From the start at Market Lane, we’ve wanted to help people make better coffee at home. We want to support and empower people to make the very best cup they can...while reminding them that it’s probably easier than they think. All of our lovely shop baristas are happy to take a few minutes (well, when they have a few minutes to spare!) to answer questions and share tips for becoming a better home barista.
For anyone who’d like a little more detailed instruction, however, we offer home barista classes. Our list of classes has grown a little over the last few months, so we thought we'd provide a bit more detail on what you can expect from our current training program. All of our classes include a free bag of coffee as a thank-you, so you can get brewing as soon as you get home!
Filter Coffee Brewing Class
We’ve been running a filter brewing class since 2011, and it’s still very popular to this day. We love filter coffee and we love brewing it at home. It’s really easy to get started, and learning a few skills and some background knowledge will go a long way towards improving the quality of your coffee. You can expect to have a fun, informative, hands-on couple of hours, and to taste a lot of delicious coffee along the way.
At the beginning of this class, you’ll learn a little bit about the history of coffee production and preparation, as well as some of the theory behind coffee extraction (it’s interesting, we promise)! We will then get down to coffee brewing – the trainer will show you how to brew with three different devices: Plunger, Aeropress and Pour Over. We’ll even show you the way we prepare coffee in our shops.
We’ll explore and taste the effect of different variables on your coffee brewing – namely agitation, contact time and grind setting. By understanding these variables, you’ll be well equipped to troubleshoot any issues you might run into in the future. Finally, we'll go hands-on with the devices and brew up some coffee to finish the class!
Introduction to Espresso Brewing
If making filter coffee is easy and affordable, well, sometimes espresso can be the opposite! For those who choose to take the plunge, however, the rewards can be fantastic, and we’re here to help. This course is targeted at home baristas, but a lot of what we teach is also applicable to baristas looking for café work.
You can expect to have a fun, informative, hands-on three hours, and to taste a lot of delicious coffee along the way. While this is a mostly practical class, there will be some theory thrown in, too (we’re big believers in learning why we do things a certain way, not just how to do them).
We’ll start with the basics, learning how to measure our coffee using scales and timers, calibrate our grinder for consistent results, and how to pull a perfect shot. After we’ve nailed coffee production, we’ll move on to milk, focusing on how to steam perfect, glossy milk and pour beautiful-looking drinks.
Coffee Roasting Class
Our full-day roasting class is designed to give you the skills and knowledge you’ll need to start roasting your own coffee, as well as assessing and trouble-shooting your own roasts. This class is designed for coffee industry professionals and is run by Market Lane’s roasting team – our head roaster Toshi and our co-founder Jason have helped many roasters get their start over the years.
At the beginning of class, you’ll learn the theory behind roasting, exploring the chemical changes that occur inside the roaster’s drum and how to apply this knowledge to your roasting practice. This is followed by a roast faults cupping – learning to taste and recognise common errors made during the roasting process will help you avoid them in the future. After this, we move on to hands-on roasting. You’ll get plenty of time on our Probat sample roaster. (We limit each class to three students to ensure plenty of roasting time.) We’ll finish up the class by cupping and assessing that day’s roasts.
Japanese & Korean Classes
At Market Lane, we’re proud to have a diverse team, and we're excited to be able to offer classes in languages other than English. Our head roaster, Toshi, has been teaching roasting classes in Japanese for a couple of years, and he has developed quite a devoted following!
We also now run Korean-language brewing classes. These are taught by long-time barista Julie, who has spent four years at Market Lane acing her brewing skills and now shares her passion, knowledge and expertise with Korean-speaking students.
You may be thinking to yourself I’d love to learn more about tasting coffee, but don't know where to begin. Well, one way to learn more is at our weekly public cuppings! A cupping is the industry-standard method of tasting and comparing coffees. It’s the main way we assess our roasts, or decide which coffees we want to purchase.
If you’d like to give it a try, we run a public cupping every Friday at 10.30am at our Coventry Street shop in South Melbourne. The cupping is run on a first-come, first-served basis and it often fills up, so come along early and put your name on the list. We ask for a $5 donation and it currently goes to the Santa Clara Scholarship Fund in Guatemala, which assists the children of coffee farmers in attending school and university.