One sunny Saturday morning I stepped out of the bustle of the busy CBD and into the coolness of Sydney’s historic Dymocks building.
I was there to embark on a journey full of robust aroma and rich flavour, creamy froth and delicate chocolate topping. I was on a mission – to conquer everything the Barista course had to throw at me, from milk frothing to pouring the perfect espresso shot.
I was the last to arrive (as usual!) and I was ushered to my seat at the end of a long communal table. One of the teachers made me a delicious cappuccino, and after introductions were made we got straight into the first lesson.
We learned about the history, origins and evolution of coffee. The difference between Arabica and Robusta beans was apparent as both were passed around in little cups for us all to see. We learned about the drying and roasting processes and also about why coffee tastes different in various parts of the world.
Then it was up on the machines to test our milk-frothing skills. I was amazed at how easy it was to get a gorgeous, consistent froth once you knew the tricks! Learning how to pour the perfect espresso shot came next – we discovered how to adjust the grind and how to extract the perfect shot with its rich, aromatic crema.
We watched in amazement as two of the instructors demonstrated over a dozen different drinks in ten minutes! Cappuccino, latte, flat white, short black, long black, macchiato, Vienna coffee, babycino , even mocha and hot chocolate and some I’d never heard of before – ristretto, doppio, affigotto!
Next we all had a go at doing the coffee menu on our own – the most frantic part of the whole day, and also the most fun! Sadly, my coffee didn’t quite hold its own against the instructors’ examples, but they were still delicious nonetheless!
Finally we learned how to clean the machines properly, using techniques employed in professional cafes, and got the chance to pick the instructors’ brains with our many coffee questions.
At the end of the day I walked away with a certificate bearing my name, and the determination to practice my newly acquired barista skills at every opportunity. And yes, I am now making good use of the office coffee machine!
After all, this saying is very true. : )
By GoDo team member and coffee lover, Melisa