Learning the Art of Great Coffee at Harris+Hoole
Published 7 September 2014
Coffee is inescapable. Look on any high street and you see an abundance of cafés offering all types of coffee. So much so, that you know that this bitter but popular delicacy is going nowhere.
However, the prestigious art of serving good coffee is another thing all together. Many try but, consequence to an insatiable demand for the black stuff, only few succeed in exceptional delivery of serving good coffee.
Harris+Hoole is a company that promises to deliver quality coffee served by knowledgeable baristas to its customers. Andrew Tolley, Co-Founder of Harris+Hoole said, “We make sure our baristas live and breathe coffee and constantly strive to ensure every cup is as good as it gets.”
To stick by their promise of their baristas knowing their stuff, Harris+Hoole has just opened a brand new dedicated training centre in Central London where new baristas will be taught the craft of making an impeccable cup of coffee.
So what would a training session with Harris+Hoole bring? With an industrial laboratory feel, the Harris+Hoole training centre has the latest technology, and the baristas undertaking the training are of ‘barista championship competitors’ calibre’. So this is no average coffee experience.
Firstly we were taken through the art of cupping. Cupping is basically a way for coffee insiders to determine the quality of coffee. This was a really good exercise, to say the least.
Coffee wisdom was proffered. Like many consumers would not know that the coffee they purchased from their supermarket is ‘stale’, unless it is freshly packed. Or that the strength of coffee is not indicative of its quality. There is no doubt that cupping would benefit those who have a real love for coffee. Sure, although it does not teach you what good coffee is, as lets face it: good coffee is subjective; it does enable you to discern between the general taste variations amongst coffee.
This coffee tasting exercise was followed by a coffee competition where the aim was to guess the odd cup out. Getting progressively harder, it was a great way of gauging how much you really knew about coffee. It is a fair statement to say that the exercise was more fun than laborious.Thereafter, we made espressos and then lattes. It’s true that once you learn the art of coffee making, it is easy to do but the fact is, making good coffee with high tech gear looks easier than it actually is.
The training session was finished with making lattes. Maybe it was the milk used but these lattes were so good- thick, creamy and just the right amount of coffee that I had a few. Yeah and you know those little patterns you get in your latte, it’s not that easy to make. It takes real finesse and skill!
Coinciding with its 2 year anniversary, this training session was informative without being dreary and truly worth the visit. Harris+Hoole: Happy Birthday.