On Friday 14th April we held the first live event at Torrefazione Ernani in Milan!
How did it go? What have we done? Will there be other events?
These are the two most asked questions by the trainees and all those who wanted to be there but couldn’t make it!
Let’s answer together!
Here’s what we did
The first event in the cafeteria had Espresso Tasting as its theme.
We started with some theory…how can we understand what we are drinking and its characteristics without knowing the raw material, its structure and what it gives to the cup?
So we clarified what coffee is and where it grows, the differences between the two main species, i.e. Arabica and Robusta, the harvesting and processing methods, then moving on to roasting to define espresso.
In short, a summary of everything related to coffee as a guide to understand the very nature of espresso.
Once the world we were immersing ourselves in was defined, discovering its beauties and immensity, we moved on to the practical part.
Surely this phase was more hands-on and fun allowing us to put into practice everything we had previously discussed.
The tasting included four different espressos:
- A single-origin high-altitude washed Arabica. We selected Caffè Ernani’s Ethiopian Sidamo for the occasion, to fully understand the term acidity and therefore the fresh and delicate taste of a distinctly acidic coffee, fixing in our heads a point of comparison.
- Then we moved on to a 100% Arabica blend, namely the Blue Diamond, of washed, semi-washed and natural coffees, to understand another possible taste of Arabica coffees, with more rounded, enveloping and above all sweet notes. Everybody immediately noticed the differences and underlined the different taste profile.
Once set the benchmark for aromatic intensity, sweetness and acidity, we moved on to a different blend.
- The Allegro, a blend with a small percentage of Robusta, with great aromatic intensity and an extra touch of bitterness and body. Here personal tastes and the relevant understanding began to be more defined in an increasingly precise and conscious way!
- Finally we analyzed the Vivace, a blend mostly composed of Robusta, to remove even the latest doubt and also set the benchmark for the bitter taste!
All this was tackled like real experts!
During a tasting one must in fact try to be as objective as possible and leave judgments such as “I like” and “I don’t like” aside, to concentrate instead on opinions such as “this coffee has positive notes” or “this coffee has defects or negative notes”.
How can this be achieved?
Using the tasting cards, then focusing on one item at a time, first checking the cream and its persistence, then moving on to the sense of smell, followed by taste and body. Finally, the after tasting sensations are investigated.
Do you think that to do all this you have to be a professional?
No, just be guided!
How has it gone?
The participants never heard of coffee in these terms and simply were espresso lovers and wanted to find out more about it.
During the event, they looked at me with wide open and even slightly intimidated eyes, convinced that they would never have heard all these differences and nuances in a cup of coffee.
To their surprise, that was not the case!
In fact they were amazed by how much a coffee can actually change, how many different aromas it can have and above all that they recognized these elements without even my help!
Why when we say that not all coffees are the same and that even our own Caffè Ernani are all well defined and different from each other, we are absolutely sure of it!
The problem in everyday life is that in bars we often find quite low quality coffees and so they’re basically just bitter, or worse, they taste burnt. Or we don’t pay proper attention and throw it down like a medicine in a few seconds.
When, on the other hand, we pause even for just 10 seconds, we can perceive the soul of an espresso!
Then I feel happy and above all lucky to have met such curious and attentive people, who put themselves on the line to the end and who made the most of this new experience.
They were visibly enthusiastic with a great desire to continue, grow and learn more, not only about espresso, but about the whole world in general.
Will there be other avents?
On the base of their enthusiasm, I can only say that yes, there will be other events at the Torrefazione Ernani in Milan, dedicated to espresso, moka and filter coffee, from extraction to tasting.