Mastering Coffee & Barista Course

Coffee is as synonymous with Italy as pasta and art. It is so much a part of every day Italian life that living without it would be inconceivable. In Italy the day begins with a coffee, either at home, gently brewed in a Moka (although in recent years, many families have invested in Espresso makers) or at a local, typical coffee bar serving a variety of different versions of the basic Espresso, Cappuccino or Caffè Latte, usually accompanied by a ‘pasta’ or pastry. A morning stroll through any Italian village, town or city, and you will be accompanied by that warm, comforting smell of freshly brewed coffee from one corner to the next. Coffee is the ‘élan vital’ of Italian life – a morning wake-up call, a mid-morning pick-me-up, a digestif after lunch or dinner, an afternoon break, a little something to accompany happiness, a tired moment and everything in between. Italian coffee culture dictates that Cappuccino is strictly drunk the morning and any afternoon or post-lunch Cappuccino orders are usually left to foreign tourists, amidst some disdain from the Barista in question.

Books Cappuccino Croissant Check Coffee Coffee Machine Espresso Espresso Orange Coffee Pressing Coffee
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  • "A heartfelt thank you, Helena, for organising a truly memorable weekend for my husband and myself. We enjoyed every aspect of the 5* Gastronomy Experience from the wonderful meals to the pasta-making with Anna, tasting the difference between the Balsamic Vinegars and the truffle hunt. I could go on and on. Non of this would have been possible without your organisation, but what made it really special was your personal touch."

    Pier T. United Kingdom
    The 5* Gastronomy Experience

  • "Thank you once again VERY much for looking after us on our trip and for organising everything so perfectly. We spent a fantastic two days discovering the incredible food and the incredible cars. The fact that you accompanied us on our trip to Lamborghini made it even more special. The wives were also happy….which is the most important thing, even if they didn’t want to experience the exhilarating experience of a drive in a Lamborghini. Once again, thank you, thank you."

    Roman Z. Czech Republic
    Lamborghini Test Drive, Museum Visit & Food Tour

  • "What can I say but wow! We guys were supposed to be driving the Ferraris and our ‘gals’ were supposed to be cooking. It all got turned upside down – but in the best way possible. I am so glad you persuaded us to join in the cooking classes as they were great fun. We learnt so much, especially about the Balsamic Vinegars. I will never look at a bottle at the supermarket in the same way again. Thanks for making it a perfect couple of days for us. "

    Michel D. USA
    Ferrari Test Drive, Cooking with Barbara and Valeria, Balsamic Visit

  • "On behalf of the group, I would like to thank you so much for organising one of the most fascinating, instructive and creative days ever. The day truffle hunting and cooking with truffles was a total revelation. Now we can really appreciate why truffles are so costly. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, Helena, we are so much ‘gastronomically’ richer for the experience, especially since we work in the restaurant industry. It was really special. Thank you again. "

    Jutta B. Switzerland
    The Famous Truffle Hunt

  • "You have no idea how wonderful it was to surprise my wife with the 5* Gastronomy Experience and how thrilled she was with this kind of ‘full immersion’ into the food of Emilia. The organisation of all the Ham, Parmesan and Balsamic visits as well as the cookery courses was more than professional, because there was always some small detail and a personal touch that was prevalent throughout. It is an experience we will treasure forever. Thank you, thank you."

    Patrick & Wyn H. United Kingdom
    The 5* Gastronomy Experience

  • "Thank you so much for organising the ‘Mastering Gelato’ course for my family, which was fantastic. The accommodation with Cristina and Umberto was lovely and the views stunning. We are all ‘gelato’d’ out at home – our daughters are so enthusiastic and our kitchen has almost become a gelato-making laboratory! I wish we had stayed longer and done the full day course, but I guess it’s a great excuse to come back!"

    Miranda R. United Kingdom
    Mastering Gelato

  • "An incredible experience! Delicious food! Amazing wine! I had never heard of the Bologna wines, but I have to say they are a revelation. I have ordered 4 cases of Pignoletto from the wine cellar we visited and I really look forward to opening them and sharing them at my birthday party shortly. Brilliant organisation and a wealth of knowledge. Next time I’ll be back for a few more days for an altogether ‘deeper’ experience. Thank you."

    Matthias & Rosa F. Germany
    Wines of the Bolognese Hills

  • "The Emilia experience was a rare treat. Your knowledge of the foods, products and wines of the region as well as your passion and enthusiasm are praiseworthy, Helena. The whole experience felt truly exclusive and getting to see that famous rock-group that my kids like at the Lamborghini factory and take a photo was just the best. We’ll be back to get our hands on those eggs and flour soon!"

    Marty & Mari D. USA
    Lamborghini Factory Tour, Parmesan, and Balsamic Tour

  • "We just wanted to say how much fun we had doing the Classic Emilia cooking course and also wanted to thank you for organising everything, down to the last detail, with such short notice. We really learnt some amazing recipes and my Bolognese sauce or ‘Ragù’ has taken on a whole new lease of life. I would love to come back with a group of friends and organise a longer and more in-depth food experience. Keep us posted on what you’re doing! Thanks again."

    Belinda S. United Kingdom
    Classic Emilia Cookery Course

  • "We know you organise lots of these various courses and experiences, but we wanted to thank you for making us make feel unique and special during our two day stay in the Bologna hills. Your knowledge of all the foods and products is amazing, but most of all, the attention to your guests is so personal it is almost as though you are personalising everything at every moment to how we are feeling and reacting. We are getting older, so don’t know if another European trip is on the cards, but we will certainly spread the ‘Yummy Italy’ word among our friends."

    Deepak & Lydia S. USA
    The 5* Gastronomy Experience

  • "On behalf of my group, thank you a hundred times for the perfect days we spent in Bologna and Modena. Driving the Ferraris into the hills was a totally exhilarating experience, eating the amazing food and (for those not driving) tasting the really delicious wines was wonderful. You are right, next time we’ll bring our wives so that they can learn how to cook the fantastic pasta! We’ll drive the cars again! See you soon!"

    Adriaan L., & company, Netherlands
    Ferrari rental, Wines of the Bolognese Hills

  • "Just to say how enlightening the ‘Taste of Yummy Bologna’ walking tour was. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and who knew that delicious pasta could be inspired by Venus’ navel and golden hair? The secret of Neptune in Piazza Maggiore was really funny too. Seriously though, this one day tour is a true full immersion of the best food in Bologna. Worth every penny and definitely a reason to come back and do a proper cookery course. Thank you."

    Betje & Frans K. & family, Netherlands
    A Taste of Yummy Bologna

  • "Organising my 50th birthday party in a Bolognese medieval tower was a risk that paid off. I am so glad that I listened to your advice. Thank you so much for organising a truly perfect event – a wonderful Bologna food tour, some amazing tastings, but most of all, all the tiny details that made it a truly memorable birthday weekend for my guests and myself."

    Arndt B. Germany
    Corporate Events

  • "My colleagues and I are all self-confessed wine snobs, but we were so glad you persuaded us to explore and taste the local wines. They were surprisingly good and should definitely get more publicity. Thank you so much for organising the Parmesan and Balsamic Vinegar visits too and the food tastings with the wine. The Balsamic, above all, was a true revelation and perfect for wine snobs such as myself and the group!"

    Jean-Marie T. & group, France
    Wines of the Bolognese Hills, Parmesan, and Balsamic Tour

  • "That’s it. We are hooked on truffles. What an awesome experience! Gianluca, the truffle hunter was so friendly and his wonderful dogs were incredibly talented. I’m so glad that we managed to find some truffles too. Thank you for explaining everything so thoroughly. We’ll be back to learn to cook with them soon! "

    Gary & Zelda G. USA
    The Famous Truffle Hunt

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Yummy Italy brings you a unique Mastering Coffee & Barista course, run by one of Italy’s leading coffee experts and held at his Coffee Laboratory in Vignola, a small medieval town located between Bologna and Modena. Manuel is the author of several books on coffee and co-author of the definitive Italian Coffee Bible “Il Libro Completo del Caffè”. In addition to being a qualified Sommelier he has a wide variety of coffee and tea tasting qualifications. Not only is he the founder and owner of Bologna’s best coffee bar (as voted by bloggers, travel guides and others), he is also a member of the International Coffee Tasting Institute and the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and he also sits on the judging panel of the Italian Barista Championship, Italian Latte Art Championship and the World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship. The course is divided into various modules, beginning with the fundamentals of coffee tasting, professionally known as ‘cupping’. All courses must be preceded by module A-Espresso Tasting (or Cupping) course.

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Course Modules

Module A: Espresso Tasting – half day (precedes any further courses)

This fundamental module covers the human sensory evaluation behind coffee tasting (known as ‘Cupping’), including how a sensory analysis should be carried out. This course forms the foundation of any further courses. Participants will learn how to recognise a coffee of high quality and how to detect defects in the coffee bean and roast. The course covers the following areas:

  • Evaluation of perceived and true quality of Robusta based Espresso
  • Guided tasting of Robusta and Arabica blend
  • Evaluation of perceived and true quality of Arabica blend Espresso
  • Guided tasting of 100% Arabica blend
  • Evaluation of perceived and true quality of 100% Arabica Espresso
  • Presentation of pure washed Arabica origin coffees
  • Evaluation of the merits and positive aspects of the single origin coffees
  • Detection of defects in the coffee bean and roast

Tastings will include: single origin Robusta 100%, Arabica and Robusta blend, washed and semi-washed 100% Arabica, single origin washed Arabica (1), single origin washed Arabica (2).

Module B: Cappuccino – half day

Cappuccino is certainly one of Italy’s most popular morning coffees and one of the world’s most popular ‘all day’ drinks, often created with poor quality coffee and long-life milk, and ‘enhanced’ with chemical flavourings of different types. During this course, you will learn how to recognise a ‘definitive’ Cappuccino of the highest quality. The course covers the following areas:

  • Defining the characteristics of the coffee to be used for a Cappuccino – tasting various different coffee types
  • Defining the characteristics of the milk to be added to the coffee
  • Tasting of different frothed/vaporized milk types
  • Sensorial analysis of frothed/vaporized milk
  • Traditional Italian Cappuccino serving technique
  • Traditional Italian Cappuccino tasting

Module C: Espresso and Cappuccino Extraction – half day

You will use your new-found knowledge to learn the correct procedures of using grinders and espresso machines, setting the grinder, how to dose coffee, pulling different ‘lengths’ of coffee. You will also learn how to spot a badly ‘pulled’ coffee by its appearance. In addition to this you will learn how to tamp the coffee, set the grind gauge, clean your machine and keep your working area clean and tidy, in order to make working easier.

Module D: Milk 'Latte' Art – half day

This course delves into the technique of creating art with milk foam. You will learn about basic milk chemistry (combination of heat and air), vital for the production of milk foam. You will learn how to ensure that the milk is at the correct temperature and perfect your milk steaming, texturing, frothing and pouring techniques in order to create that perfect, rounded, balanced and delicious cappuccino. You will learn how to free-pour as well as make various appealing shapes including hearts, leaves as well as various other more abstract designs.

This course also covers the use of ‘alternative’ non-lactose milks and their frothing and serving techniques.

The course is very hands on, allowing you to practice the various methods to perfect your skills. Practice makes perfect, though, so keep on practicing as soon as you get home!