Siphoned coffee at Rabbithole
Rabbithole has been one of my favourite coffee shops of late, and I've been dropping by as often as time allows since they opened. One day, I took two of my geekiest (and probably therefore, closest) friends and we tried one bean made three ways, just to see what it'd be like. (You see what I mean by geeky?) As we were watching the staff at Rabbithole make our coffees, we discovered flyers in the shop for coffee classes. Originally I was only interested in the hand drip class (since that's how I make my coffee at home and am desperate to improve my skills) but Mike, the owner, aka "The Java Junkie" per Time Out Hong Kong's description told us that the introductory class would see us playing with all his shiny machines and trying out different methods. We were sold.
Mike showing us his latte art skills
Rushing out from the farms in the New Territories, I arrived around 15 minutes late for the 7.30pm class, arms swollen after being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
By the time I got in, everyone else (about 10 others) were already sitting around on stools in the workshop-like space, listening attentively to Mike. He was lively and informative, giving us just enough of the basics about different roasts, grinds and coffee types to get us started. One of the most interesting bits of wisdom I got from Mike was that beans and roasting makes up for 90% of how good a coffee is, and the barista's job is simply to do his/her best to bring that out - ie. 10%.
Having a go at the Expobar
We started with espresso-based drinks - after a demo on the espresso machine, we were each given a shot to taste (especially as some of the students had never had an unadulterated espresso before), then he proceeded to talk about milk, texturing and then we got to try caffe lattes. Latte art is hugely popular in Hong Kong - it's hardly important (if you ask me) but I'll admit that it's quite fun, both to watch and to try!
Getting help with a latte art attempt
Then it was out turn. We split up into smaller groups and go onto one of the five machines. We were on the newer Expobar - I'd never made a coffee on a commercial machine before!