Last week I played at being a barista at Brighton's Small Batch Coffee's basement lab. First things first, is the location is pretty cool, in the former vault of a bank in Seven Dials. The heavy metal doors and bars are still around which goes really well with their Industrial interior style.
Small Batch as you may know is a small-scale local coffee chain who are all about the coffee, from bean to cup. They roast all their own coffee and supply pretty much most of the cafes around here as well as their own shops.
But if drinking the stuff doesn't quench your thirst for coffee, then you can take it one step further in one of their courses which range from 90 minute home brew course to improve your coffee making at home to full day sessions which can be quite involved.
I fancied something in the middle so went for a half day session. The style of tutoring is really relaxed but informative. Small Batch's Laura did a stellar job of holding everyone's attention through the theory parts, which did involve some coffee geek equations and proper white board moments.
We learnt so much and was great to grasp why my espresso can taste a little on the sour side at home. The on-hands element to the class where we tried out hands at using the professional equipment was really handy. And actually so much harder than it looks, I'll sure think twice about rolling my eyes at how long my coffee is taking to make in future.
I managed to get a good coffee by the end of the session but by heck, who'd have thought steaming and pouring milk into a cup would be so difficult! At one point I was concentrating so hard I poured the whole jug of the stuff over the surface.
A course in the dark art is ideal for coffee enthusiasts and a great idea for gifts. I know so many geeks that would love to experience the course here, and will certainly improve your skills at home.
Prices start at £35 per person for a 90 minute home brew course, £75 for a half day and £120 for a full day session.
I was a guest of Small Batch.