What do you give to someone who is impossible to buy for? That person being my Dad. He’s probably got enough socks and hankies…and whilst I know he loves posh smellies and fine whiskies…I finally found the ultimate gift for him…a home barista course with Small Batch Coffee Company.
A small confession here…they kindly invited me to attend their course…and then I realised I was being presented with a great opportunity to share in this experience with my Dad…Happy Christmas Dad. We did our course together last Friday and were duly warned to avoid too much caffeine in advance…
We arrived at the Lab in the vaults of the old bank at the Seven Dials branch of Small Batch. We learnt the basics (I didn’t even know that coffee came from cherries!), and went from green bean to roasted bean, we did cupping (like slurpy wine tasting yah?), we learnt about agitation (the one thing we were both experiencing before we had our first proper coffee of the day) and how to mix it up with the best baristas by learning the art of making a beautiful cup of coffee.
My top 5 learnings:
1. The grind of the coffee is essential – a fine grind for espresso and a coarse ground for cafetiere.
2. Temperature of the cup, water, milk is key to drinkability.
3. The banging and swirling of the milk jug isn’t just for show…it turns hot foamy milk into liquid gold.
4. I’m actually pretty good at making hearts on top of my lattes (though the ones I do at home look a lot like inflatable guitars?).
5. I’m definitely a two cup kinda of girl…anymore and I start shaking and talking faster than the Gilmore Girls.
Of course I’m not going to share all my skills learnt in that session…you’d have to go and try for yourself. But I would say if you love coffee and love making your own coffees at home, this will take up your experience and expectations a serious notch or two. I also know that for my Dad it was a morning he cherished – brushing up on his pretty excellent already barista skills AND spending time with his number 3 daughter – so ultimately the perfect gift…hurrah! Thank you Laura (our coffeeologist) for a brilliant morning and also thank you again for gifting me my first cup of coffee after becoming a mum (one of the most simple but nicest gestures ever)…Small Batch will always be close to my heart.