The coffee culture drinking scene in Singapore is indeed brewing with some excitement. You can get a really decent cup of coffee here at some of the famous cafes in Singapore. Now, there are also several cafes setting up their own coffee academy to run workshops and barista courses for those who are interested in learning more about coffee. BLOCS INC. is one of such cafes which has started running their own coffee academy, Kaldi’s Berry, to train baristas as well as to educate those who are just interested in learning more about coffee brewing or latte art.
A couple of weeks back, I visited their academy at Mountbatten Centre for a short course latte art workshop. They have a dedicated studio on level 2 where they usually conduct their coffee workshops. They also have a cafe which is located on level 1, and it has quite a large seating area which makes it suitable for holding events. We had our workshop conducted at their cosy cafe.
BLOCS INC. is unique for allowing customers to customise their own coffee. Customers instantly become coffee craftsmen as they are able to D.I.Y their own coffee and bread buns with wooden blocks (or ‘blocs’) equipped with RFID tags. Customers ‘build’ their own coffee by stacking the wooden blocks through a metal holder. Prefer low-fat milk to regular ones? Then grab a block which says ‘ low-fat milk’. This interactive experience is pretty cool. But it is way cooler if I could learn how to brew my favourite coffee in the way I wanted it to taste like.
Their studio on level 2 is equipped with the various coffee machines and tools. There were several stations set-up where you can learn more about how coffee actually started!
Baristas in the making! They do conduct Barista Fundamental courses here which are claimable using your SkillsFuture credits.
I’ve always found it really cool to be able to grind your own coffee beans and whip up a perfect cup of coffee with the right amount of milk foam. And today, I get to brew coffee and pick up some cafe latte art skills.
It was my first time learning how to use the coffee machine, and even though all of us followed the same steps of brewing the coffee and mixing in the milk foam, all of our coffees tasted different. Now, that’s interesting. So I guess it really boils down to the skillset of the barista. Handmade coffees still tasted the best.
How to brew a simple latte using the coffee machine?
Fill up the portafilter with ground coffee powder.
Tamp the coffee grounds with a hand tamper to compress the coffee grounds together in a level cake.
If you tilt the portafilter upside down, the coffee grounds don’t come off! That’s all compact and compressed it should be.
Then we slot the portafilter into the espresso machine for it to brew the coffee.
Next, we have to steam the milk to create those thick milk foam for creating that spectacular latte art. It looks easy, but it isn’t! You need to have steady hands to pour out the milk foam without causing any spillage. I failed my first attempt!
I was just trying to salvage the situation. You just got to make do with whatever you are given, right?
I could have gone through several rounds of practices to get this right because it was somewhat addictive. All I require was just some practice. It has definitely motivated me to learn more about latte art and how to create the various latte art designs. I am pretty sure I would be able to master that skill one day.
Dreaming of becoming a barista?
Kaldi’s Berry Integrated Specialty Coffee Hub
231 Mountbatten Road
Urban Mangrove @ Block D
Mountbatten Centre #02-01