Looking for mentor barista - Wichita Kansas

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.

#1: Post by Jasonbird »

Looking for a mentor barista that would be willing to teach a newbie the basics. Something like the video series on this site with Dan and Phillip.

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#2: Post by TomC »

I'd hit up Reverie coffee and see who'd they enlist. Especially with the current circumstances, I'm sure someone would be willing to pick up some extra money by doing some proper lessons, PPE included. Communicate with them what equipment you have and what you're hoping to get out of a private lesson and see what they say.

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#3: Post by Jasonbird (original poster) »

Ok, sounds like a good idea. I'll wait until I get my new grinder since that'll be an important thing to have lol. In the mean time I could at least see about finding someone and getting the conversation started.

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#4: Post by ira »

If you get a decent grinder and a few pounds of coffee to play with, you should be much of the way there within a weekend. Having spent a day with Heather Perry in a class of two, what I mostly learned was be willing to discard things. She discarded more coffee in that one day than I'd discarded in all the time I'd owned my espresso machine. It's one of the reasons I love my Monolith and single dosing. For her coffee is essentially free, for me it was precious which led to completely different attitudes in how we treated it. There is a lot of information here, at some level there's maybe better beginner information in the much older threads and the videos posted on the site.

Any way, don't be afraid to just play and certainly don't be afraid to fail. If not for COVID, I'd say invite a bunch of friends over and practice making coffee on them.

I would recommend a naked portafilter, 1gram scale, a clock that reads in seconds, something skinny to stir the grounds and a tamper that insures a level tamp. With those few things, figuring out what you're doing right and wrong should be reasonably easy.

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#5: Post by Jasonbird (original poster) »

Thanks for your reply, I feel the same about the coffee, even though I did throw 4 shots down the sink. I do have a bottomless portafilter on the way. I have a scale. I'm reading, experimenting, reading experimenting and more reading. Already, I made adjustments to my pour over using a 1:17 ratio and just doing that has made a big improvement in the taste of my coffee. Researching terms like popcorns and single dosing.... so much stuff to absorb!

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#6: Post by baldheadracing »

ira wrote:. Having spent a day with Heather Perry in a class of two, ...
I'm reminded of one of the classic espresso teaching videos; 24 minutes of Heather Perry:
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

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#7: Post by Jeff »

Great video covering "what's important" to consider.

Definitely interesting to see how much has changed since then, past just the prices...