Sunday, February 8, 2015

Barista Training

In 2012, Sherry and I spent 3 weeks in Italy and part of that time was in Florence.  The few days we were in Florence left us wanting much more.  Now, we’ve returned with an 11-day visit dedicated to learning the secrets of Florence.  

The goal for this trip was to go beyond the Uffizi, the David, and the Duomo and really get to know the city.  As we were researching things to do we stumbled across something on TripAdvisor that immediately spoke to us both - Cappuccino & Espresso Course & Tour.  

Coffee is more than a hot beverage for us.  We study it.  We are fascinated by ever aspect from growing to roasting to sipping.  So, when we see a course in Italy (delivered in English) that offers to teach us about the plants, how to blend, the perfect espresso technique, coffee tastings, perfect foam and latte art, our only question is how to sign up.

Gabriele showing his technique.
Our class was on Friday night and it was a blast.  As soon as we met our host and teacher, Gabriele, we knew we were in for a great night.  He was that perfect combination of witty and knowledgeable.  And, to make things even better, we were his only students that night.

After making us coffees, the course begins.  We learn about the 2 main types of coffee and why they are typically blended.  We learned about how coffee is priced for purchase on the stock exchange.  We took a tour of the roasting facility where we discovered that even with all of the science available, it is a real person who decides the coffee is roasted perfectly.

Learning how to create latte art.
After the tour it was back to the class where we made espressos from 3 very distinctive coffees.  Tasting the nuances between the coffees reminded us of wine tasting.  Then it was our turn to play.  I must confess I’ve always wanted to make a cappuccino on a real coffee shop size espresso machine.  Well, this was my chance.  Gabriele showed us the perfect technique and then Sherry and I both got to practice.  

In the end, it was a memorable night.  I think Gabriele enjoyed our passion for coffee as much as we enjoyed his knowledge about it.  

This may not be your typical vacation activity but it was a great evening for us.  After all, the purpose of this trip was to go beyond the main attractions.  If our espresso class is any indication, we are off to a successful start.


0 Comment(s):