Saturday, 5 June 2010
Absolute Coffee - barista course
Went to Absolute Coffee's HQ in Sheffield today for a barista training course run by Absolute's coffee guru, Youri. We started straight in at the deep end with espresso which was a great way to wake you up and enjoy those most intense flavours that only come from an espresso.
We covered the grinding, dosage, tamping, temperature, time to drip through etc in order to make the perfect cup. The equipment is superb, the most accurate of grinders and a wonderful La Spaziale espresso machine.
Youri did plenty of test cups before letting us loose on his machine and then we tried our hand and eventually got a fairly consistent result.
Swiftly moving on to produce a flat white, which I believe is from New Zealand, Youri showed us the milk steaming process. This is then poured into a double shot of ristretto and the flat smooth milk gives this drink the most velvety texture and was very delicious. I've had one in Costa and it was rubbish compared to this.
Next we did cappuccinos and lattes and the skill here is in the milk preparation. Some shop bought cappuccinos are piled high with froth and often burnt milk so you have to get the milk foamy and glossy rather than loads of bubbles and froth. Make 2 espressos and then your first lot of steamed milk with the foam goes into the cappuccino, the remaining, smoother milk goes into the latte.
I was delighted when Youri also showed us some latte art to finish off with. This takes practise but I did get better results than the other coffee course I did. See the pics of Youri's bear and rosetta, made it look so easy!
The result of today is I definitely need a new grinder and a machine would be nice too (pricey though, 100's of pounds) although I may have to start with the aeropress gadget (under £30) which gives much better and more consistent results to a cafetiere.
It has been an amazing day and Youri is a great teacher, to find someone so passionate about what they do is a real joy and learning has been a pleasure.