I remember when I was a little girl; I use to watch my dad roast his own coffee over the stove. The aroma of coffee filled the room too addictive. He used to tell me his stories as a coffee maker when he was living in Vietnam.
I jumped to the opportunity with Caffe Nero inviting me down to their roaster, to learn the art of coffee making. The event kicked off with us being whisked away in cabs to the Battersea location. On arrival we had a selection of treats of breads, meats and cheese with wine.
We were guided inside the factory and watched how green coffee beans in its original form turn into roasted coffee beans. It changes colour during the process and density of weight, roughly it takes 15 minutes to cool down in the cooling tray.
Caffe Nero gets different beans from all over the world and even grows their own inside the factory. From Brazilian, Ethiopian, American etc, we briefly went to the packaging room.
The coffee is sealed using a one-way bag, to prevent as little oxygen to creep inside and to preserve the freshness.
Next up, we watched a small roaster machine do a small batch of green coffee, the first crack process smelt like wet grass, the second crack stage the beans started to smell like bakery goods. The third stage the coffee looked like what I was used to. It was interesting to watch this process, as my dad just used a metal pot on the stove and had a great instinct to toss and turn the beans.
Over at the tasting station Carlos, showed us how to brew coffee, we brewed the coffee for 4 minutes and watched a layer of the crack form in the cups. Once the timer finished we had to break the crack. When it was dry the Ethiopian dry coffee caught my nose over the American blend, however once brewed it was quitter bitter.
Carlos showed us a technique to taste coffee; with big slurps making sure some oxygen gets sucked in with the coffee we can truly appreciate the flavours. I made a custom blend using the two mixtures.
David the coffee master enriched us with the different options; espresso is the strongest you can get. The foam and milk determine if it’s a latte, Macchiato, cappuccino etc. He finished off the demo with latte art, I cheekily asked for 3D one which never happened.
I had a lot of fun, and l learned tons more how coffee beans are roasted, Caffee Nero roastery employees are very passionate about their coffees.