At the start of the year, I made a promise to myself that I will learn (at least) one new skill this year, and (at least) one, every year. Among the items on my learning list is Coffee, I had thoughts about signing up for courses associated with coffee.
Well, luck embraced me and my retweet made it to the winners list of TimeOut’s Illy Coffee Appreciation workshop, conducted by Universita Del Caffe Della Malesia (University of Coffee, Malaysia) at Phileo Damansara.
The workshop provided informative insights on coffee and personally, it was definitely a good exposure and a great prologue to more coffee-related courses for me in the near future. I learned about the differences between Arabica and Robusta beans today, and our Certified Barista instructors showed us a demo on how to use the espresso machine to get the perfect cup of espresso. If brewed wrongly, you can be sure your cup of latte, cappucino, americano and other espresso-based beverage will go really wrong too.
The demo was followed by a coffee tasting session, and it proved to us how a small variation in coffee handling and brewing time (to even using a cold versus warm cup) can make or break the taste and aroma of coffee. It was definitely an insightful 2-hour session.
To brew a cup of perfect espresso, the correct dose of coffee is EXACTLY 7g (single shot, 14g for double), tamped just once (so it is compact enough to let water percolate through), water temperature at 90 degrees, and frothed milk no hotter than 65 degrees.
And I learned what ristretto is today! It is widely-known that there are no shortages of ‘good coffee’ in Australia and that’s because their order comes in the form of double ristretto. Technically speaking, 7g of coffee grind will produce about 25-30ml of espresso, but the same dosage of grind will produce only 15ml of ristretto, therefore extracting only the most intense characteristics of the beans.
The highlight of today’s workshop has got to be the guided hands-on opportunity to make our own cup of espresso (and milk frothing), with a nice finishing in the form of coffee art. I have to say, barista is no easy job! Even milk steaming and frothing needs accuracy!
My first coffee art- a disfigured heart. Jessica’s creation on the right, or what she refers to as autumn trapped on foot leaf.
…. and something prettier from our Barista instructor.
It was definitely a fun and incredible experience. I’ve been drinking coffee since my teenage years, but now that I know a tiny bit more more about coffee and its preparation methods, I think I will definitely appreciate coffee more (which is exactly the whole point of the workshop).
It won’t be a cheap investment, but I think I shall consider signing up for more comprehensive coffee courses in the near future.
Oh yes, say no to 3D coffee art! They’re nice to see, but it’s made with dry (bad) foam, which will definitely ruin even the best brew!