We, as a nation, consume millions of cups a coffee a day. Millions. There is something irresistibly attractive about a cup of coffee. The rich color, the aroma wafting through the room, the taste of perfectly roasted beans, and let’s not forget the bit of energy that caffeine supplies.
With all that you love about coffee, how much do you really know? We like to think that we know quite a lot, yet there is still much for us to learn. The best way to learn about coffee is through experience, but there will always be elements in coffee that will go undiscovered until someone with a little knowledge enlightens you.
This is why we love coffee classes. There is always something new to learn and experience about our favorite beverage.
Coffee classes are big news in big cities, but you can find classes in just about every coffee niche in all corners, nooks and crannies of the country. Wondering where to find coffee classes in your area? Start by checking your local coffee houses, roasters and distributors.
Small, independent coffee businesses seem to offer a greater variety classes and are more willing to tailor to your needs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great coffee class taught by a big name.
What you learn in your coffee classes of course depends on what class choose and where you take it. We have found that most coffeehouses and roasters offer the same group of general classes, with a few extras that are tailored to their niche added in.
Take a look at these general coffee class descriptions. Keep in mind that what you see here may differ slightly from what is available in your local area. But, this quick guide can help you hone in on which coffee classes will quench your curiosity and spark greater enthusiasm about our favorite thing in the world.
Seed to Cup
A seed to cup class is exactly as it sounds. You will learn about the entire coffee process, starting with the bean and ending with a delicious brew, which is a nice, steaming cup of is almost always provided at the end.
Seed to cup classes are a multisensory experience. If you consider yourself to be any degree of a coffee connoisseur, we highly recommend that you take a seed to cup class to build upon your knowledge and experience.
On your journey through the coffee experience, you will start with a detailed overview of the different coffee growing regions, called origins. You will also learn some specifics about coffee farming and ethical practices.
From there you move on to the roasting process, and how each bean is born to be roasted to a specific level. A combination of roast level and bean characteristics is what makes a quality coffee bean great.
Next, you will learn all about brewing techniques, with a focus on both the most common classics and trendiest specialty methods.
Finally, you get to enjoy the final destination of your coffee journey by learning how to experience coffee, not just drink it.
Seed to cup classes are great if you want a general overview of coffee. They also make for memorable group events, perfect for gathering a few of your favorite people and sharing an enlightening and unforgettable experience.
Have you ever been curious about the art and science that goes into roasting coffee? Or, maybe you have been thinking that you would try your hand at home roasting and want to pick up a few trade secrets. Local roasters are a great resource for learning more about his invaluable craft.
Coffee roasting classes provide you a unique opportunity to view a side of the coffee industry that few ever see.
In coffee roasting classes, you will learn about:
- The coffee bean in it raw, green state
- How origin affects roast
- The difference between different roasts, including color, roast time and flavor profiles
- The roasting process for both commercial and home roasters
What coffee roasting class would be complete without a little sample of the process to take home? We might be biased, but we believe a class isn’t complete without a complimentary taste of the process.
We also love coffee roasting classes because it helps us to better understand our product and how to create the coffee that our customers love through the roasting process. This information in invaluable for us, but it can also be incredibly useful for you as you explore coffee in all its varied, roasted states.
Cupping and Tasting Classes
Cupping is used to describe the process of purposefully tasting coffee and noting its unique characteristics. It’s true that you can taste coffee without the fussiness of a process. However, we believe that taking a cupping class can provide you with a greater appreciation for the ritual and a more enjoyable cupping experience.
Most cupping classes begin with a history and overview of the cupping ritual. To us, the history is fascinating.
After the initial overview, you and your cupping classmates will be taken on a truly sensory experience of learning to detect and assess the subtler qualities of coffee.
Key characteristics that are highlighted in a cupping class include:
Do you need to detect the nuances and each of these characteristics to enjoy a cup of coffee? The answer is of course, no. But, tuning into these finer notes will enhance your coffee experience, no matter what your preference in coffee or brew.
Brew Method (General and Specialized) Classes
In recent years, a new coffee culture has emerged, and we love it.
Coffee has moved from a break room staple to an art form, and at Nomad, we can’t get enough of it in any form.
With the upswing in “specialty” brews have come countless new coffee brewing mechanisms and gadgets flooding merchant shelves, and possibly your kitchen countertop.
Many of these gadgets are pretty or cool to look at, but can be a little intimidating if you have never ventured outside of your drip brewer.
You can usually find two different types of coffee brewing classes. Those that offer a general overview of some of the most popular classic and specialty techniques, and those that offer specialized instruction for one method of brewing.
Brew method classes that might be of interest to you include
- Survey of Pour Over Techniques
- Immersion Brewing
Another coffee brewing class that we think adds value to your experience as a home coffee brewer is one that details how brewed coffee can go wrong and what you can do to make it right.
These classes can help you understand over extraction vs under extraction, how to adjust your brewing style based on the origin, roast and grind of the bean and how to avoid common mistakes that take away from the flavor of your coffee.
Fun and Whimsy
We take coffee seriously, but there are times when we loosen up and let ourselves enjoy the lighter, fun side of coffee.
Some of our favorite coffee classes have been based on an unconventional theme. These classes help us remember that coffee is not just business, it is our life, and one that should be enjoyed to the fullest.
If you want to explore the more whimsical side of coffee, look for classes that offer an unconventional approach, or focus on sensory and artistic details.
Blind coffee tastings (where you are actually blindfolded), steaming and coffee art, coffee drink mixology, or coffee and chocolate tastings are just a few of the ways we have seen people explore the more creative side of our favorite drink.
How can you get the most from your coffee class? Our advice is to go in with an open mind, adventurous spirit and your best friend at your side. Classes give us a peek into the world of coffee that we otherwise don’t get to see. They also expand our coffee drinking community by introducing us to fellow like-minded, coffee obsessed people, and that’s something we can’t get enough of.
Coffee is an experience that should be shared and enjoyed. Sign up for a local coffee class today and discover all you never knew about your favorite brew