Since my last post a lot of water has passed under the bridge, and a lot of coffee has passed my lips, and while doing time on the machine I still don’t think I am anywhere near getting the perfect pour, just like in the last week I have not appeared to become some sort of sexual god, though in both cases, not through lack of want or trying.
Just up the road at the local school a local and national coffee icon donates time and equipment in a totally unselfish means to assist in fundraising; C4 Coffee, owned by Guy and Paula have plumbed in a commercial coffee machine so that tired and weary parents can grab a fix after dumping their kids, and teachers can get a kick before having to deal with said abandoned kids.
It also turns out that C4 will be hosting the CHCH chapter of the Rocket Home Barista Champs and after attending a ‘masterclass’ at head office in Tuam St it became crystal clear that I may in fact be the only one of the 20 entrants that does not have a coffee machine, and anytime spent on one has been a rare and futile attempt. So what does one do, three weeks out from the comp? One sucks up to aforementioned coffee connoisseurs and in true perfectionist-come-OCD-come-analytical mindset picks their collective brains, begs for time on the frontline, and learns, learns some more, and then when one cannot take on any more info, learns some more again.
The week has flown by as Paula, first, introduced me to the world of coffee-making. And like a $2 whore on a naval base, I took to it as if my life depended on it. Terms such as ‘tamping’, ‘grinding’, ‘group’ and ‘crema’ were surprisingly nothing to do with sexual deviancy (much to my disappointment) but explained methods, tools, and the ‘should’ of a good pour (crema).
Guy, and C4’s chief coffee trainer, Tare took it even further and all the coffee I had struggled, butchered, and a few times were proud about were but a distant memory as these two bared my soul and swore me into a secret society where a bare touch of the grinder was the difference between a good coffee and posh; where the pressure applied when tamping (pressing coffee grinds into a handle) could make a change of seconds before a pour started; where the depth of the steam wand either deafened you due to the horrific ‘squeal’ of the milk or sounded like a distant jet taking off (which is good); and even the act of luring milk into a cup which in itself required pin point accuracy, speed, and ‘finish’ to ensure a satisfied customer, or in my case, a judge.
The next few posts will focus on some of these, and more, mentioned above, and while anything I scribe here may be of interest, there is no better way to learn than to do the miles…or the cups.
And now my journey has now begun.