Coffee Culture In 2016

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Like most cultures, coffee culture is no different really. A group of people brought together by a common interest. What better place than a coffee shop. There is always a buzz, and hive of activity. It attracts in some ways, so many like minded people, and in other ways such a variety. From businessmen, to housewives, students to teachers. Hundreds of years ago, they were popular meeting places for artists. A few years ago, Wine Masters were popping up everywhere, and now the latest trend seems to be becoming a Barrister. We were fortunate enough to be able to interview Winston, one of the top up and coming Barristers in the Country.

These days no matter where I am, or what I am doing, coffee seems to be screaming out at me! Coffee culture, coffee culture! Most people have coffee making machines, and there are shops dedicated to selling only coffee. We are so spoilt for choice, that it is difficult to know which coffee to drink, when, where and why? I am attending a Barristers course early next month, and will be back with loads more information on what all the different coffee beans are, and how to choose between them.

Meanwhile, not sure about you, but I am getting extremely confused between the different ways to drink coffee. Gone are the days when we only had the choice between an espresso and a cappuccino. And worse still, when I grew up, we either had instant or percolated coffee. Now we have a whole range of ways to drink our coffee:

– Latte: A coffee mixed with a frothed milk foam.
– Americana: Made by adding hot water to a mug with a tot of espresso coffee in it.
– Iced Coffee: Chilled coffee with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
– Cappuccino: A cup of coffee covered in a layer of frothed milk foam.
– Skinny Cappuccino. The same as a cappuccino, but made with fat free milk.
– Flat white: A cup of coffee with milk.
– Espresso: Extremely strong, and dense, with “crema” (coffee foam on the top). Hence, café crema being an alternative name for an Italian espresso.
– Macchiato: A cup of frothed milk, filled up with an espresso coffee.
– Moccachino: A café latte with chocolate added to it.
– Frappe. A coffee with ice, served black or white.

And to make coffee even more enticing, many Countries around the world have their own special coffees, such as:

Caffe Au Lait: France
Egg Coffee: Vietnam
Turkish Coffee: Turkey
Café Bombon: Spain
Café Cubana: Cuba
Wiener: Vienna
Palazzo: USA
Caffe De Ola: Mexico

To top it off we have alcoholic coffee drinks, like an 咖啡 Irish coffee, Bavarian coffee, Café royal, Kalua coffee, and even coffee liquors.

I have to say that my favourite is still a cappuccino. It has to be made with the best quality coffee beans, and brimming over the top of the mug with foam. If you can convince me otherwise, please share with me the way you love your coffee.

Winston’s Interview..

How did you get involved with espresso coffee. How did it all start?

Without romanticizing too much, there was a complaint in my local newspaper about the bad coffee served in my town. That was about 5 years ago. After reading that I started tasting different coffees trying to figure out what a good cup of coffee really was. This eventually led me to Origin Coffee Roasting where I did a barista course while studying in 2013. I worked part time at a roaster in Somerset West and a market in Woodstock until I completed my studies in June 2014. I started working full time at Origin in August 2014.

What makes you continue to work as a barista? Is the job repetitious?

No it’s not repetitious. It may seem that way because, on the opposite end of the bar, it looks like we’re just pouring coffee every day but that’s far from it. We’re using different coffees every day so there’s a lot of tasting involved, the weather is always changing which means the coffee pours differently throughout the day so we have to work accordingly, we meet different people every day, face different challenges on a daily basis etc. So far from repetitious. And that’s exactly why I continue to work as a barista.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration by looking at all the people involved in the coffee cycle. From the farmer, to the green coffee buyer, the roaster, barista and finally the consumer. To know that I play a role in this process gives me the inspiration to try my hardest to serve the best cup of coffee possible. To justice to those who have played their part before me.

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