It has been some time since my last post on my journey of skill and craft development. For the most part I have been using my Instagram account to share my coffee creations. This streams on my site’s Gallery page for those not encumbered by, nor interested in Instagram.
My skills are coming slow. My creations are simple and not as advanced as I would like, but it takes time. I can take some solace though knowing that my consistency is getting much better. One of the challenges has been, simply, volume. Despite my love of coffee, I can only drink so much. Also, drinking coffee is better when it is a shared experience, with ritual, and when surrounded by the coffeehouse atmosphere. At home I usually start my day with an Americano (no milk) and then typically have only a second coffee, which is where I create my lattes or cappuccinos. That’s about it.
Truth told, a single dairy-infused coffee, and not even every day, is all I can handle. For me the milk drinks are more a social, and occasional drink; not enough to adequately advance my latte art skills.
I took a course on espresso-based drinks. It taught that getting the espresso right is really the first and most important step in a good coffee drink. The milk too, needs to be right, although when it comes to getting the milk right, it is a compliment to the coffee, so somewhat secondary to the espresso..
The real challenge of the latte art journey is found in nuance and finesse. It needs that perfect espresso shot and milk consistency if the art is to hold and take shape. The point I am trying to make here is what the instructor from the course told us; that was the need to practice. Lots of practice.
Our instructor shared with us how when he was learning, he was given several liters of milk, was figuratively ‘locked‘ in a room and told to practice till he got it right. Milk is expensive though, and food waste is not my thing. Still, the practice I understand. So I practice. One drink a day, one day at a time. Occasionally, when friends or family are over, I get to make more. Regardless, it is coming … just slowly.
Another option I have is to take another course, which I will. Or, I can get a job as a barista, which I will.
I maintain the mantra of enjoying the journey and not being tunnel-visioned on the destination, which continues to keep me grounded, but only so long as I am learning. Learning is key. All things come in time.