Sunday, 28 March 2010

Coffee Course - Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Had a most interesting and enjoyable day on the coffee course yesterday. Best £10 I've spent in years!
I was surprised at how many people were on the course, thought about a dozen but did a count and got about 25. We were in a small auditorium and the format was a more general coffee workshop than just the latte art which actually worked better. I think there would have been too many people to spend 3 hours faffing with steamed milk and doing the patterns.

We had a talk about coffee history, the regions, flavours, roasting, seeing the green unroasted beans, sniffing the aroma. This lead to an impromptu 'cupping' session where 4 lucky people got to go up and sample 4 varieties and see if they could name them on the knowledge we had gained so far. It seemed the Kenyan was the easiest to spot as they all correctly identified it being light and citrusy.

Just before lunch break we had the first demo of the latte art. This is one of those things which the trainer made look simple. We were shown a heart design and a classic rosetta. It seems the skill is in the wrist action. The subject of latte art is huge so if you fancy seeing some wonderful examples YouTube is the place to go where you'll see cats faces, butterflies, bears etc. swirled on top of your coffee.

Lunch was a very pleasant buffet and I have to say their butternut squash & chilly soup was some of the nicest soup I've had in yonks. I would've loved seconds but didn't want to appear piggish.
After lunch things got a whole lot more competitive. The trainer said the best latte art would be judged and the winner would get a days training at Coopers Coffee. Wow, how I would love that. I have to say that I've only had one practise at home doing a design and I thought being an arty crafty person that I might do ok at it. Well, how wrong I was. It really is difficult and will take a fair bit of practise going by my effort shown here. The photo with the 2 rather nice samples on the table are what the trainer created.
We had a tie break at the end and 2 lucky people won courses.

After a few final questions the session was over and we sipped our cappuccinos before leaving with a freebie pack of coffee and some literature. 
I think I've definitely whetted my appetite and fancy either a cupping course next or basic barista.

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