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.
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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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!