An experience in the world of coffee

It’s been a bit silent on my part lately but I’m working on a few new things I’ll be sharing with you in the coming weeks. Today however, I want to talk about one of my favorite drinks, coffee.

As you might recall I wrote a piece about the coffee world a while ago: “Coffee-talk: We all drink it, but what exactly is coffee?” The focus of that post was mainly on coffee as a drink, but let’s talk a bit more about the coffee experience now.

A while ago I had the chance to attend a coffee workshop at the Viva Sara Kaffée in my hometown, Kortrijk. This coffee house has been around all my life, changing throughout the years from a respectable coffee shop to a coffee experience Kaffée.

Amazing to see that the now second generation (Peter and Bart Deprez) are not just passionate about coffee but about the whole experience that comes with coffee (and tea). In the beginning the brothers told us our experience when going to another coffee bar would never be the same, right they were!

Our journey began with a Sharie-kan, a beverage to share where tea and infusion are combined. Definitely a new approach to the basic ice tea. It allows you to make a more complex drink.

After that we delved into the coffee/barista scene and really were amazed by the complexity of the craft. You might think, is it really that difficult? After that workshop I would say yes, it is, if you want to do it the right way.

But what is coffee truly? Is it simply a sum of its ingredients? No, it’s as the French would say a savoir faire. In the barista world, it’s called the 5 M’s of coffee mastery.

1 Missione – The mission of enjoying life and the small things, thus creating the best coffee possible. You could call it the art of perfection.
2 Miscela – the melange of your coffee
3 Macinadosatore – the grind of the coffee
4 Macchina – the machine you’re working with
5 Mano – the hand of the master

In Belgium, they also add Milk as a 6th M since the type of milk you use can break or perfect your coffee.

So, as you can see it’s a true mastery. Even the water used at Viva Sara is special. They refine their water to the needs of the tea or coffee they are making.

After the talk, there is of course the walk. We started with an exercise on coffee aromas. In this exercise, we had to recognize specific aromas in small vials. Loved this “Le nez du café” box made by Jean Lenoir! Definitely will have to buy one of these specialized boxes for my spirit/beer tastings.

After this introduction in coffee aromas it was coffee time! The brothers taught us how to make the perfect espresso and cappuccino. Never imagined there were so many details that needed to be just right to make a perfect product. In a mere 3 hours we went on a rollercoaster through coffee-land, and it was simply amazing!

When I was walking home I realized how amazing it was to go to a place you have known for ages and still learn a lot of new things about it. This experience definitely triggered me to learn more. Big thanks to Bart and Peter Deprez for inspiring us with your passion for coffee and tea.

Interested in a workshop at Viva Sara? Check out their page here.

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