June 20, 2018 | ° F

Hidden Grounds breaks down what makes good coffee in latte art class

Dim lights, a vinyl record playing in the background and the smell of fresh-brewed coffee, Hidden Grounds is the quintessential neighborhood coffee house. But more often than not it goes above and beyond providing music events, art shows and latte art classes.

The latter is a reoccurring course that combines every coffee lovers favorite things about having a cup of coffee — caffeine and being aesthetic — which at a Hidden Grounds’ Latte Art class is also coupled with co-owner and latte art instructor Anand Patel’s humor and welcoming personality.

The course started with an icebreaker because you’re never too old for some group bonding. And once the group got comfortable, jokes were made and it was time to get to the coffee.

Patel started by introducing the group to the espresso machine — literally everyone’s best friend on a Monday morning.

“Just because there’s art on your coffee does not mean it tastes good,” Patel warned. “Steaming milk in itself is almost a two-month training program.”

Although this was just a latte art class, everyone walked away with more knowledge about the scientific process behind a good cup of coffee.

“What’s gonna happen is you’re going to walk away with so much knowledge that you’re going to start judging the other baristas,” Patel said.

Participants said they signed up because they love coffee and the class sold out five days before the actual event. The intimate-sized class that took up the whole bar of the Hidden Grounds location and was ready to get started after a few demonstrations.

“I know exactly how to do this! I watch plenty of nail art videos,” joked Elena Rossano, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.

Cheers over successful leaves and flowers and cries over spilt coffee made up the triumphs and laments of a latte made by hand.

Then after ample practice for each budding barista, Patel introduced the competition — a Latte Art Throwdown.

Patel said he does the Latte Art Throwdown with his employees at both locations.

When your sitting-in or taking away an Instagram-worthy cup of Joe, Patel said the best employees are Danny, Rebecca, Gabe, Tommy and Marissa with honorable mention going to John.

That night’s winner was Gaby Talarico, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences senior, who nailed her milk-foam-flower design.

To try your hand at latte art or take the next amateur throwdown title, you can sign up for Hidden Grounds’ next latte art class on Feb. 17 through Facebook.

Brittany Gibson

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