Coffee Workshop!

Hey guys!

Alright, I'm going to try to keep the blogging streak going and stay consistent. 

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a coffee workshop as part of my dear friend's bachelorette's celebrations. 

So we surprised her and brought her to Dutch Colony at Defu Lane, which is their Roastery and Academy. 

Our workshop, 'Fundamentals of a Barista', was for 5 people and was led by our trainers Khai and Junnie.

Before we settled in to learn some theory, we were each given a nice cuppa (of your choice) to start the day off! :D That's an excellent way to make sure the students are paying attention...

I went for a latte as usual~ 

Next, we learnt some theory. 

I learnt that Starbucks and most coffee chains usually go for more of a French/Italian roast, while local coffees like Kopi are way more roasted and are off the literal charts (bottle in this case).

We learnt about types of extraction, the equipment used in making coffee, types of espresso based beverages, and also the skills a barista should have. There were also more technical aspects like the science behind the heating of milk and extraction etc but we are more of an experiential crowd so we focused less on these. Our trainer also touched a little on the coffee industry, the turnover rate or the usual career progression for a barista.

I think the workshop can be tailored according to the participants. You may have more casual learners like us who prefer a more hands on, 'fun' and 'one-off' approach (also good for team bonding), or this course can also cater to more serious baristas or business owners wanting to start a cafe.

Soon after, we put on our aprons and got to learn about how to work the espresso machine!

"We are called Dutch Colony not because we want to promote slavery." It's more about how the Dutch grew coffee bean crops in their colonies and spread the love of coffee. 

I've seen enough IG reels to at least recognise things like the 'tamp' or the 'basket'. But I never thought I would have a chance to actually work a machine on my own!!

After a while we finally got over our fears of the hissing sound from the steam wand, and got down to preparing espresso shots (counting down to 27s to stop the machine!), frothing milk to about 60-65deg and attempting simple latte art (the most basic is the heart). You learn about techniques like how you should hold and angle the cup. We also learn how to 'cleanse' the machine after each use and how different towels are used for food hygiene. 

Our first few attempts hahaha. Haha! I found these really amusing.

It was pretty hard for me to achieve a large 'surface area' at the start. Later I found out how much more extreme and sharp the angle had to be when pouring to create a 'large heart'.

I poured this silly looking turnip.

By the way, we were using *very* expired milk for all these practice cups, so it didn't feel as wasteful. The coffee smelled soooo good though... Also, I really love how swirling frothed milk makes it so glossy and shiny. Beautiful~

Here's my best attempt! (After maybe 6-8 times?) 

This was the biggest heart I had, but I think I didn't cut it sharp enough to make a clean image. Haha! I am satisfied with the progress though. When pouring the milk, you have to be brave and pour without hesitation. Practice also makes for fast yet steady hands.

I also learnt that a good, smooth frothed milk makes all the difference in latte art. Hope I have another chance to learn more latte art next time~

Here's one of my friend's best shots. She's a latte art GENIUS!! I love the heart 'rings' too.

Group shot. Haha! 

Big takeaways from the class: coffee making is a very serious business! (if you care about it enough...)

I definitely appreciate cafe baristas a lot more~ 

And the next time I visit a cafe, I will pay even closer attention to my coffee. 

It was a really fun experience for all of us! Big thanks to our trainers who were very patient and encouraging with us!

I really enjoy workshops and hope to get another opportunity to learn something new soon. Maybe a cocktail making session or art class is up next?



*Once again, this post keeps my friends anonymous because ~privacy~.