Owners of ginnys train at national coffee fest
Wed, 10/25/2017 - 2:18pm admin
The three owners of ginnys coffee shop attended business and preparation training sessions at a national coffee fest in Portland, Ore., Oct. 13-15.
“The people who roast our coffee that we sell at ginnys here in Philip were there,” said Jenny Terkildsen. “It was a lot of training over three days. Obviously, we could not go to all of the sessions.”
Along with many how-to seminars, the fest also offered business classes. Choosing to cover as much information as possible, Trisha Larson attended a full-day business session, Kerry Burns participated in more of the cold brew sessions, and Terkildsen studied more of the barista (preparing and serving different types of coffee) training seminars.
There are other national coffee fests throughout the country and throughout the year. The owners of ginnys attended this one as a way to come full circle. Before they started their business, they all visited Portland together. Portland has three of the 10 highest rated coffee shops in America. Now, ginnys’ owners have completed a stage in their ongoing training in their field.
Burns related that Coffee Fest is an event where people in the coffee industry go to experience hands-on training, learn about new products, compete in a very competitive latte art contest, and to exchange ideas.
“We were excited that we got to meet the representative from Dillanos who helped us get ginnys started,” said Burns. “Because there were so many classes, we all took different classes so we could compare notes afterwards.
“It is very expensive for us to have someone drive almost 100 miles to fix our machine if something breaks down, so we sent Jenny to the class Understanding Espresso Machines, which focused on basic maintenance and repair of traditional espresso machines.
The second class Terkildsen took, Hands-on Barista Training, was “more fun,” admitted Burns. She learned the correct way to steam milk and pull (i.e. make) a shot of espresso. Making a good latte is more difficult than you would expect. For the espresso that goes into the latte, you have to start with good coffee beans and grind them immediately before making the shot. The finely ground coffee should weigh between 14 and 18 grams and it should take 18-24 seconds for the espresso to flow from the machine. If it takes less or more time, you have to adjust the grind of the coffee. Properly steamed milk for a latte should look like wet paint when it is finished. If a barista wants to make hearts or rosettas on his or her lattes (i.e., latte art), the shots of espresso and the steamed milk have to be almost perfect.
“We found out there is money to be made for the barista who is good at latte art,” continued Burns. First place in the latte art competition in Portland was $2,000. There was a “cool” factor about the competition, with mostly young guys competing and hip hop music playing in the background.
“My first class was Cold Brew University. Two of our most popular drinks are our two signature drinks, Bad River Brew and Bad River Mudslide. Both of these drinks are made with our own recipe for cold brew, so I took the class to get advice on how to bottle them, said Burns. For people who do not know, cold brew coffee is not iced coffee. It is coffee that has been brewed without heat. There is less acidity in coffee that has been brewed without heat, so people who cannot drink regular coffee can sometimes drink cold brew coffee. “We knew cold brew coffee was a trend, so shortly after we opened, we did quite a bit of experimenting with different roasts of coffee, different grinds, different lengths of brewing time, and different ratios of concentrate cold brew to water to get the taste we wanted for our cold brew.
“The presenter for the class told us that he started making a gallon of cold brew a day about a year and a half ago. He now makes 150 gallons a day. But he now turns much of that cold brew into nitro brew which is also a trend,” said Burns. Nitro brew is just cold brew that has been nitrogenized and the finished product has a rich, creamy head. “We really liked the nitro brew we tasted in Portland, so I think we are going to have to go back into the laboratory and learn how to make it.”
Burns’ second class was Food Integration Lab, which was not the best class for her since she’s not crazy about cooking. Her passion is coffee. “I got to taste a lot of food, though,” said Burns.
“The vendor trade show allowed us to see and sample many new products,” said Larson. “While we already offer our customers a wide range of healthier food and drinks items, I am excited about expanding these options, including sugar-free coffee syrups free of artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors; something we try to avoid in all our products. We sampled some more interesting products like beer syrup, but my personal favorite was the on-tap nitro brew.
“I attended a one-day training course for coffee shop entrepreneurs, from which I took away ideas on how we can better serve our customers and community,” said Larson. “The training also included tips on how to make small shifts in our daily operations to maintain a financially sound business, allowing us to serve our customers for years to come. One of the main areas of focus for the day was managing and hiring the right employees. This is an area where we have, undoubtedly, excelled and are so fortunate to have the best team of partners we could ever hope for. They truly care about our customers as much as we do!”