Gone are the days where an icebreaker might be ‘what is your favourite restaurant?’ or ‘what is your most embarrassing memory?’ If you live in Cape Town, your safest bet may well be ‘how do you make your morning cup of coffee?’ There are the plunger folk, espresso aficionados, Nespresso yuppies, and of course the good-old Nescafe Gold lovers. I’ve been wanting to brush up on my home brewing skills for a while, and after investigating the options for a novice barista I came across Origin Coffee’s Home Barista Course. It’s one of the five options that they have through their barista academy, either at Joburg or Cape Town, and made sure to book my place.
I arrived at the already familiar Origin Coffee shop in the Mother City, and felt like a VIP when I was escorted upstairs to where all the ‘serious’ coffee stuff happened. At the end of the second story is an area used for the courses. We were surrounded by various impressive looking machines, and sacks of raw coffee beans. It felt like we’d entered the sacred coffee sanctuary – sitting with my cappuccino in hand, I was in awe.
Our course was led by Winston, who is the current Western Cape Barista Champion, and also won the national Aeropress award last year – let’s just say we we felt assured that we were in capable hands! We started with a little coffee theory, and learnt about the process of bean to cup. Winston demonstrated four different methods of home brewing: the ‘V60’ coffee dripper, the Aeropress, the plunger and last but not least the impressive siphon. Of course following the demonstration of each, were tastings to compare the notes, body, acidity and other components of each. The siphon will undoubtedly win the place for the most glamorous and captivating pieces of equipment in the brewing family: it’s a show of steam, light, bubbles and glass – not to be missed!
At some point Winston mentioned that he would occasionally take some of his gadgets and brew coffee in the mountains. As you can image, the minute I discovered he had never made a mountain cuppa on our Table Mountain before, I was immediately making plans with him to climb the mountain and enjoy the perfect cup on top! Watch this space for more details.
Even though this 3-hour experience was one of the mid-range barista offerings, I had a sense that in order to really know my stuff I would need to opt for the 3 day course. If like me you don’t have time for that, then the Home Barista Course hits the spot perfectly. You can find out more information here at their website, and tell Winston Jared says ‘see you on the mountain!’