Pushing through the door of a coffee shop gives any coffee fan that little lift. The scent of freshly brewing coffee definitely rouses that happy hormone in me, tying you over until you can wrap your hands around a warmed mug of your favourite caffeinated poison.
200 Degrees arrived in Leeds to a very warm welcome. It's taken up residence in the old Nourish spot, with a completely different look and feel. The seats are always full when I walk past and after trying the coffee I can see why. A little added extra to this new Leeds coffee shop is the barista school which is hidden away upstairs - a room stacked with all the vital equipment and a barista expert to take you through the coffee ropes.
We had an afternoon of creating countless lattes to perfect our form. You'll undoubtedly recognise all the sounds along the process, but what looks so simple from behind the coffee machine is definitely not so in practice.
From grinding the coffee beans, to getting the perfect silky-but-frothy milk to finish your latte, it's a great experiential afternoon - you start with an education in coffee (the theory), and quickly move into the coffee creation (the practical).
We each created endless lattes through the afternoon, once we'd somewhat perfected that basics, we gave the latte art a go. The flick of the wrist that most baristas make look so darn natural is not as easy as it looks. In fact, I don't think I created anything near artistic in the afternoon. The latte art championship that takes place in the UK each year needn't be worried about me coming for the title...
The day ended with our very own competition, I'm not convinced any of us are quite ready for the big leagues as yet... But I guess you always need to start somewhere. FYI, it requires a steady hand, a lot of concentration to avoid an overflowing mug and a perfectly frothed milk to allow the pattern to stick. We were aiming for a 'basic' tulip, I like to think mine took on the guise of this in some way... what do you think?
Nevertheless, latte artist qualified or not, I am now apparently skilled as a basic barista. I have the certificate to prove it ;)
Hand me a milk frother and stock me up with the best coffee beans and I'll share my newly developed skills. Are you ready to take on the challenge?
You can get your own barista skills on with 200 Degrees. There are a few classes on offer and would be ace for a hen-do full of coffee fans.
I was treated to an essentials version of the barista class by the lovely folk at I Like Press.