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Home Barista Training in LA

sku Jan 5, 2011 08:26 AM

So I have a new espresso machine and I really want to learn latte art. Does anyone know any shop or other place that does training for home baristas? I tried Intelligentsia, but they told me they don't have that in LA.

Thanks.

Oh, here's the machine: http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2010/1...

  1. dlew308 Jan 5, 2011 08:50 AM

    Jones Coffee in Pasadena

    Nice setup, my friend has that machine as well :)

    1. r
      ristretto Jan 5, 2011 09:15 AM

      Latte art is all about how you steam the milk, and each machine could have a different approach; a commercial machine takes mere seconds to create microfoam, while the Silvia takes 30sec or more. That's why I don't necessarily think a training program would help you unless the barista were familiar with the machine.

      The quickest way would be to have a Silvia owner come over and teach you.

      Meanwhile, you can peruse coffeegeek's latte art boards: http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso...

      There are plenty of posts on steaming with the Silvia. Many videos on youtube as well.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ristretto
        sku Jan 5, 2011 09:21 AM

        Yeah, I've seen the videos, read the coffegeek and home-barista stuff, and I think I get pretty good microfoam. It's actually making the designs that I don't have down yet. Maybe I'll post something on one of those forums and see if I can find a local Silvia user.

        1. re: sku
          r
          ristretto Jan 5, 2011 10:04 AM

          Ahh, didn't realize you were that far ahead. If you're producing microfoam with a velvety smooth consistency resembling latex paint, then it's really a matter of mechanics and the machine is out of the equation.

          There are probably thousands of posts on technique. What exactly is happening when you pour?

          BTW, some cafes that do latte art will let you pour the milk they've steamed (not Intelly, though). They might be able to critique your method.

          1. re: ristretto
            sku Jan 5, 2011 10:17 AM

            I'm not saying that my milk isn't necesarilly the problem, but this is why I need some hands on attention; I feel like I've done as much as I can do in terms of reading about it.

      2. Professor Salt Jan 5, 2011 10:13 AM

        It's geared more for the coffee professional, but you can call the Specialty Coffee Assocation of America and ask if their classes might cover what you're seeking. If not, they might have leads for a shop that will work with you. They're located in downtown Long Beach.

        http://www.scaa.org/

        Also - Coffee Klatch in San Dimas has a barista who's won a world championship. Since they are expanding to other locations, I imagine they train their own staff on the finer points of pulling espresso. Perhaps you can charm your way into a lesson?

        -----
        Coffee Klatch
        806 W Arrow Hwy, San Dimas, CA 91773

        2 Replies
        1. re: Professor Salt
          a
          AAQjr Jan 5, 2011 10:56 AM

          Thats a great idea, Coffee pro's are often very willing to share their knowledge IME. You could also talk to your favorite barista into coming over off hours for side work.

          1. re: Professor Salt
            h
            hobbess Jan 6, 2011 12:17 AM

            You must be thinking of Heather Perry, although she never won a world championship. She finished second, which was the highest an American ever scored although an American has since won the Barista world championship.

            She's also in charge of training for her family's stores, but IIRC, she charges $500 to train outsiders.

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