The wicked awesome folks at Beanstock and Breville have been running their Master Classes for the past few months. I first mentioned this back in my October 4th post. If you’re fortunate enough to live in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver or Montreal then visit their website to sign up for one of the few remaining spots.
I had the opportunity to take part in their free 1 hour workshop today down at Espresso Works with my buddy Josh. I have been a huge fan of Breville for many years. My first espresso machine was the Breville Barista Express 860xl. It was a fantastic machine to begin learning with. After a few years I made the jump up to the Breville Dual Boiler 920 and have never looked back. I have been incredibly impressed with Breville’s commitment to innovation and performance all while being extremely approachable to a home-user. And I must say that anytime I have had issues their warranty is second-to-none.
Today’s class was intended more towards your average home espresso maker. It was a chance to showcase one of their latest machines–The Barista Touch. This machine is a tricked-out version of the Barista Express and meant to take some of the guess work out of making espresso-based drinks. The built-in touchscreen is designed to give intuitive feedback to the user. All the main controls for grinding, steaming, and pulling-shots are are built into the user interface. This machine also comes with Breville’s new milk temp sensor built into the drip-tray. With an integrated PID, and built in grinder this machine is great for people who want to make espresso at home but want some of the guess work to be done for them.
I did find at times wanting my buttons back from my Dual Boiler. But I guess that’s just what I’m used to. This isn’t the first touch screen for Breville, they have also built their Oracle machine with this feature. Maybe this is the future of espresso machines? For now, I guess I’m a bit happier with tactile buttons. But other than that, this was a very easy-to-use machine.
This was a very hands-on workshop. The amazing folks over at Monogram were the ones running this along with the Calgary area rep for Breville. We enjoyed pulling shot after shot of Monogram’s Guatemalan Provedencia. This washed Cataui varietal delivered notes of caramel, hazelnut & orange. Working with such a great coffee made the experience all the more enjoyable.
A huge thanks goes out to everyone involved in making these Master Classes a reality, and especially Espresso Works for hosting the event. I know that for many people who I talk to, the thought of making espresso at home feels too out of reach. And while home espresso isn’t what you’ll get from that in a café (unless you have tens-of-thousands of dollars to spend on equipment and hours to spend on dialling in the perfect grind) I do believe you can make a consistent shot time after time that is enjoyable and tasty.
So if you want to have some fun, learn a bit more about home espresso, and taste some good coffee, sign up for one of the remaining spots. You won’t regret it.