When Eventbrite asked me to pick out my second #SummerEventure, I knew I wanted to simmer things down a notch and go on journey of tamer varieties…
I mean, did you see what I did to myself on the first outing?! Loco on the real.
For this round I wanted to educate myself in an area that I’m lacking a full understanding of…you know, rather than go into combat and nurse bruises while crying for help in soggy sneakers. So, while browsing through the overwhelming (and exciting) number of food-centric events happening around Los Angeles, a series of workshops being held in Pasadena at Jones Coffee Roasters that popped up and really struck my cappuccino drinking fancy.
On this adventure, not only did I get highly caffeinated on excellent brew, I also got the full bean-to-cup enlightenment I was searching for.
Not to mention falling quite smitten with a (new to me) java gem.
I should probably admit that I don’t hang out at coffee shops much. I understand that might be surprising for one of those people who works on the go or wherever there is an outlet to suck juice from. I think the main reason, for me, is that I don’t want to deal with 8:00am spot claiming ordeal in the over-crowded laptop forest / mini freelancer factory that tends to take place in so many of LA’s artisanal coffee spots.
Sometimes you just need a space of solitude and your latte poured in paper to go…
Jones lives away from said crazed hustle and is located off a quiet and unassuming side street in an industrial part of Pasadena. The space is massive, cheerfully lit and generously strung with original artwork, vintage coffee machinery, and various bric a brac that could keep you curious (and visually occupied) for quite a bit of time.
I like this place a lot.
In fact, I might break my remote office rule every once in a while…just sayin’.
In addition to being just a lovely little retreat, Jones’ business model sticks tight to a philosophy of taking care of the land and families that supply their coffee. With so much politics involved in the bean trade, it makes me feel better about enjoying my perfectly frothed warmth knowing that the people working so hard to source it are being taken care of fairly and their land respected with intentions of maintaining a sustainable and healthy environment for generations to come.
Politics aside – I also appreciate the care taking place on a consumer scale, with ice tea brewed to order and slow pour taking the sweet ol’ time it needs to be just right.
Like a friendly caffeinated cuddle…straight from the barrister directly to you.
Onto the dropping knowledge bit.
Jones Coffee Roasters has been leading these “Coffee Discovery” programs for nearly 20 years and lovingly embrace and invite newbies (like me) as well as discriminating coffee enthusiasts into their caffeinated community offering workshops focusing on everything from the basics of the bean to expert hands on training of Barista & brewing techniques.
Now I don’t want to give away too much of what went down in this intimate (10 person max) seminar, only because I really want to encourage you local folk to sign up and experience this for yourself. Our crema crusader Stefan piled on a lot of info in those two hours, but it never felt like a lecture. He’s lighthearted, humorous, extremely knowledgeable and ready to answer even the strangest of questions or go off on the wildest of tangents.
Don’t worry Stefan – I’ve totally got your back and will now and forever only refer to the equator as the “bean belt”…thank you for being so awesome and teaching me so much.
I started my espresso-driven education with the “Seed to Cup Workshop”. If you’re like me and interested in learning the geeky facts behind your food, this class goes over the history, territories, production and perfection of serving coffee. I highly suggest starting here with the basics before diving into the more complicated hands on sessions.
Here’s a snapshot of what we covered:
- Single origin of the beans (what varietal, where grown, terroir)
- Processing process (natural vs. fully-washed and semi-washed)
- Roast (light, medium, dark – where and how it hits your palate)
- Brew Method (the options and basic techniques of pour over, immersion, espresso, etc)
All that info capped off with a coffee tasting that sent me on a java-jitter like none other. Or was that me just being highly excited about going behind closed doors and peeping at this beaut of a roaster?
What can I say? I developed a bit of a café crush this weekend….and rightfully so! Amazing coffee, responsibly sourced, roasted in-house and the friendliest of experts available to educate all of your coffee conundrums.
Keep an eye on Jones Coffee Roasters’ Eventbrite Page or Twitter account or just sign up for their newsletter to learn more about their upcoming workshops and their annual origin trips down to their Guatemalan farm.
You best believe I’ve already got the cupping class marked as a go for my next informative visit.
Who’s coming with me!?
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