I have come to realise that time is way too short and life is way too big to be anything but happy. ♥ One of the intentions that I have set for the year of 2018 was to simply do more of what makes my soul shine. Thus, as I turned 25 years old in September, I decided to reward myself with a Barista Workshop. For those of you who don’t know, I am a coffee lover whos comes from Portugal, where coffee culture is huge. We love to linger at the table after eating, drink a cup of coffee (usually an espresso) and chat for hours. I personally love to catch up with a good friend over coffee. Nothing beats a “let’s go for a coffee” invitation! 🙂
Coffee holds a very special meaning to me and, in my opinion, it brings people together. When I was little, my granny (also a coffee lover) used to serve me coffee in this cute little cup every day after we having lunch together. I remember how happy I felt when drinking it. Granny used to take a sip, gently close her eyes and say smilling “it is so good, is it not my dear?”. My parents were not that happy about me drinking coffee at such a young age like 5 years old… but they allowed it anyway because they knew that it was our little thing. Plus, the caffeine/water ratio was probably 85/15%. I loved its taste regardless and that is why coffee has a very special place in my heart to this day.
I did my Barista workshop at Koffie Academie, in Amsterdam, in the beginning of December. The workshop had the duration of 3h-3:30 hours and I could not be more satisfied with how it went.
So what are the most relevant insights I have learned in this workshop?
- Real coffee is never be bitter
- There are about 100 flavours of coffee, depending on its country of origin. The flavours are grouped into 9 overarching categories (i.e. sweet, floral, fruity, nutty/cocoa, spices, sour/fermented, green/vegetative, roasted, other). You can click here for an interactive coffee taster’s flavour wheel
- I now know what are the most important features of an espresso machine
- I have learnt how to properly evaluate the acidity, body and strength of coffee
- I have learnt how to differentiate Asian from African coffee. While coffee from Asia (i.e. Indian malabar) is spicy and heavy, African coffee is lighter, thiner and hence more watery. Coffee from South America is something in between the two
- I have learnt how to use a coffee grinder and a commercial espresso machine (trust me, it is really really exciting!) as well as how to pour the perfect heart cappuccino.
This is what the workshop entailed and the foundation skills I have learnt:
- Harvesting, extraction, processing method and variety of coffee beans
- Coffee roasting (i.e.how a coffee roaster works in order to bring out the best flavours from within a coffee bean)
- Tasting and Cupping
- Espresso shots and milk steaming
- Latte art. I have made my very first heart shaped cappuccino (see below) using oat milk and I am SO stoked about it!!
- Equipment operation and maintenance
This fun hands-on workshop made me fall more in love with the coffee industry as a whole. I feel inspired and certainly more determined to open my own coffee place one day. It really took my understanding of coffee to the next level and it was like I was tasting coffee for the very first time.
Here are some of photos of the workshop in case you are interested 🙂
Are you also a coffee lover like me? Have you ever done a Barista workshop? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂