Yesterday, we bypassed the Steeler frenzy on Penn Avenue in the Strip District and snuck into La Prima Espresso on Smallman Street for a coffee tour. Held on the first Saturday of every month at 10 AM, the behind the scenes roasting tour was a nice break from the craziness outside for the six who signed up. There are usually a lot more people, but hey, it was the day before the Super Bowl and most folks were thinking black and gold, not Arabica and Robusta.
In my house, the better half is the coffee connoisseur. I’m not sure if I can tell the difference between a gas station grind and a fresh roasted, high quality blend. Since the hubby has (in my opinion) some odd coffee buying habits, and my coffee palate could sure use some refining, I thought the class would be good for both of us.
David and Johnny were our teachers for the morning, and they shared great information about coffee prices, organic and fair trade growers, and types of coffee beans. We sampled two different blends and ate a few biscotti while we listened and learned. Then we watched Johnny roast a 25 pound batch of beans. Who knew that there were just a few seconds between the perfect roast and burnt? Not me. The whole coffee blending and roasting process involves lots of skill and experience. I was impressed.
This was a great way to spend a few hours. I always make a stop at La Prima on 21st Street, sometimes for a coffee, but more often for their Bitter Combo, the Miller females’ favorite citrus-y pick-me-up. Now that I know what goes on just to get their terrific coffee into my hubby’s cup, I might now opt for a cuppa Joe.
To sign up for La Prima’s next tour on March 5, call 412.565.7070 or register online at http://www.laprima.com/roaster-tour.html.