20160225_162743

Woo hoo!

Another goal achieved this week and I am feeling so proud of myself!

I had never stepped inside the Tennent’s Training Academy in our city until Thursday even though I drive past it so many times before. The site is humongous and we got a mini bus to take us to our training room! Wawwww! What a room it was! Full of display for lager!

Our trainer Michaela was ever so friendly and approachable, she helped us to feel at ease as soon as she introduced herself to us. We got a little briefing as to what our day would look like. Then we got a talk about coffee, watched a YouTube video on where coffe comes from, got a quiz to answer about coffee and then……..the exciting part………Making coffee!

I had never drank so much coffee until Thursday and what a day it was! I was feeling mega hyper by the end of tasting our attempts at making different types of coffee at the coffee machine.  We all got to make an Expresso, Americano, latte (with latte art), cappuccino and hot chocolate (with latte art). The Expresso was the strongest tasting coffee of them all and I found it far too bitter. I definitely shall not be drinking that any time soon. My favourite was the Americano as it was just the perfect taste for me. The latte and cappuccino was drinkable for me yet I am not a fan of milk so I would only drink them if Americano was not available. Making the latte art was tricky and takes much patience and practice. I could have finished the whole cup of hot chocolate if it was made with hot water yet it was made with 95% milk so it put me off.

We all got to learn to use the coffee machine and it was certainly a great lesson for all of us. I was scared of the steam wand as it makes such a tremendous amount of noise for the size of it. It took me a whole day to feel at ease with using it.

Now I know why it’s ever so noisy in a coffee shop and what each noise indicates. How interesting! I also learned how much time and effort it takes to make a cup of coffee so it is a great insight.

20160225_115048

There were five in our group so each of us made five drinks and by the end of it all, the counter at the bar was filled with cups of coffee and my taste buds was too!  I loved smelling all the different coffee drinks because that is what I do with any new drinks or food to get better knowledge of what I am getting myself in for. We even got to have a small handful of coffee beans to smell, look at and I broke a bean to see what is inside then I chewed on it. Yuck!

At the end of the Thursday, we were taught how to clean the coffee machine from top to bottom and then we were divided into two groups and did it ourselves. I had never seen so much effort going into making coffee as I had this week and now I understand why coffee costs the price that it does.

I had a cup of cappuccino from the Academy on Friday morning before our training started as I felt exhausted from the training on Thursday and from my disturbed sleep.  I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had with the Americano the day before due to the large amount of milk for me yet I still drank it to lift me up.

We all made more coffees on Friday morning to help us practice and master the art of using the coffee machine. I was getting nervous by now as our assessment was due to take place in the afternoon. I had made a few mistakes with the steam wand as I was using the coffee machine on the other side of the bar for the first time and I felt very uncomfortable and ill at ease.

I felt much more calmer after lunch and I handled the written assessment better than I had anticipated. Then it was the practical side of our assessment and we were asked to leave the training room to allow each of us to complete our practical assessment in private. I volunteered to go second as I wanted to get it over and done with as soon as possible and head home to rest as I was feeling the exhaustion from my disturbed sleep the previous night.

I was asked by our trainer when it was my turn to make one: Expresso, Americano, latte, cuppuccino, hot chocolate, tea and smoothie in sixteen minutes.

I had a list written out of what drinks to make in my preferred order prior to entering the training room to give me a strategy and it helped to calm my nerves. I put the list onto the counter before I started on making my beverages.

I made my Expresso at the same time as the Americano then I made my tea. Next, it was my cappuccino and latte which was the most challenging for me due to using the steam wand for both to heat up the milk and the milk needs to be at 120 degrees Fahrenheit in order for me to get a pass. By the time I had made these two drinks, I knew I was over the hill and about to cross the finish line with only the hot chocolate and smoothie to go. I was making great progress now and I attempted to make a latte art for my hot chocolate and I was more than impressed with my effort. Last, it was the smoothie and I had made so many smoothies at home that was no problem for me. Yet this time, the blender is totally different to the one I use at home so I had a challenge in my hands. Closing the lid was time consuming and the clock stopped as my trainer came round to help me with it. I managed to complete my task in less than thirteen minutes and my trainer told me that is a fast time!

My score for my practical assessment was forty one out of forty five so I was feeling so proud of my efforts! Well done me. Then later on Friday evening, I received an email from our trainer to notify me that I passed my written assessment too with a score of seventeen out of twenty!

By the end of our two day training course, we had probably made enough coffee to fuel the whole of Glasgow’s population and they would all be mega hyper just like I was on Thursday afternoon! Even the smoothies that we all made would have helped our city to poop more smoothly! Haha

So now I am a qualified barista and I shall receive my certificate within the next few weeks! Well done me!

There is now more for me to talk about with others when I am out and about so it is a great bonus! Woo hoo!

20160225_101859

Advertisements