The Art of Coffee

Today I went on an introduction to becoming a Barista course – that’s barista as in the coffee not barrister as in the court (sadly). I still don’t know what I’d like to be when I ‘grow up’ so it’s nice to explore options. I tried my hand at coffee-making when we had the pop-up cafe in Coolaney and I really enjoyed it.

I had no idea about the art behind it though so I went along this morning thinking all I’d be doing was drinking coffee. Wrong. I found out so much about coffee, for example there is coffee made from coffee beans that has been eaten and pooped out by weasels! It’s meant to be lovely too – hmmm.

I learnt that you must have your milk at just the right temperature or your coffee will taste lousy and the texture won’t be right. I learnt that there are different methods to make each coffee – and that it takes a lot of practise to get it right.

I found out that Mocha is a port in the Republic of Yemen that used to be a marketplace for the mocha coffee bean. These days it’s known as a coffee and chocolate drink, we saw this being made today with ‘proper’ hot chocolate with an espresso added. None of your powdered chocolate – which is mainly all milk anyway.

I learnt that one of the most important part of making coffee is looking after your machine and keeping it clean…ooh I’m rhyming! Tony, from Hearts Desire, was teaching us how he makes coffee. He said each barista has slightly different techniques but that’s OK. It was fascinating listening to him talk. The only thing was it was a very short course just 2 and a half hours but still it’s amazing how much we learnt in that time. Tony learnt his trade at Cafe Lounge in Carrick-on-Shannon. I’ve heard great things about this place and they even roast their own coffee, which Tony uses in Hearts Desire, so I must visit Cafe Lounge when I’m next in Carrick.

I also found out today that there is a coffee roaster in Sligo! How exciting! Sligo really is surprising. I’m looking forward to trying out Carrow Coffee. Paola and Andrew are both coffee enthusiasts and after learning all about coffee when they lived in Colombia they decided to roast their own when they returned to Sligo.

Sligo Leader ran the course, they actually have quite a lot of things going on which most of us don’t hear about. I notice they have polytunnels at the centre so I’m guessing perhaps there might be some kind of gardening programme too. I’d love to learn more about becoming a barista and perhaps here about other interesting jobs that might be out there….after all you don’t know what you are going to like unless you give it a try.


2 thoughts on “The Art of Coffee

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  1. Looks like you are heading into a cafe with good coffee, tea and cakes, that hangs good art on photos on the wall, along with stories and talks about Sligo? Its a grand thing to do. Been more or less my trade through my life, but these days its about picnics with me. I have had my cafe time in the 60s and again in the 90s, though I never became a proper barista. Hard work, commitment, but I love it 🙂 . All of my 4 children did barista training, though, and all have fancy coffee making equipment at their homes … none of the ‘automatic’ gear 🙂 A good extra skill to have, Val.

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