For my birthday I was given a barista course at the Green Coffee Machine, and I was really excited. I love coffee and I love nice coffee.
I have written a blog post about this place before which you can read here where, in summary, I describe how much I love it and say it’s probably my favourite place to get coffee in Cheltenham.
First I want to talk about the course I went on last night (14th Nov 2017). It was held in the store by the station and started at 7pm, after they closed.
There were 5 of us who were given a quick presentation about how coffee is grown, harvested and roasted to produce the perfect bean. We then went through how to make the perfect espresso, using a set amount and temperature of water at high pressure through an exact weight of finely ground coffee. This should take between 20 and 30 seconds.
What’s nice to hear is that the machine and grind are amended throughout the day to make sure that the timing is consistent. The finer the grind, the slower the water will pass through so the grinder can be changed slightly to encourage the pouring of the espresso to take the same time, each time. Consistency is king with this coffee.
Not everyone likes all blends, but if you find one you like, you’d like it to remain the same every time you try it. This is a big part of The Green Coffee Machine’s working method. New staff are trained vigorously to make sure they are all doing every step the same.
I learnt a lot about different types of coffee and their ingredient ratios. We also learnt how to foam milk for lattes and stretch milk for cappuccinos plus how to pour the hot milk correctly to get the right amount of milk and foam into each type of coffee.
I really enjoyed this experience and would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more for themselves or learn for a new job, for example. Chris, the owner is a friendly and down-to-earth guy who obviously loves what he does and loves teaching people about it. If you like coffee and would like to know more, consider signing up for the course!
Now I’d like to quickly talk about the actual place again. I know I have an older post saying how much I love it, but since then I think we’ve had about 27 new Costa coffees set-up in my hometown of Cheltenham, plus a Pret and multiple other shops cafés. Personally, I don’t think we need as many as we have. If it were up to me I would try and cut down on the large chains like Costa, cutting their influence to a couple of locations rather than every other shop.
I now have 2 places I love to visit in Cheltenham for coffee. I do go to other places which I enjoy too – it all depends on where I am at the time.
So, if I want a coffee. A simple choice from a ‘standard’ menu, and I can get to near the station, I will always go to the Green Coffee Machine. Their organic, fair trade, rainforest assured blend is their own and is specially made for them. I love the depth of flavour, colour, smell and smoothness of their coffee. Plus, I’ve never felt like I had a bad coffee from here. This is still my number 1.
If I am in town and I want a coffee I will head to the Coffee Dispensary (see their website here >) for their large range of different single bean and blends. Last time I went in, I believe they had 6 different types of coffee all available in the ‘standard’ menu plus some were specifically for filtering which is a nice idea as it’s something different to try. They’re also conveniently located just down from the Everyman Theatre right near the centre of town.
Both places get 5/5 from me!