Until July 2019, we have successfully launched two workshops for Chapter 1 of Talking Taste. Prior to this success, our founder Simon had an interview with Almond Breeze regarding his vision in running this course.
Talking Taste – Chapter 1- 18 May 2019
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We caught up with Simon Gautherin, Q Arabica Grader and SCA professional barista, whose goal is to change the way coffee education is taught by bringing it more structure and professionalism. Simon discussed his recently launched boot camp, ‘Talking Taste’, a sensory course helping students effectively taste and communicate their experience with coffee.
Can you tell us about your new sensory boot camp?
Coffee drinking is a sensory experience which utilises three of our senses: olfaction, gustation and somatosensation. However, most of the time people see it as a tasting experience, forgetting that other senses are involved in the process. In order to fully assess and understand that experience, we need to understand how our senses are triggered whilst we drink coffee. ‘Talking Taste’ is my latest course designed to burst myths about coffee tasting and provide coffee amateurs and professionals with the tools to understand and analyse what they drink.
Can you give us an overview of what the course will entail?
Throughout the day we’ll be tasting about ten different coffees of different qualities or profiles and we’ll deeply analyse them using a matrix I have designed to understand and break down the overall experience.
What new skills will be learnt on the course?
By the end of the course, attendees will be able to understand what goes into a cup of coffee, what we are interested in during that sensory experience and how to analyse it and effectively talk about it.
Talking Taste – Chapter 1 – 24 & 25 June 2019
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Why is it important for baristas to learn these skills?
The industry is currently fairly good at training people to make espresso shots and steaming milk. However, most baristas are not able to tell if the coffee they’re serving is on point or not and if not, how to improve it. Getting the best out of a coffee is called ‘dialling in’ and it is paramount to be able to dial in if you work behind the bar. The issue is that you can’t dial in and troubleshoot a coffee that isn’t tasting right if you can’t properly analyse and break down what you are experiencing.
For example, when you are sick you go to the doctor and the consultation always has the same structure: observation of the patient, analysis and interpretation of the illness and a prescription to cure it. The same process needs to happen when you’re roasting or brewing coffee: observation of the brew, interpretation of what went wrong or might have caused a defect, plan to improve the next brew and fix that issue. This course is designed to provide students with a mastery of the first step: a methodical observation.
Do you have any plans to expand on the course and offer different courses or different levels?
As mentioned above, the approach I have to improving my brews is always in three steps. This is level one, and I’ll be releasing levels two and three in the next few months.
What else do you have in the pipeline?
More sensory training lined up for the rest of the year. I genuinely believe it is the pillar of our industry and we won’t be able to move forward until we have a better structure in the way we analyse and communicate about coffee.
To find out more about the training courses Simon offers, hit him up on Insta