Tag Archives: Nuova Simonelli

@ The Vienna School of Coffee

VSC Latte

It seems natural that Vienna, one of the first places to launch Europe’s coffee culture, should have some sort of World renowned coffee school, BUT, that wasn’t so, until Joanna Wechselberger opened one up in the late noughties (the decade before 2010). If you have been reading my blog, since it’s inception in August 2007, then Jo (that’s what I call her) was behind the first serious espresso based coffee shop, Mocca Club (now closed after new ownership) in Vienna. I learnt a lot from her on my way to becoming some sort of coffee geek. In any case, Jo’s Vienna School of Coffee now has a lot of respect, as Jo is one of only 3 master baristas in the World whom the SCAE (Speciality Coffee Association of Europe) has authorised as barista trainer, international judge, brewmaster and certifier. Any barista reading this, would know of her, as during the World Barista Championships (WBC) in June 2012, her school, equipped with the latest Nuova Simonelli T3, was used by all competing baristi to practice – in fact she still has their timetables for all their practice runs up in her school.

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Now, the good bit. Yes, the Vienna School of Coffee (VSC from now) is a training school, run by Jo, teaching everything from coffee tasting, different brew methods, latte art, to professional SCAE barista level courses and upon request, she will run courses for friends for a fee of course. This means that from Monday to Friday, the VSC is closed to the public, but on Saturdays from 10am until 3pm, you can pop in for a chat about coffee and Jo or her mum (trained by Jo, of course) will make you an espresso based coffee too, at no cost, but you will be embarrased not to pay at least the normal price for espresso in Vienna €2 or €2.70 for milk based espresso, i.e cappuccino.

VSC Ristretto

Now, isn’t that cute, a ristretto ?

Jo is also a trained coffee roaster, sourcing direct trade coffee for different regions and you can also pick up some freshly roasted coffee too. She has single estate coffees as well as espresso blends on sale, as well as brewing equipment, such as Hario V60s, Aeropress, Syphons and other bits for sale. Also on sale is Jo’s book on coffee in German, but happy to say, translated into English as the The Ultimate Coffee Book – for beginners and professionals – of course, I have one, bought by my wife.

From my past visits, Jo seems to be getting a bit of a following as back in September when I visited, I had jo all to myself to tal coffee, but now, I’m like in the queue, But that’s fine, the more the word spreads the better. I’m also planning on arranging a coffee tasting session with some coffee enthusiasts early in the new year of 2013, so feel free to get in touch with moi.

Until then, if you are in Vienna over the weekend, pop by to

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The Vienna School of Coffee

22 Hahngasse

9th District, Vienna

http://en.viennaschoolofcoffee.at/

 

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London Coffee Scene: 2012 – A Preview

I just got back from a quick trip to London yesterday and I’m still impressed with what’s happening in London. Very inspriational indeed and from a personal perspective I think if I am going to continue on this new career change, I need to move from sunny (at the moment) and beautiful Cape Town to my first cherished city, London – I know – is he mad ? Yep! I am, because I’m mad and passionate about serving the best coffee in a city that appreciates it and I’m mad and committed to serving people the best. Life is all about sacrifices and believe me, I’ve been through a few in Cape Town, trying to talk up coffee, so pray for me (if you believe) and wish me the best (if you believe and want the best in life).

I promise a longer blog on the London coffee scene, but excitement got the better of me and I just had to write this, but in a nutshell,

Prufrock Coffee, St Ali, Tapped and Packed (26) Speakeasy Espresso Bar, Coffeesmiths Collective, Taylor St Baristas (Canary Wharf – wow!), Taylor St Baristas (Exchange Tower), The Tolleys (owners of Taylor St Baristas – great family), Notes Music (Trafalgar Sq.), Jim Hoffmann, Ozone Coffee Roasters, Sensory Lab, Kaffeine, Tapped and Packed (114), Korean Barista, Thai Dinner, Taylor St Baristas (Liverpool Street).

Ciao!


Prufrock Coffee: The Standard

Well ! I promised a followed up post on just Prufrock alone and here it is. Dare I say it, but I think this is probably the best coffee destination in London. I have been tracking the success of Gwilym Davies since he won the WBC in 2009 and after tweeting back and forth that I was coming over, literally off the plane and after freshened up in the BA Lounge (that’s another story), I headed straight for Prufrock Coffee on Leather Lane. It seemed like a lifetime getting there because Prufrock is located in the legal district of London and more specifically on a market street and as it was a public holiday, the streets were dead. I was even beginning to wonder if they were open, but of course they were – serious coffee drinkers never sleep.

On the outside, there’s this:

Not sure what it is, but in the window display, there’s a bike and some exclusive looking coffee gadgetry – you have arrived.

Walking inside, it comes across as a bit bare, there are some stairs leading downstairs on your right (more on that later), some chairs and an old paino, but as you get further in and glance to your left, there it is, the “the brew bar” – loaded with a 3 group Nuova Simonelli Aurelia (courtesy of WBC 2010), Robur E, a prototype grinder, hario V60, aeropress, a slow brew gadget (see below)

 a chemex, a woodneck, an Uber Bolier, the WBC award, a manual espresso machine and I’m sure I’ve missed something. There’s also a wooden retail shelf, stocked with Square Mile Coffees.

Now, we are talking coffee. In short, there’s almost every gadget known to coffee geeks, to make good quality coffee at Prufrock and if you think they are there for show, take a sit and let them educate you, but make sure you have the time and a clean palate to take your taste buds on a twirl.

So, what did I do ? Well, of course as a WBC champion to make me an espresso. After that, I had a piccolo from another barista. On my second visit – I had to go at least twice in 4 days – I asked Jeremy to make me an espresso, using the exclusive to Prufrock (roasted by Square Mile Coffee Roasters) Pomorroso – Single Estate Colombian Arabica. I have to say, this was probably one of the best espresso I’ve ever tasted – creamy, wrap around your lips, nutty, fruity and soothing to the tummy (stomach for non-Brits).

So, on the stairs leading downstairs, Gwilym showed me their future barista training academy, equipped already with a nice looking La Marzocco Linea 3 group, the Penny University Brew Bench and other bits – would love to train there one day.

They are just beginning to find their feet, but I think the idea is to grow into the space. This is pure coffee nirvana, so don’t expect anything to eat, even though they tend to have the occasional delivery of cakes. They’ve also got some books – I bought the latest London Coffee Guide book and some coffee equipment to buy. I think they may roll out more stuff later, but pay them a visit on Leather Lane, if you love coffee and if you are curious, walk in, learn and drink.


World Barista Champion 2009

Just thought that you might want to know that the World Barista Championship (WBC) for 2009 was won by Gwilym Davies from the UK. That means for all those people who thought the UK was behind in making good coffee, they are wrong, because for the past 3 years all the World Barista champions have come from the British Isles, so head over to London for the best espresso. OK ! seriously London is where it’s at for the following reasons when it comes to the WBC – check this connection: The WBC champion for 2007 was Jim Hoffmann from the UK and the 2008 WBC champion was Stephen Morrissey from Ireland and they both set up the coffee roastery, Square Mile Coffee Roasters with Anette Moldvaer – 2009 WBC sensory judge. Now ! the 2009 WBC champion actually runs espresso carts in London and guess where he buys his coffees from, Yep ! Square Mile Coffee Roasters – wow ! what a connection.

I learnt about this connection from Square Miles blog, so check it out for more in-depth coffee stuff, http://www.squaremileblog.com One thing that’s new for the WBC is that the machine sponsors have changed – the espresso machines are no longer sponsored by La Marzocco but by Nuova Simonelli and the coffee grinders are no longer by Compak, but now by Mahl Konig. For more about the WBC, check out their website on http://www.worldbaristachampionship.com/index.html.