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Eat and Drink

Coffee classes cover latte art, home brewing and more tricks of the trade

From the iconic Anthora paper cup to the slew of independent coffee shops keeping our neighborhoods legit and interesting places to live, coffee is an ever-evolving part of NYC culture.

If you’re interested in upping your coffee game, here are some local classes.

Free classes with Abbotsford Road Coffee Specialists

Abbotsford Road. for coffee class story in amnewyork.
Photo Credit: Louie Herman

Whether it’s learning the basics of tasting or the tricks to turning steamed milk into a canvas, Abbotsford Road Coffee Specialists has complimentary classes catering to all levels.

“Our goal with offering free classes is to be able to share our passion for coffee with the public and introduce them to the amazing flavors we have created through our careful sourcing, blending, and roasting techniques,” co-founder Logan Kedwell says. 

The Gowanus headquarters hosts hourlong classes covering intros to specialty coffee (Tuesdays at 5 p.m.), barista skills (Wednesdays at 5 p.m.), latte art (Thursdays at 5 p.m.) and alternative brewing (Fridays at 5 p.m.). 

573-577 Sackett St., Brooklyn, abbotsfordroad.com

Coffee tastings with Toby's Estate

Toby's Estate. for article on coffee classes.
Photo Credit: Toby's Estate

In its Williamsburg and West Village locations, Toby’s Estate’s offers classes in cupping on Saturdays from 1:30-3 p.m. for $10, during which you’ll learn how to assess a cup by aroma and flavor. 

“We believe in fostering a coffee culture that is knowledgeable and open to everyone,” director of education Allie Caran says.

Beyond the group class, the roaster also offers one-on-one classes in espresso brewing and latte art, she adds.

125 N. Sixth St., Brooklyn; 44 Charles St., Manhattan, tobysestate.com

Intro to pour-over with Blue Bottle

Blue Bottle coffee dripper. for article on coffee
Photo Credit: Blue Bottle Coffee

For the basics of pour-overs, Blue Bottle offers weekly classes on its coffee dripper for $20. 

“Learning the science behind your morning cup of coffee makes it taste even better,” New York community specialist Caitlin McGinn says. 

You’ll also go home with a bag of coffee, she adds. 

150 Greenwich St. and 450 W. 15th St., Manhattan, bluebottlecoffee.com

Intermediate level with Birch Coffee

Birch Coffee. for article on coffee classes in
Photo Credit: Birch Coffee

For a bigger investment, Birch Coffee offers classes to help you take it up a notch, from cupping ($75) to home brewing ($95) — during which participants get an overview of the history of coffee, the art of grinding and several brewing styles — to a three-hour barista intensive ($225) that covers espresso theory, latte art and more. 

“Third-wave coffee has really only become popular over the last several years,” says co-founder Jeremy Lyman. “As the industry grows, there are more and more opportunities for careers in coffee and we want to help set a precedent.” 

Birch Coffee Education Center, 40-37 23rd St., Queens, birchcoffee.com

Serious step with Joe Coffee

Joe Coffee Company. for article on coffee classes
Photo Credit: Joe Coffee Company

For those who want to go pro, Joe Coffee’s monthlong barista course ($600) covers everything from history to practice. 

“A lot of people come in expecting it to be easy, but there is a lot of theory, palate development, and technique that goes into making great coffee,” barista trainer David Castillo says. “Although a well-trained barista can make it look easy and natural.” 

Over eight sessions, students explore what makes beans complex and flavor. 

“There’s the conceptual part, where you have to understand the language and the nuance, and there’s the mechanical part, where you have to teach your hands to actually use the tools and perform the tasks successfully,” Castillo says.

Joe Coffee Pro Shop, 131 W. 21st St., Manhattan, joenewyork.com

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