The team at Jericho Coffee Traders reached out to see if we’d like to try their Coffee Enthusiast Experience.
Jericho Coffee Traders (JCT), located both on Osney Mead and on the High Street in Oxford are already known to many for their delicious coffee and their delicious Saturday doughnuts! Now, they’re branching out into coffee courses…
Held on a Sunday morning in their roastery and cafe, the events take place on Osney Mead Industrial estate. I was greeted on arrival by friendly duo, Richard and Lou, plus a nice spread of Christmas blend filter, croissants and fruit. There were five other attendees, meaning the whole experience felt intimate and personal.
The three-hour course starts with the “theory” of coffee; this covers the main producers of coffee across the world, the different types of coffee, and the difference between natural and washed coffee beans. The talk also touches on the impact of climate change, how JCT works as closely with suppliers as possible to ensure the farmer is paid fairly for the coffee, and what distinguishes a “speciality” coffee from a commodity coffee.
Coffee is the largest commodity after crude oil and we drink 2 billion cups of coffee a day across the world. Lou (head barista) also shared the innovative way the coffee industry is keeping up with demand.
After the “theory” we were onto the practical, my first cupping experience.
We were presented with three different coffees, ground them ourselves and then tasted them and wrote tasting notes. Some of us took this process more competitively, but it was a fun experience applying what we’d learnt. We were given a tasting chart to help identify flavours, then talked about our favourites – what we liked about them, and guessing where they were from.
Midway through, we took a break to get a tour of the roastery; the site was smaller than I’d imagined, but it was great to hear more about the background of JCT. Owned by couple, James and Lizzie, the business is fondly described as a real family business. The roastery roasts three times a week and gets through an amazing 0.5 tonnes of coffee a week. They described the scientific process that goes into ensuring every coffee is consistently roasted for the perfect amount of time.
We then got to try a couple of brewing techniques. First up was the V60 which I’d never used before. It was lovely to use professional equipment, from scales to kettle, and learn how to get the perfect blend. I’ve used an Aeropress before, but my mind was blown when told to “invert” the Aeropress to prevent pre-emptive dripping; something I’d always experienced when I’d used to Aeropress before investing in a machine. It was also really interesting comparing the same blend of coffee between brewing methods.
We ended with a demo of the espresso machine. I was presented with my first ever espresso, an intense experience to end the course!
It was a brilliant morning, the perfect balance between teaching and being able to experiment and have a play yourself. The Coffee Enthusiast Experience is great Christmas present for any coffee aficionado.
The session rounded off about lunchtime and there were more snacks laid on and we were given as part of the package, our favourite coffee from the cupping earlier that morning. A really lovely personal touch. I drove home with the lovely smell of Brazilian coffee all the way home, all in all, a great way to while away a Sunday morning.
JCT are expanding their courses and the classes will be running throughout 2022, with additional dates added regularly.
The Coffee Enthusiast Experience course can be booked via the Jericho Coffee Traders website, and costs £70 per person. The perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life? We think so!
Jericho Coffee Traders
Unit 2, Oxford Eco Centre, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0ES
I attended as a guest, all views remain my own