On Monday 4th February Jacquie Tucker arranged a visit to the Coffee School located in King’s Worthy for Quester 4 members. Thanks to Jacquie a highly educational talk was thoroughly enjoyed by our group. We would recommend this visit to other U3A groups.

After training in Australia and working with the best Baristas and Roasters around, owner Mark Goulding opened his coffee school in King’s Worthy in 2012 teaching novice and experienced about coffee making and roasting.

We gathered in the upstairs newly opened room above the Roastery, fully equipped with San Remo espresso machines and Mazzer grinders. Downstairs were the Roastmas Roasting machines. The coffee café on site is open, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and is very popular doing extremely well, likewise their cakes.

Here we listened to Hannah ex Peter Symmonds and Sparsholt College student. Hannah gave us an excellent illustrated talk about two of the four main coffee beans commonly used, Arabica and Robusta.

Coffee beans are the seeds of cherry like fruit, either pink flowering or white. There are many countries of origin for the seeds and Hannah showed us the coffee belt either side of the Equator.

Numerous types of flavours can be applied to the seeds through roasting. The pulp from the bean can be taken out in one of two ways, wet processing or dry processing.

More than 60% of world coffee cultures are of ARABICA, said to be the original coffee bean and best handpicked. Its considered to be the highest quality bean and grown at high altitudes.

ROBUSTA looked down upon as the cheap bean has 40% of the world market. Robusta has more fruit, a lower cost and is more resistant to diseases, however the caffeine content is much higher than Arabica.

Before roasting the coffee beans are green but become brown after. Through roasting the beans can change their taste and smell.

Decaffeinated versions are made by eliminating caffeine from the coffee, a disadvantage of these versions are that they lose much of the flavour.

Hannah showed us some beans that had holes eaten by insects and therefore removed from the process.

We were offered cups of our choice of coffee after the talk.

Donations of £5 a head were given for Night Shelter in Winchester.

Monica Westlake.