Learn To Brew The Best Cup, From The Best… Greenhouse Cafe

I’m a coffee drinker. I love everything about it – the smell, the taste, the cup in my hands and the jolt I need in the morning (twice)… and in the afternoon. So, when I learned that Greenhouse Cafe was hosting coffee classes, I signed up, stat.

I say I’m a coffee lover, but admittedly I know very little about my beloved beverage. The first class Greenhouse Cafe hosted was Introduction to Specialty Coffee. Fitting for an aspiring coffee aficionado like myself.

The class began with Lead Barista Michael Mainwaring introducing himself and asking each of us to explain our morning coffee ritual. I was a bit embarrassed when my turn came. I shared that I use a no-frills drip machine with pre-ground coffee from the supermarket (insert horror emoji face here). We all had a laugh though, and hey… I was at the class, making an earnest effort to up my coffee game.

Lead-Barista-Michael-Mainwaring Greenhouse Cafe Rockaway

Lead Barista Michael Mainwaring.

Michael has extensive knowledge of all things coffee. We learned the many factors that determine the taste of coffee – the flavor profile, how it’s brewed, grind size, measurements, and shelf life… to name a few. The roasting date is normally found on the bottom of the coffee package. The best time to buy is 2-5 weeks after the roast date. Grinding daily is ideal for maximum freshness. There are many methods to brew which we touched on but Michael informed us of other workshops Greenhouse is offering in the upcoming months that will go into specifics of these brewing practices.

The next segment of the class was an interactive sensory experience. Barista Michael brewed two contrasting specialty coffees, one sourced by Coffee Project New York. It is from Menglian Yunnan, a region in China, and the other by Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters, a Peruvian blend from Cusco. The room was filled with delicious aromas. We smelled, tasted, and noted the mouth/feel texture of each. The intimate class setting was just right for an animated discussion on the differences between the flavor profiles. It’s incredible how distinctly different specialty beans are and the multitude of intricate flavors available. I began to understand that production and brewing is truly art form. I enjoyed this portion of the class immensely!

I asked Michael how the idea to host coffee classes came about. The cafe and classes are run by Yarden Flatow of Cuisine by Claudette. Yarden and Michael’s vision for the class were to share their passion for coffee with others while educating our community about the ethical and sustainability issues surrounding the coffee industry. As you’d gather, there’s a lot of information on this topic, but one point I’d like to share is that when you purchase specialty coffees from sustainable companies and cafes like Greenhouse, you’re directly supporting the farmers and farms where the beans are produced. And this, on a large scale, helps ensure this vital agricultural industry continues.

Greenhouse Cafe Coffee Classes

To learn more about all things coffee, sign up for Greenhouse Cafes coffee classes here. The workshops are on Tuesday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. The following classes run through May: Introduction to Brewed Coffee at Home, Introduction to Pour Over, Introduction to Aeropress, Espresso Extraction Theory, Milk Steaming + Basic Latte Art, Intermediate and advanced Latte Art and Introduction to Coffee Cupping.

Greenhouse Cafe is located at the Rockaway Hotel – 108-10 Rockaway Beach Drive, Rockaway Beach. The cafe is open at 6 a.m. for your early fix. Follow Greenhouse Cafe on Instagram to learn about these upcoming classes and more  – @greenhousecaferbny.

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