Regular (or even semi-regular) folks here will know that I have a certain fondness for coffee. As part of my birthday treats this year, I'd booked myself on the Creative Coffee course at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a four-hour session on all things coffee.
There were a load more people there than I was expecting - I think there were 27 in total plus the lovely lady giving the course and her helper. We went through the history of coffee, the differences in geography which account for robusta vs. arabica beans, different styles of coffee from different countries - a whole host of coffee-related stuff. Great fun. A few lucky people got to try cupping four coffees - a bit like wine tasting with lots of schlurping and the like.
Before lunch we were given a demo of latte art - those pretty patterns you see on the top of coffee in certain shops. She showed us how to do a heart (looked relatively simple) and a rosette (kind of a leaf, looked a bit trickier). Then told us after lunch it'd be our turn...
Lunch came - a selection of tasty sandwiches and fruit, then it was time for the lattes. Everyone got two tries - first go was a warm-up, then we'd be judged on the second attempt.
Here's my first attempt.
Latte art is hard, man. The guys at Bottega and Laynes in Leeds make it look so easy, but it's really not. Everyone had a laugh at how crap we all were at it. Lots of coffee was spilled.
As I commented on Twitter, I suspected that I wasn't going to win!
Then it came time for our second attempt. Everyone there was with a friend or partner, so they did it two at a time - the helper dude made up the espresso shots and steamed the milk whilst Lisa our teacher gave each person a quick reminder on how to make the heart or rosetta.
I was there by myself, so had to go up alone (sob).
Here's my second go:
Now then. Suddenly I had something in my cup which actually resembled the leaf. Lisa said "Best so far!" and there was a general coo-ing from the assembled crowd.
Here are the other entries:
After we'd all finished everyone gathered around to see who had done what. Much mirth and hilarity, but everyone agreed that my leaf was in fact the winner!
Yes, dear reader. I won!
Needless to say, I was well chuffed. I get to go on a half-day barista training course at Cooper's Coffee in Huddersfield with a friend.
The creative coffee course at YSP was a huge amount of fun, and a total bargain. It was £15 for four hours, but you got free parking (usually costs a fiver) and lunch (ok, only sandwiches, but plenty of them and they were jolly tasty) and you got to drink your lattes!
Highly highly recommended. :-)