Sunday, January 22, 2012, was the last Day of Coffee Common NYC. On that day an espresso class was held. It was early, on a cold morning and I was there (a gift from my bride). The class was well organized, with just the right amount of people. It also had different set up from the normal sessions. Breville’s new dual boiler espresso machines were setup at different stations to help everyone spread out and learn. Overall it was a great experience.
There were many cool things about the Coffee Common espresso class. It was not about how good the Baristas were. It was not about the equipment. It was about respecting the coffee, the water and learning proper espresso techniques.
By sparing a little bit of time and money, the attendees got to see many things and get questions answered about. It was a day to describe, visually, the correct ways to make espresso, froth the milk, and care for your machine. We were able to see all this, and gain greater understanding of the art.
We started off learning about poorly pulled espresso, how if grounded incorrectly, being under-extracted and over-extracted, how bad espresso could be. It was a great way to begin the lesson.We moved on to the next station which gave us a perfectly pulled espresso. This was greatly appreciated after having a bad one. I got to learn, from a barista, the temperature, pressure, grinding and tamping, I got to find out what I was doing wrong at home. Even though I had an understanding, it was great to get a proper explanation of why you should keep your machine clean.
To end it, milk frothing which, was hands on. There were little details that were massively important yet easily over looked. Making a mistake with a barista helped me learn to those little nuances and gave me something to work on, for my coffee photography.
As a bonus for me, I attended the last Coffee Common session. I got to go to the method station one more time and brew with the Hario Woodneck coffee drip pot. I made a properly good cup of coffee I must say.
Over all Coffee Common was well worth it. As a coffee enthusiast I had a great time with interesting people. If they were to come back to the area, yes, yes I would attend again.