FLORENCE, ITALY -- What is the first thing that flashes into your mind when you think about Italy? Creamy Italian cappuccino? Aromatic espresso shots? The romantic spirit of Florence? Undoubtedly, Italy is the magic place where you can have it all.
Since 2007, a group of coffee experts, called Aprire un Bar, or ‘Open a Bar’, has chosen the picturesque town of Florence to teach tourists and locals about the secrets of Italian coffee-making. The trainers are experienced, English - speaking professionals who are passionate about coffee and the fascinating way in which it defines the unique Italian lifestyle. The learning process will provide coffee enthusiasts with the incredible opportunity to immerse in the exclusive world of delicious fantasies and unique culinary adventures.
The Aprire Un Bar lecturers promise that the transformation from a passionate coffee lover into a knowledgeable coffee maker will be smooth and enjoyable. Based on your needs and goals, you can choose one or several of the four courses, offered by the Florence Academy of Espresso. The first one is naturally dedicated to amateurs, as its title ''discovery'' implies. It provides an overview of major concepts associated with the art of coffee-making and teaches you the basic rules needed to prepare a delicious Italian coffee, cappuccino or latte. Another course – ‘‘quality’’ - is specifically designed for those who want to follow a barista career or improve their professional coffee-making skills. The course teaches you the ability to recognize the different types of coffee blends, the skills needed to maintain a coffee machine, and the methods to prepare various coffee drinks - espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato, iced “espresso shakerato” and others.
The ‘‘latte art’’ course will give you an in-depth knowledge of all masterful techniques needed to produce a memorable and visually appealing latte or cappuccino (as seen in Photos 1 - 3). The purpose of the final ‘‘advanced’’ course is to turn you into a coffee expert by providing you with additional theoretical and practical insights into the bittersweet universe of the world's most popular energy elixir. The course includes a visit to a local roasting company and a special coffee tasting event.
Besides its popularity among locals and foreign tourists, The Aprire Un Bar group is also starting to gain international recognition. Baristas from a German coffee bar chain have been sent for an exclusive training session to Florence, where they mastered their coffee-making skills and sharpened their knowledge of various coffee blends and aromas.
The coffee-making group has also held courses in the exotic Sardinia, and has traveled to Egypt to set menus and recipes for the Cairo-based Chiaroscuro café right before its grand opening.
The meeting point of the courses is in the central part of the town, in front of the bar Gilli, the oldest cafe in Florence, which dates back to 1734. Gilli, located in the antique Piazza della Repubblica, is also famous for its vibrant artistic crowd and cozy atmosphere so you can easily combine your course attendance with a pleasurable coffee shop visit. The classrooms of the Florence Espresso Academy are newly remodeled and spacious, and their location within a coffee roasting plant gives one the incredible opportunity to observe the whole coffee making cycle, from roasting to grinding. Theoretical concepts, covered in the course, include coffee origins, botanics and geography.
Aprire un Bar has also been featured on TripAdvisor, which will give coffee art enthusiasts the opportunity to hear the opinions of people who have already taken the course.
Photos courtesy of Petia Dimitrovia
By: Petia Dimitrovia
this article was printed from www.thalo.com/articles/view/265/