Coffee enthusiasts at every knowledge level have a number of ways to learn more about beans, brewing techniques and how to make those pretty little designs in latte foam. Some of the sessions are even free! So there’s no excuse not to discover more about the craft of coffee.
Blue Bottle Coffee’s Oakland roastery has free cuppings twice a week, held every Tuesday and Sunday at 2 p.m. If you’ve got a group of at least 10 friends, you can also sign up for a private tour of the facility ($15 per person/$20 per person with pastries) and that includes an in-depth discussion and tasting.
Ever wonder how baristas make those pretty designs on top of your coffee drink? Drip’d Coffee Lab in the Inner Sunset holds a recurring Latte 101 Workshop to demystify the art; the next session on March 29 is already filling up fast. You’ll first learn how to steam milk properly and then you’ll be off and running towards making heart, rosetta and tulip designs in no time. The cost is $32. Drip’d is also doing an introductory Espresso 101 Workshop on March 15.
Those looking to give their caffeine knowledge a serious kick (whether an amateur cook or food professional) can turn to Mill Valley’s Boot Coffee for a number of courses running this spring. Classes include Roast Profiling and Cupping, Understanding Green Coffee and Grown in the USA: Coffee Farming and Quality. This is also the place where you can become a licensed Q Grader, or professional cupper. It’s something of a boot camp all right, especially if you opt for a five-day intensive, but it is actually named after the founder, Willem Boot.