Be a barista: Class promises coffee skills, techniques

Giorgio Milos, Certified Master Barista and winner of the Italian Barista Championship will be in Naples on Feb. 18, 2012 to teach a barista class at Sur La Table.

Photo by Kelly Merritt

Giorgio Milos, Certified Master Barista and winner of the Italian Barista Championship will be in Naples on Feb. 18, 2012 to teach a barista class at Sur La Table.

Be Your Own Barista

What: One of the classes in the new teaching kitchen at Sur la Table.

Location: Sur La Table store, Mercato, 9105 Strada Place, North Naples

When: 3-5 p.m. Feb. 18

Cost: $25 per person

Reservations: 239-598-3586 or visit www.SurLaTable. com

Restricted to participants 18 and older

Sur La Table Resident Chef Adam Peters chops an onion in the new Sur La Table store kitchen in North Naples. Overhead mirrors show all the action for students at the store's new cooking classes.

Photo by Kelly Merritt/Special to the Daily News

Sur La Table Resident Chef Adam Peters chops an onion in the new Sur La Table store kitchen in North Naples. Overhead mirrors show all the action for students at the store's new cooking classes.

— There are a lot of reasons to make coffee at home.

You can enjoy it in your pajamas.

There’s no line.

And then there’s the difference in cost: Making coffee at home instead of getting it at a gourmet coffee shop can save upward of $1,000 per year, the cost of a pretty nice vacation.

The National Coffee Association, an organization that’s been around since 1911, reported that 86 percent of coffee consumers drank coffee at home in 2001, compared to 24 percent who drank it away from home. On Feb. 18, Naples coffee lovers will have the opportunity to master making great coffee at home with Giorgio Milos, certified master barista and winner of the Italian Barista Championship. The “be your own barista” coffee class is part of Sur La Table’s new family of cooking classes. In the cof­fee class, students will learn about different grinds, coffee machines and how to use techniques to prepare coffee and espresso drinks through hands-on training from Milos.

In coming to Naples, Milos says he is most excited about teaching the class because Sur La Table custom­ers are typically dedicated to learning and already passionate about coffee. “They have the best resources available and eager, knowledgeable customers ready to learn,” says Milos, who will lead the class in preparing coffee with several preparation meth­ods using the signature illy blend. “Participants will be able to see and taste how the same coffee beans can be transformed using different meth­ods, starting with the classic filter, and French Press, to an espresso and they will learn how to steam milk to make cappuccino.”

At the end of the class, attendees will be able to and put what they learned to use in daily life and will leave with a gift bag which includes a can of Milos’ favorite illy ground coffee.

“I have been in the coffee sector for more than 20 years, starting at a small local roaster and café in Trieste, Italy, when I was 17 years old, and started teaching at illy’s Universita del Caffe when it opened in 2002 in Trieste,” he says.

“Attendees will be able to perfect methods, learn how to recognize where they’ve gone wrong and how to fix the mistake, and most importantly, learn how to make the best coffee they’ve ever tasted,” says Milos, who takes his own coffee, black, straight with no sugar or milk, and pairs it at breakfast with a croissant or brioche.

“I am a coffee purist and my favorite drink is espresso. Other preparations I love are the ‘pour over’ or ‘Chemex’ methods, which I use especially when I am drinking single-origin coffee.”

When Milos is drinking single-origin coffee, which means it has one known geographical source, he says his favorite is natural Brazilian coffee for what he calls its strong chocolate notes and balanced bitterness.

He also enjoys washed coffee beans from Central America.

“I especially enjoy those from Guatemala and El Salvador, for their noticeable sweetness and you can sense the wonderful flavors like honey, caramel and red fruits in these coffees,” he says.

Sur La Table resident chef Adam Peters is at the helm of all of the cooking classes at the Naples location pictured here in the expansive space. Mirrors overhead, cameras and flat screens allow students to learn as they see Chef Peters at work.

Photo by Kelly Merritt/Special to the Daily News

Sur La Table resident chef Adam Peters is at the helm of all of the cooking classes at the Naples location pictured here in the expansive space. Mirrors overhead, cameras and flat screens allow students to learn as they see Chef Peters at work.

Most of the time, however, he drinks the signature illy blend, which he says combines all those flavors. Sur la Table spokesperson Susanna Linse says anyone who loves coffee will love it even more after spending time with Giorgio Milos, who will also cover which machines work best for which coffee preparations.

Linse says coffee machines and accessories can be very confusing for customers trying to make the right purchasing decisions.

“The range of pricing and features in coffee machines is vast, and deciphering all the different features can be overwhelming, but one of the great services Sur La Table offers is the ability to work one-on-one with our associates, learn the differences in brands and models of machines, and most-importantly taste the coffee,” she says.

“Daily usage, coffee or espresso-based drinks, use of beans or pods and price points are all points to consider.”

Sur La Table had an opportunity to expand several stores last year, including the Naples store in Mercato, by adding a teaching kitchen. Sur La Table resident chef Adam Peters is at the helm of all of the cooking classes at the Naples location, and has already conducted several classes in the new space. Peters says he is excited about the coffee class as part of the store’s teaching schedule.

“Our customers in Naples have expressed great demand for a cooking program. We are absolutely thrilled to finally provide them with the space to explore and expand their culinary knowledge,” he says. The Sur La Table cooking curriculum includes a variety of classes for all ages and also offers private events such as birthday and anniversary parties, and individual cooking lessons. The Sur La Table website, www.SurLaTable.com, lists the complete class schedule.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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