As part of a new feature at Piano Coffee we'd like to introduce friend of the website and coffee expert David Cutler with some exciting news about the paid courses now available through the Lavazza training centre.
PC: Hi David! It's great to meet you. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
DC: My coffee journey started back in 2013. I worked first as a trainer for Lavazza teaching barista skills and coffee education. I spent time in Turin and created education programs in the UK and Ireland.
I studied with Paul Meikle-Janney at Dark Woods roastery gaining my SCA qualifications and shortly after qualified as an AST for the Specialty Coffee Association where I now teach Barista Skills and Brewing. I moved on to become the Head of Training for Lavazza UK in 2015 and now work as a coffee specialist and Brand Ambassador while continuing to oversee the Training Centre here in the UK.
PC: How have training needs changed as the UK market matures?
DC: While coffee preparation has always been a specialised skill, its recognition in the UK is fairly recent. With the emergence of speciality coffee, an increase in consumer knowledge, along with an appreciation for high quality coffee; café owners are under increasing pressure to offer a consistent and premium product.
The need to train baristas to an advanced level has never been higher.
PC: How do you see current drink trends playing out?
DC: While a lot of people are expecting to see coffee innovate itself from a serve perspective (think cold brew back in 2014) the current trend is more to do with quality and provenance. Consumers are demanding more information about their favourite drink. We are also seeing a rise in ready-to-drink products aimed at the younger generation.
PC: Give us your three easy tips for improving coffee in store.
DC: Training and education – learn as much about the coffee you are serving as possible, its flavours and characteristics and how to extract the best from the beans you have.
Learn how to “dial in” your espresso and make sure to monitor it throughout the day to ensure you’re always serving it at its best.
Keep your equipment spotlessly clean, old coffee oils can ruin even the most carefully dialled in espresso.
PC: What has been your most interesting/unusual training session?
DC: I’ve trained in some interesting places – on board a floating hotel which used to be a Russian Super-Yacht, at a hotel in Gibraltar where there were signs warning you that monkeys would come into your room if you left the window open, as well as at a luxury spa which was still being built around us during the session – I had to shout over drills and hammers while wearing high viz and a hard hat!
PC: What's your favourite blend and why?
DC: It constantly varies; but at the moment I’m really enjoying Tierra Selection, brewed at a ratio of 1:2 it has a lovely sweet quality with a bright, fruity aroma – great as a single shot in a 5oz flat white!
If you would like to find out more about the Lavazza training courses available please download this handy PDF. All inquiries and booking requests can be made by email to email@example.com.
We look forward to speaking to David again in the near future, in the meantime check out his favourite blend Tierra on the Piano Coffee shop.