200 Degree Coffee Shop Barista School [GIFTED, AD]

Hello Readers,
If you follow my Twitter or Instagram you know that last Friday (24th May) you know I was lucky enough to be gifted the chance to take part in the 200 Degree Coffee shop barista school in Lincoln.  Despite this opportunity being gifted, I will still be as honest as always.
Let’s start by saying this class is not a formal sit-down chat you’ll soon be up making espressos and attempting latte art but most of all you’ll be enjoying yourself and getting to know coffee. We started off with a smell testing, putting your senses to the test to appreciate coffee profiles. I remember being told that coffee tends to be pretty much what it says on the tin. For example, if it smells earthy its earthly it’s not overly complicated. One thing I learnt from the smell profiles is that I know the smell of cocoa bean thanks to being a dark chocolate fan.
Before we got hands-on with the actual making, we had a little presentation about how coffee is made and where it comes from and the bean belt. I actually really enjoyed the little presentation about where the coffee comes from and finding out that all the coffee sold and used by 200 Degrees is imported by themselves and roasted in house which gives them the ability to control their blends.
We were given a little run through of how to make an espresso then we were let loose with the coffee machines. I’ll be honest I made a lot of mess I don’t know if it was me being my usually klutzy self or if it’s just messy. Espressos have a very short run time through the machine 25-30 seconds to be exact for a perfect shot. All I will say is thank you to the coffee god that they have automated grinders, depending on how coarse or fine the coffee is ground depends on the run time through the machine. I think my worst runs were a good solid 6 seconds and it was beyond bitter then a 55 second that tasted better but not the correct profile for the task at hand. At this point, I realised how competitive I am that I was getting a little frustrated with myself and kept running coffee through until I finally got my espresso runs through at the 26-second mark.
Then we got to move on to milk for me this was much more fun and enjoyable. Just as before with the espresso’s we got a little run through and were again let loose with the coffee machines. We were told that for lattes the milk must make the right noise not loud and screechy like some coffee chains, but gentle bubbling with a little squeak. We were also told how to gauge the temperature of the milk with our own hand on the bottom of the jug to get the correct temperature for latte art. I had a go at making a latte and I will be honest my lattes weren’t the best taste wise but they weren’t completely terrible and I even managed to drink one of them.
I was dreading the latte art I’m not really beautifully creative but I can do gory and I can do it well, so trying to make hearts and flowers wasn’t going my way so I went with spirals in the hopes of turning them into cobwebs.  The key is to keep everything moving, not letting anything rest. (top left was an attempt at The Darkmark, Top right was a crop circle, bottom left was going to be my cobwebs and bottom right the jury is still out on a turkey or elephant let me know what you see?)
The three hours flew by and I now have a new found respect for coffee, how it’s made, how to make it taste and look good.  I honestly can’t recommend the class enough to anyone interested in coffee and want to learn a new skill. I also think it would be a good alternative for a Hen Do or Birthday that doesn’t involve a cocktail masterclass.

Here’s a little link list

L x