barista knows their blend well and strives to bring out the intended tasting notes that the roaster has created.

One of Gilles’ greatest satisfactions in roasting and blending is when we, as baristas, present in the cup the perfect shot. This is what being a barista is about, not – as Gilles likes to joke – about beards and tatts.

Final Advice

So what I am trying to say guys, it’s not just about pressing a button and watching it pour, it’s about the story and how we roast to perfection so you can achieve the ‘perfect shot’.

Be brave enough to peek behind the door.

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Stay tuned for our next edition in 2 months time!

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Please send any enquiries to