As part of my Christmas present last year Mike got me this amazing espresso masterclass at Brew Lab in Newington, Edinburgh. It’s a 3 hour long session with Brew Lab’s Head Barista (I think the person varies? but I had this lovely lady called Claire – she was brilliant). She taught us how to make espressos in their (very expensive as I have learned) Slayer espresso machine. We also learnt how to steam milk, and how to pour “simple” latte art. Claire also gave us some insight into how they select their coffee beans, introduced us to taste testing with reference to an official taste chart wheel, and the concepts of extraction.
People that know me will know I’m not much of a coffee drinker (I am a tea lady) but this class was a really fun experience and actually made me appreciate just how complicated and difficult coffee making is – it’s a very skillful talent to have (especially the latte art – oh my goodness!). You only need to look at my pictures below to know how tricky latte art is – check out my very poor attempt at creating the heart and a Rosetta.
As well as making the coffee there was also a lot of taste testing in between – I must have drank at least 5 double shot espressos in that time. After the first couple of double shots I admit I did feel funny as my body wasn’t so used to that much coffee in one go. But then I felt ok-ish during the rest of the class so I carried on drinking more. At the end of the class when I left Brew Lab that’s when it really hit me! I never thought coffee/caffeine hangovers existed until then. Mike came to pick me up in his car and all the way home I kept thinking to myself (don’t throw up in the car, don’t throw up in the car…). I didn’t but I can tell you now – one of the worst I’ve ever felt.
I hope those comments don’t detract anyone from trying the masterclass but just a word of advice – if you’re not used to drinking that much caffeine you don’t have to drink the espressos! I’ve learnt my lesson. But the class is very casual and the teacher was so nice that if you don’t drink it she wouldn’t mind at all.
Anyway – it was a fantastic present. And I highly recommend it, whether you’re a keen coffee drinker or not.