It’s the first thing that everybody notices about Melbourne. Our abundance of Cafés and our amazing coffee culture. Coming from the sticks, where a coffee is ‘Nescafé’ instant crap, the whole idea that coffee doesn’t just dissolve in hot water is very new to me. I blame my parents in the failure that is my coffee education. So I’ve decided to take myself to a coffee course to learn the “art” that is coffee making. It seems to be the industry in this city that is always in need of people to work in. And from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t take very much apart from being charming and friendly. So I’ll give it a shot. How hard can it be?
I had to be at this place by 9am. I still have no idea how these bloody tram things work: Do they have a structured timetable or, do they just run whenever they want to? Because that’s what it feels like. Anyway, so I arrived 15 minutes late thanks to the public transport system, luckily the woman was just explaining about the coffee beans and the two different types so I didn’t miss much. After about an hour of ranting how the coffee must be stored and how to treat the coffee, we finally get around to making these things. Getting the ‘grind’ right and making sure it’s tampered correctly. Most of the class had problems with this, and it never worked for them. To my surprise, I was finding it all very easy. Perhaps to easy. I’m no ‘Brain-Pie’ so either these kids are just plain stupid or I’m a natural barista. I would like to hope it was the latter, but one can never be sure. Then it was all about the different types of coffee. I never did a language at school, but I sure wish I leant Italian now. Piccolo, Affogato, Macchiato, Galão, Caffè Marcocchino blah blah blah. Learning these was not the difficult part. The one part of this course that I got really stuck in was the difference between the Café Latte and Flat White.
And this is where I got really confused. The ‘latte’ and the ‘flat white’ (From my understanding), are the exact same thing just in different cups. So I had to ask.
“Whats the difference between a flat white and a latte?”
She paused and had to think for a second. “I won’t tell you. I’ll show you”
And so she began. She made IDENTICAL COFFEES. In different cups of course; one mug and one glass cup. The only thing she did differently was putting less froth into the flat white.
“So basically” .. I said, trying my hardest not to sound patronising. “It’s the exact same thing but in different cups.”
“Essentially, yes. But flat white has less froth.”
To a coffee novice (to me), they are the exact same thing. So I decided to be a little playful. The last part of the class was to make the three most popular coffees which are of course; the Café Latte, The Cappuccino, and the Flat White. I made three IDENTICAL COFFEES in three different cups/mugs. Put a little love heart in chocolate powder on top of the Cappuccino but that’s it. Otherwise, three identical coffees. She tried all three before nodding her head and telling me what a wonderful job I did. This is a woman who has obviously been surrounded by coffee her entire career, so she must know a thing or two.
She then continued to ask me if I was looking for work. Hells to the yeah I’m looking for work! She has a friend on Bourke Street that is looking for an apprentice barista to work in his cafe. She thinks (and I quote)
“A good looking guy like yourself could do a great job in this industry.”
I now have an interview on Friday.
In the meantime I’m doing some research, which is basically drinking as much coffee as I can. Here is a photo of my LARGE latte. Once I stop shaking I might go for a run to get rid of all the energy before crashing tonight in front of a Sandra Bullock film.
Also, I’ve just gotten my Twitter up and going, so please feel free to follow as I slowly figure out what the fuck twitter is.