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Thread: One-day espresso course. What do you think will be the most important lesson?

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    One-day espresso course. What do you think will be the most important lesson?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there,
    I've signed up to do a one day espresso course this weekend... There is a catch though, it will be in Indonesian, and I don't speak very much of the lingo! I've got a lot of confidence in the course, they have a great setup where we all get a dedicated two-group Conti machine, and they've trained some of the baristas at my favourite cafe (including the owner). The instructor will speak English if needed, but I will mostly learn by observing and practise, practice, practice.

    My home setup is a new VBM Junior HX and Macap M2M. Love them both, but I think I need to work a lot on dosing, tamping and frothing (my frothing technique so far is terrible, I mostly get hot bubbles not foam).

    So a question to all in the forum. If you've done a course, what were the most valuable lessons? What do you think I should pay most attention to?

    Thanks,

    Michael

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    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Getting some parameters (but you don't need a class for that) and then practicing, practicing, practicing.

    Hopefully, they will also show you how to extract both a sour and a bitter shot so you know what not to do.
    Last edited by chokkidog; 9th April 2015 at 05:21 PM.
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    I was going to start a thread about this. I attended a course this week in Melbourne. 5 hours over 2 days. $125. It was well worthwhile. But it depends upon your personal objectives. For me, I wanted to develop milk preparation, as I haven't done much of it. I suppose I'd like one day to have a part time job in a cage (that's supposed to say cafe, but I'm leaving it there for your benefit), but that's long term.

    i know that the course can give you the tools, but churning out one drink after another in a busy place would be another challenge altogether. The only place to learn this would be on the job.

    Having said that, I would definitely recommend a course like this as - in my case- the teacher was very thorough with basics and she covered a lot of ground. Didn't waste a minute. Was everything new to me? No . Was anything new to me ? Certainly. My main benefit was the patient and guided practise opportunity.

    id say, do it. The language thing may not be a big deal especially if the teacher does a quick demo of whatever skill they're teaching you.

    Do it, & let us know how it goes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Getting some parameters (but you don't need a class for that) and then practising, practising, practising.

    Hopefully, they will also show you how to extract both a sour and a bitter shot so you know what not to do.
    my experience this week was that I found I did need some parameters. Not so much that, but how to achieve them. So the course showed me the variables that I needed to work with & how to influence them. (And for me, the milk was/ is the big mystery, not so much shot pouring.)

    in my case, what not to do , extraction wise , was demonstrated also.

    if the course had another half an hour, I'd liked to have had a chance to dial in the grind independently, from scratch.

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    I did a TAFE Barista Course some years ago, which made me feel fairly inadequate about producing a list of different orders under pressure (and gave me a real respect for the very expert Baristas who do it every day, all day - performing that intricate ballet behind the machine, steaming while the pour is happening and multi-tasking continually.
    I'd have probably liked to do something on 'Trouble-shooting' - analysing why stuff isn't coming out like it should - and probably some intensive work on Latte Art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shortblackman View Post
    I was going to start a thread about this. I attended a course this week in Melbourne. 5 hours over 2 days. $125. It was well worthwhile. But it depends upon your personal objectives. For me, I wanted to develop milk preparation, as I haven't done much of it. I suppose I'd like one day to have a part time job in a cage (that's supposed to say cafe, but I'm leaving it there for your benefit), but that's long term.

    i know that the course can give you the tools, but churning out one drink after another in a busy place would be another challenge altogether. The only place to learn this would be on the job.

    Having said that, I would definitely recommend a course like this as - in my case- the teacher was very thorough with basics and she covered a lot of ground. Didn't waste a minute. Was everything new to me? No . Was anything new to me ? Certainly. My main benefit was the patient and guided practise opportunity.

    id say, do it. The language thing may not be a big deal especially if the teacher does a quick demo of whatever skill they're teaching you.

    Do it, & let us know how it goes.
    Would you mind pointing me to the course provider?

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    I'll pm you as I'm not sure whether or not I'd be undermining sponsors. Not sure if any offer their own??

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    Caffeinated kopigeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortblackman View Post
    I'll pm you as I'm not sure whether or not I'd be undermining sponsors. Not sure if any offer their own??
    thanks mate

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    TC
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    Not sure if any offer their own??
    We do- but not that often as I frequently struggle for time. Mine are limited to one/two pax. We also offer variety of information, some of which mey be useful in the Education section of our website.

    I used to run some sessions at William Angliss Coffee academy and their stuff was quite good- if you didn't mind being in a group of up to 12.

    Dave Seng (Espresso School) and Lucas Mason (Home Ground Barista) are both great trainers with extensive real world experience.

    There are others who advertise heavily, provide cheaply and deliver little or nothing.
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    Interesting. I was very happy with what I did, and now I'm curious about these others, and yours of course.

    this time last week I started to look up threads about the courses. There may be some (I didn't look very hard) but its a good topic for this site I reckon. There are so many courses advertised. How do you choose one?

    for where I'm at , I got a good course (tafe accredited) for quite a reasonable price, but I didn't really know what I was in for til I showed up.
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    Yeah. Just had a look at espresso school and it looks good. I am interested in the filter brew course there. I'd be into that.

    funny thing is though, except that you have mentioned the course, I may not choose it 'coz its a bit more expensive than others for the same amount of time, and the list of things taught is the same/ very very similar to other advertised courses. Lots of descriptions in the Internet advertising are the same.

    so it's good to get some recommendations. Sorry for hijacking the thread.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    When I added a Macap M4D to my first Mondiale, ( a few years ago now) I was lucky to hit the ground running, as far as really good teaching went.....

    I had Chris deliver the grinder and give a 2 hour lesson. Perfect. Really grounded ;-) my coffee making habits and understanding.

    +1 for David Seng @ Espresso School, did a milk class with him also.
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    Which ever course / organisation you chose, be sure to understand the contents and scope of the course before you commit.
    some of these courses are focused at training working baristas, rather than domestic enthusiasts, and may take disproportionate time to ensure a thorough understanding of commercial equipment functions ( programming, cleaning, taking and processing orders, etc) that may not be relevant to your needs.
    There are courses that specialise in grinding/dosing, others specifically for perfecting " in cup" results for various coffee menu's , and numerous others that will cover coffee growing and production etc.
    Know what you want from the course, and choose accordingly.

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    Thanks for the tips! The provider I'm using here in Jakarta has a 3 day course that follows the NSW TAFE framework, but I'm doing a one day "Crash Course" that is aimed more at the enthusiast.

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    Just as a follow-up, I'm very happy I did the course. We only had two of us, so it was in English. It was a great experience knocking out 50 to 100 shots in a day, just to get the practice and consistency right. I would have felt super-guilty going through that amount of beans and milk at home!

    It was very much about parameters (getting a 30mL espresso in 25 seconds), then just working on grind and a consistent tamp until you could hit this repeatedly. This was a marked difference with a short "Master class" I did with Matt Perger from St Ali last year, which had a focus on taste as well as metrics. I think I will focus on the numbers first, then try to get a bit more intuitive / taste-based as I get better.

    I still have work to do on my steaming and latte pouring, but it gets better every day.

  17. #17
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    . Good to see your feedback. Definitely agree about the way you plough through milk & coffee. Several 15 litre lattes in buckets poured down the sink ! But all for the greater good I guess!

    good to just get the perameters to work within. Then at home it's practice & more practice.

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    I think the important thing is not screwing the machine over. At least, you know the steps not to explode the espresso machine by not tamping or anything :P. Other than that. practicing at home always work. * when to coffee school for like 10 hours. Didn't learn much . just the basics.



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