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May 22, 2013 12:14 PM

Is there such a thing as an espresso/barista/coffee class you can take?

I'm looking for a beginner-level class that will cover: how to properly grind coffee and pull a great shot of espresso! Something that is maybe 3–6 hours long would be ideal. I am located in Somerville but anything in the Boston area would work.

Has anybody had any experience with Coffee Solutions ( in Hopedale? It's a bit of a hike, but apparently they sporadically have beginner classes. Their bread-and-butter seems to be more advanced classes (for cafe owners, etc.).

The reason I'm thinking of this is that I plan to get my wife a new espresso machine and burr grinder for her birthday. I'm a drip coffee drinker but she makes espresso every morning, and our four-year-old Cuisinart EM-100 is on its last legs. (The pump is weak and getting weaker by the day.)

Also, we've been using a blade grinder and I understand that going to a burr grinder is the only way to get any kind of real quality espresso at home.

I thought that a class we could take together to get the most out of the new machine might be a nice addition to the gift.

Any suggestions are appreciated! Thanks.

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  1. Don't know who's teaching it, but there's a course in coffee being offered at the Cambridge Center for Adult Ed. this summer.

    1. I would say Barrismo is your best option for this without a doubt. Not too far from you and they are IMO best of the best in the area:

      Congrats on the new machine!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Klunco

        @Klunco oh man, that's perfect! Thanks!

        1. re: Klunco

          @Klunco the only problem is, they offer the Espresso 101 once a month, and only three students at a time! June 3 class is already sold out.

          I'm going to by 2/3 of the spaces available for the July 1 class when it's announced, if I can, haha

          1. re: olynyk

            What a bummer. With two of you maybe you could see if you have a friend who'd be interested and just call Barismo and maybe they could arrange a private class. Worth a shot.

            1. re: Klunco

              Great idea! I will probably call Barismo to see about a private class *before* asking a friend :)

          2. re: Klunco

            @Klunco I signed up for my wife and me for the Monday July 1st, 2013 Espresso 101 class at Barismo! I'll post on this thread afterwards to let people know how it was.

          3. There is Counter Culture in Somerville over by Union Square.


            2 Replies
            1. re: BostonKid

              Yikes. "Beginner Espresso Lab" is a full-day session, weekdays only, for $200.

              1. re: Allstonian

                @Allstonian seriously... that's a bit pricey, given that we'll both want to attend the class!

                It's also, I think, pitched a bit above the level I'm looking for. It's meant more for people who want to actually work in a real cafe, or start their own.

            2. New Harvest Coffee is specialty coffee roasting company located in a fabulous mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In addition of roasting it hosts classes in its training center tailored to all levels of expertise from professionals to home brewers.

              It may be a bit farther than you had planned on traveling but Pawtucket is a straight drive down Route 95.

              It also offer free "cuppings" each week with the chance to try several specialty coffees.


              1. I ended up taking the 2-hour Espresso 101 class at Barismo. It was great! We tried the beginning, middle, and end of an extraction in order to tell the difference, tried extracting at too low and too high of temperature, learned how to grind and tamp properly. All in all, very good! And instructor Chris was laid-back and didn't make it too threatening. (Barismo can be kind of intimidating.)

                I would recommend Barismo's Espresso 101 for just about anybody who has bought a high-end home machine.