Espresso Fundamentals


When Kyle asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I couldn’t decide what to ask for. Looking through the house & my closet…I had enough “stuff”. While I will admit that my accumulation of material possessions is probably a little excessive (we’re always striving to want less, be content with what we have, and save intentionally), I could have easily given him a list of “things” that would make for perfect gifts.

But this year, I wanted something else. I wanted an experience. An adventure. A learning opportunity. A chance to explore my passions further. 

As you know from my blog, I LOVE coffee. This whole blog is inspired by my love of coffee (if you’re new here…check it out!). My dream in life is to make my love of coffee a more integral part of my life & I figured the first place to start would be taking a class on coffee. An espresso class.


I am very lucky that Philadelphia is home to a Counter Culture Training Center. Counter Culture not only provides coffee to local coffee shops & restaurants (you’ll see “Counter Culture coffee served here” on menus around the US), but they train baristas on how to make quality espresso based drinks, coffee brewing options, & more.


I took an “Espresso Fundamentals” class (after Kyle called to make sure that it was okay even though I don’t work in the coffee industry) and we spent the day learning the history of espresso, the extraction process, dialing in your shot, tasting espresso (under/over extracted, “perfect” extraction, and each others), and basic milk mechanics.


Wow was I intimidated. These La Marcozza machines are well over $15,000. To purchase one for home use (#goals) is at least $7,000. Luckily, the instructors & my “classmates” were all very nice & helpful.

IMG_9040After nearly 15 tries, I FINALLY was able to make the “perfect” latte & cappuccino. Will I be able to replicate this again? I hope so. While it will be impossible without the right equipment, I have an extremely nice coffee machine that I can mess with the programming & practice my milk mechanics to get somewhere close.


And those hearts & ferns you see on those specialty coffee drinks? Give me a few days…but I WILL master it!!

Counter Culture Coffee Reco: Start with Hologram, their year round offering! It’s delicious!


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