Earlier this week, I attended the Espresso School in Clayton South. Now, as someone who loves their coffee, I’ve always been curious by what on the earth the baristas are doing as they tap silver jugs on the bench, click various leavers of those gorgeous machines and blast the steam wands. Coffee plays a strong part in a lot of my writing and I knew having a more detailed understanding on exactly how the machines worked and the skill involved would be useful to me as a writer. So, off I went to school.
The Espresso School is ideal for those working in the industry to learn how to make a good cup of coffee with no previous experience or those who have been working in cafes seeking to take their skills to the next level. The Espresso School also cater for people who might be looking to purchase a quality coffee machine for their homes or offices looking to learn more about the process, as well as people like myself who are just curious.
To start with, our instructor, David, made the class a great coffee and proceeded to run through a very brief history of coffee – the origins, the different varieties, the different types of coffee drinks. We looked at some “maths and science” of coffee – how much ground coffee needs to go into the machine for how much espresso to come out of the machine.
With some theory out of the way, we were set loose on the machines. It was fascinating to see how small variances in how the beans were ground or the weight of the ground coffee could have a dramatic impact on the final outcome. With knowledge in how grind the coffee as well weigh and tamper the coffee before putting it through the machine, we then explored how to froth the milk to the right temperature and density in order to pour the perfect latte or flat white. Hint – it’s all in the sound it makes.
In all, it was a really interesting morning. As someone who knew nothing about how coffee was made, it opened my eyes and gave me new appreciation for those who can brew a really good cuppa. It also may come in handy in my writing that now I can actually call the portafilter by its correct name rather than the ‘handle thingy’.