Recently, I was invited to attend the Nespresso Atelier Class, which is also a preview of the classes that are available at SAVOUR 2013. I will be sharing more about SAVOUR 2013 in a separate blog post but meanwhile, take a look at the Nespresso Atelier Class that I attended with other Bloggers like Magdalene, Dawn Yang and Juliana.
To begin with, coffee isn’t a subject that is totally alien to me. Back then when I was a scrawny-looking youth and was working at McCafe as a Barista, we didn’t exactly have any formal training. It was 100% on the job training [also known as OJT] and within a short period of 3 months, I acquired the necessary knowledge to make espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, frappes and other types of beverages. Knowing how to make these coffee beverages were what I was good at, but what I probably lacked was the knowledge of coffee appreciation as an art.
Similarly, many of us enjoy drinking coffee to stay awake but what we probably didn’t know is how we can appreciate coffee. As coffee is an acidic beverage, it is highly recommended that we take in some food before drinking coffee. As such, we bloggers were treated to a sumptuous spread of canapes before we went on to learn about coffee appreciation.
Bacon with Artichokes
Scallop with Truffles
Cheese with Tomatoes
Here we are happily eating all those yummy canapes that were served.
After we were done eating, we were ushered to the desk where it was set up for all of us to learn about coffee appreciation.
Allow me to introduce you to the Nespresso Pixie Coffee Machine that we used for the Nespresso Atelier Class.
What I like best about the Nespresso Pixie Coffee Machine is that it is really eco-friendly. The aluminium of the panels is made of 98% recycled Nespresso Capsules and it is really energy-efficient as it auto powers off after 9 or 30 minutes. Though it is eco-friendly, it doesn’t compromises on its performance and heats up in only 25-30 seconds! Moreover, it is rather stylish and comes in 6 different colours. You can also purchase a separate milk frother to create interesting coffee beverages like cappuccinos and lattes.
The Nespresso 16 Grand Crus Coffee Capsules that can be used in all Nespresso Coffee Machines are produced from an exclusive selection of the finest green coffee grown in the world. Only an estimated 1-2% of the coffee grown globally meets Nespresso’s specific taste and aroma profiles. Hence, you can be assured that every Nespresso 16 Grand Crus Coffee Capsules are of the highest standards for quality and sustainability.
Our trainer for the evening, from whom I gained lots of insights into coffee.
My learning space for the evening. Extremely professional and personalised.
Here are the 3 out of the 16 Nespresso Grand Crus Coffee Capsules that we tried for the evening. My personal favourite is the Dulsao do Brasil because of its smooth and balanced taste.
The Nespresso Pixie Coffee Machine is really easy to operate. Its a simple matter of putting the coffee capsule into the machine, pushing the lever down, and pressing the button.
And there you go, an instant hot cup of espresso coffee to start the day!
From the Nespreso Atelier Class, I discovered that coffee appreciation is rather similar to wine appreciation or even tea appreciation for that matter. To appreciate coffee, you have to make use of your sense of sight, smell, and taste and to begin with, you first use your sense of sight to look at the coffee. You should observe that there is a layer of golden brown crema at the top of the coffee and the bubbles present in the crema should be small and fine.
If you scoop up the crema using a teaspoon, the crema should stick to the teaspoon and not drip.
Following which, you use your sense of smell to smell the coffee. When smelling the coffee, let the aroma of the coffee sink into your mind and as it does so, try to associate the coffee to something that smells like it. It could be the scent of hazelnut, chocolate, candy, toffee, maple and so on.
Finally, you use your sense of taste and taste the coffee. To taste the coffee, you should slurp a reasonable amount of coffee and let the coffee flow all over your tongue just before you swallow it. After you have tasted the coffee, try to associate the coffee to something that tastes like it and use descriptive words to describe how it tasted. Some descriptive words could be mellow, smooth, balanced, intense, fruity, acidic, and so on.
*Before you go on and taste another type of coffee, it is important that you always cleanse your palate with a mouthful of water.
Having learned the art of coffee appreciation, we were treated to a delightful Tiramisu cake that was made from Nespresso Coffee.
Besides learning how to appreciate coffee, we also had the opportunity to make our very own Cappuccino A La Rose. Here, I had the opportunity to use the Nespresso Milk Frother and using it was a breeze. I just had to push a button and the milk will be heated up and frothed.
I have to say, the Nespresso Milk Frother really frothes the milk beautifully.
Well, it is rather simple to make the Cappuccino A La Rose. All you need is a shot of espresso coffee, 30ml of rose syrup, and a piece of milk chocolate.
The first step is to pour the rose syrup into a coffee cup.
Next, you put in 1 piece of milk chocolate into the coffee cup filled with the rose syrup.
Then add in a single shot of espresso into the mixture.
After which, add some warm milk until the coffee cup is 3/4 full.
Finally, scoop up some milk froth and fill the coffee cup till it is full.
If you wish, you can lightly dust some red icing sugar. If not, this was how my cup of Cappuccino A La Rose looks like. The white stuffs that you see on my cup of Cappuccino A La Rose are not marshmallows but milk froth. Yes, my skills as a former Barista are still intact and working good. 😛
All in all, the Nespresso Atelier Class was an eye-opener for me and if you’re interested in attending such a class, do check out SAVOUR 2013 because they have a whole range of other culinary workshops and classes like these that are available for you to learn and experience. For me, this will definitely not be the end of my learning journey with coffee. I definitely will hope to learn more about coffee as a subject and venture into the art of making wonderfully crafted coffee beverages. Once a Barista, always a Barista!