Want to learn more about coffee? Brewing and barista classes are frequently offered by specialty coffee shops. Chats with baristas over the counter can also be very informative because they provide an insider’s point-of-view.
One of my most memorable educational experiences in coffee was from a visit to Bluebird, the tiny New York coffeehouse. On a trip to the city for business, I dropped in for a macchiato one morning. Travis, the barista there, took the time to tell me about Bluebird’s offerings. By the end of my visit, I’d had a lesson in coffee, three drinks, including of the acclaimed Hacienda la Esmeralda and a beta version of Counter Culture’s Apollo.
The most common include:
Public Cuppings – Coffee tastings of selected offerings. It involves evaluating the coffee for aroma, acidity, flavor, body, and aftertaste.
Home Brewing – Introduction to commonly used coffee brewing methods such as the French press, Chemex, and other pour-over methods.
Home Barista Workshop – Hands-on workshop on how to extract espresso. Some classes also cover milk texturing and latte art.