If we've learned anything from all the specialty coffee shops in the city -- other than what, exactly, constitutes barista chic -- it's that we can pick up a bag of great beans and easily figure out how to make our own great good cup of coffee at home. But that probably will be just the beginning: When tweaking (your coffee) turns into an obsession, you might want to start looking into the coffee shop equivalent of university extension classes: Coffee-focused workshops and demos where you can learn a thing or two (how to brew, how to roast your own beans) and swap ideas with your fellow coffee aficionados. To find out where you can geek out in good company, turn the page.
4. Coffee Workshops at Jones Coffee Roasters:
Jones Coffee often offers several classes, including this week's $25 Home Barista workshop. For the class, you're invited to haul in your own espresso machine and grinder and have someone show you how to use your shiny toy. With a maximum enrollment of only 5 people, you'll have ample time to ask questions, pull shots, tinker and experiment. 693 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; (626) 564-9291.
3. Public training classes at Intelligentsia:
All three Intelligentsia branches in L.A. offer public classes that cover everything from home brewing to latte art. The class schedule for all three locations is conveniently posted online (this week in the Pasadena and Venice shops: milk steaming). 3922 Sunset Blvd., L.A., (323) 663-6173; 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 399-1233; 55 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 578-1270.
So long as we're brewing beer and pickling our own vegetables at home, why not roast your own coffee? If you're interested in learning the technique in a home economics-type environment, the Institute for Domestic Technology has a Home Roasting class on Saturday, October 6 from 10 a.m. to noon. The $95 class will be held at the Zane Grey Estate, and you'll have your chance to have a go at roasting those beans on a Whirly-pop stovetop roaster, all under the careful guidance of Plow & Gun's Daniel Kent. 396 E. Mariposa St., Altadena.
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1. Coffee Charrettes at Cafe Demitasse:
In Little Tokyo, Cafe Demitasse offers all sorts of fun (and free) informal public events, like its semi-regular "Coffee Charrettes" organized with members of CoffeeGeek.com. A past Charrette saw Demitasse baristas leading a demonstration on different brewing methods, with plenty of coffee gadgets to go around; the next one will touch on the popular home roasting movement, with Greg Thomas of Trystero Coffee playing host. The event is on September 9 at 9 a.m., though check the shop's Facebook page for more details as the date gets closer. 135 S. San Pedro St., L.A.; (213) 537-5351.
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