Local businesses are a big success at FADA, we visit Kingston’s London School of Coffee that has proved to be a thirst-quenching success
The UK’s appetite for coffee has gone through the roof in recent years and producing such a comprehensive range of drinks requires a skilled server. Fortunately for would-be baristas, Kingston has its very own training facility in the shape of the London School of Coffee. Tucked away in Princeton Mews a few minutes’ walk from Norbiton Station, the school has a dedicated classroom/training area that is set up with three large state-of-the-art coffee machines for students to use.
I elected to join the one-day Basic Barista Course, which gives attendees a good theoretical and practical grounding. Most of the morning was spent learning about the growing, roasting and extraction of the coffee, and the rest of the day was given over to mastering the practicalities of preparing the perfect drink.
Trainer Daisy Rollo
Our trainer, Daisy, kicked things off with an explanation of what coffee beans are, the different types of beans and how they are harvested and processed before we move onto using the machines.
First, we had to learn about the importance of the grinder and setting it accordingly to get the right texture. The next step was to achieve the perfect extraction. Essentially this is setting the machine to pour for a certain amount of time, which is dependent on the coffee’s origins, blending and roasting profile, and is vital to producing the perfect espresso.
Having mastered this skill, we could move onto the heating of the milk something we’d all been looking forward to. The key here is to achieve a hot milk that is silky and sweet, rather than bubbly and dry (in which case it has burnt). The next couple of hours was spent mastering the skills of the grind, the extraction, the heating of the milk and the final presentation. By the end of the day most of the coffees on show were near to coffee shop standard and hugely improved from our first efforts earlier in the day.
Whether you’re coffee connoisseur or barista novice, the London School of Coffee has just the course for you, find out more at www.londonschoolofcoffee.com 020 8439 7981