It’s been a long time in the making, but we’re finally ready to open the doors of our new bespoke training lab to the public, for a two-and-a-half hour Masterclass: ‘Our Espresso Technique’. If you’ve always wanted to get behind professional machinery and be inducted in pulling espresso like the pros, then this is the perfect way to spend a weekend morning.

Initially, we will introduce coffee as an ingredient and briefly examine the history of espresso as a unique way of preparing coffee, before we familiarise ourselves with the equipment. With such a precise method of brewing a cup of coffee it can pay off to be very particular in your preparation, so we’ll take a good look at polishing our technique and developing a recipe to produce the tastiest shots of espresso that we can, identifying a few mistakes commonly made at each step. We may attempt to to dispel a few myths, and break down some barriers surrounding the seemingly elusive beverage, taste testing throughout the session to hone in on the sweet spot of each particular coffee. You’ll become more adept at simple troubleshooting steps to prevent undesirable flavours and become better able to consistently produce tasty drinks.

By the end of the class you will possess a greater understanding of the processes involved in pulling a shot, and an enriched vocabulary and palate for assessing the quality of an espresso. You’ll take with you a bag of our seasonal Cult of Done Espresso and booklet to provide a starting block for your espresso recipes at home, a refresher of our technique and space to log your own results.

The session is run by James Bailey - our Head of Quality, who is responsible for developing and maintaining roasted coffee quality, drink quality, customer service and staff training standards across all our retail locations. In 2012, he placed 2nd in the UK Barista Championships, taking home the triumvirate of 'Best Espresso', 'Best Signature Drink' and 'Best Newcomer' accolades. In the same year, James won the UK Brewers Cup Championship, going on to place 5th in the world title.

Alongside holding a Q-Grader accreditation, he was one of three judges in the 2014 UK Aeropress Championships. He loves coffee, and he loves to teach.

With just three attendees per Masterclass, this is a hands-on and intensive session of very limited capacity. Don't miss out on your place.