Lots has been going on in the world of TampTamp Inc, so I am prioritizing my blogging! I’m really excited to write about our classes over the weekend, and also announce our next round of classes, taking place April 5th-7th 2009 (check the TampCamp site for details).
So over the past weekend I was excited to launch TampCamp, New York’s first specialty coffee school. Our students came and conquered the topics of opening your own cafe, coffee from seed to cup, espresso theory, maintenance, and hands on espresso and latte art. They were long days but I was rewarded with the results of latte art from my students! I always love it when that happens.
Our first class of the weekend actually turned out to be one of my favorites. In it we covered general advice for people thinking about opening their own coffee shop. Especially considering the economic times, people may be saying to themselves, “Hey, why not open a cute little cafe all my own! Forget the real world!” We kind of take the dream and turn it in to the reality of actually opening a business, which may not be as fun or easy as the dreams let on. As a business owner myself I know personally how true that can be! We also passed on some valuable resources the city and state provide for businesses in NYC, and hopefully encouraged a brave few to continue on to this crazy world of coffee.
We also taught a class of mine that I’ve been teaching and talking about for a few years now on Coffee and the Environment. (I’ve even had a few articles written about them – one from my first time teaching it at Joe in 2007, another in-depth one from Annie Meyers after our participation in the New Amsterdam Market) The topic is vast, controversial, and still very relevant. Since I’ve started working on the subject a lot has changed in the world of organics and particularly in the increased development of Direct Trade systems.
On my hands on days I had students with me from start to finish, which was great. It’s always refreshing for me to start again from scratch with eager new students who want to learn. Especially with the USBC hovering in the background over the weekend, it’s fun to go back to instilling the basics – and starting the base of what can be a career of learning about coffee. Of course was using some great resources, such as Scott Rao’s book, as well as the Gimme! Manual, some Square Mile videos and even a guest appearance of TampTamp ace employee Anne Boatner.
We were able to get all the way from backflushing the espresso machine to pulling shots and finally texturing milk and pouring some nice looking drinks. I was especially impressed with Brian, who had no previous espresso training, and managed to pull out some lovely initial pours for a first timer!
All in all, it was a great weekend, and I am stoked to be providing this level of hands-on training to NYC on a regular basis. Previously they were only available to people willing to travel at an additional expense. Look for more courses as we continue to grow the TampTamp empire!