Learning with Bridgehead

Earlier this week, I had the immense pleasure of attending Bridgehead's course on coffee / espresso. The crowd was awesome - all coffee lovers looking to take their espresso-making skills up a notch. Held at The Urban Element, which I've been dying to visit for some time, the course covered two main topics:

The first part (by Mr. Ian Clark), on identifying flavour components of coffee, tasting demonstrations, etc., was interesting but of limited everyday use for me. I (and I suspect I'm far from alone in this) tend to find one or two varieties of beans I like and always go back to those. Still, lots of fun.

The second half (by Laura Perry), gave me much to think about as I prepare my customary morning latte. When pulling an espresso shot, I've often been focused simply on trying to coax my equipment into getting the extraction time right, with little attention given to tamping technique and temperature control.

Biggest discovery of the class? The amount of coffee Laura packs into a portafilter. I've probably been under-dosing my shots for years now!