So this past week was barista training – and I passed.
Bearing in mind that I’ve only spent two hours pulling shots before the course, coming away with a solid pass with merit was very satisfying.
Apart from a basic grounding in espresso and similar, the class also introduced me to an extraordinary notion; tea is good.
Now, I like tea – always have. But Ben Townsend, tutor at the London School of Coffee, prepared leaf tea – not from a supermarket and not chopped up in minuscule slivers – for tasting and quite frankly it changed how I’ve always thought of tea – a nice, ho-hum drink, comforting but without the x factor of good coffee. The Oolong particularly converted me into a tea lover.
Saturday was spent (apart from purchasing dry and natural-pulped processed coffee beans) in the pursuit of some Oolong.
Postcard Teas, close to Bond and Oxford Streets, is a haven. The teas and preparation utensils are elegant and beautiful.
Now I’m the proud owner of 50g of Yimu Oolong from Taiwan. Sweet and floral, it’s a winner any time of the day.
Coffee fans, don’t despair, I’m still all about the bean. Let’s just say that I’ve expanded my taste buds.
The Kochere: wow, a challenging brew. There’s a savoury, umami aspect going on in these beans – not far removed from a good green tea. As it cools, the expected coffee profile takes shape but for the first few minutes drinkers would be forgiven for questioning which plant species the brew came from – but that’s part of why we love coffee – no two cups are the same, let alone harvests.
The Kochere was the coffee that had been proffered as pulped natural – and although the tasting notes explain that Ethiopian coffee can be difficult in tracing a particular bean’s origins it does illustrate how much a bean’s tasting profile depends on how it’s been processed.
Apparently there’s not much left of the Kochere at Monmouth – so if you’d like to try it, hurry down to Borough Market before it’s all gone.