Coffee Class 101 by Koffee Brick

Brief Introduction of Koffee Brick
Koffee Brick started its operation in November, 2016 and located at Lot 1943, Marina Park City Phase 2, Miri. Koffee Their daily operation is from 10am until 11pm and should they are closed for operation, it will be made known at their FaceBook page. Koffee Brick served breakfast, brunch and apart from making their own cakes and dessert, they also served cakes supplied by Cake Rush and home based bakers. You should try Koffee Brick’s in-house brownies and coffee ice-cream. They’re just simply delish. 😉

Koffee Brick is a Specialty Coffee Shop that serves the highest quality coffee by exploring the best brew methods available in the industry (excerpted from Koffee Brick FaceBook).

When asked why the term ‘Caffeine Bar’ to the owner, he replied..

By far, we’re the only coffee specialty café that has an open bar where our client gets to see how their coffee are made. They can even choose types of coffee brewing method while making their order at the counter, says Jion, Manager & Head of Barista.

Coffee Culture in Miri
Not many know whether coffee is the most preferred caffeine drink in Miri (apart from plain water) until someone did/do a research on it but I bet in our daily conversation upon initiating a discussion or a meet up, most of the time, we would end up saying something like ‘hey let’s go for coffee!’ or ‘we’ll talked about it further over a cup of coffee’ or ‘let’s go for a coffee date’.

Having that said, it is Koffee Brick’s vision to create a coffee culture among Mirian. The importance of knowing the history of coffee, the origin of coffee, types of coffee, the process that involved from identifying types of coffee, coffee harvesting, coffee processing, coffee roasting, coffee brewing and finally having to taste and appreciate the coffee in a cup is essential for a coffee lover and not many know all of these.

informative decor at the ordering counter. not to mention the hilarious sign for tips.
ice drip coffee towers. ice drip coffee brewing method takes hours but you can get your ice coffee drip fix at any time here as they bottled their ice drip coffee 😉

Behind a brown, black or nearly burnt coffee bean, there’s a story behind it. You don’t know the journey that it went through before it end up in your cup of coffee. And when it reached the barista, they’re the one who continue its journey by preparing our coffee with love and respect by grinding and brewing the coffee and some barista will creatively presenting our cup of coffee with beautiful decorated latte art. It is a time consuming piece of art for a barista as it requires deep focus and details but at the same time, it’s therapeutic. So, the next time you received your coffee from a barista, do smile back (if you can’t say thank you) and thank him/her.

Coffee Class 101

Respect the bean! says Jion, Manager & Head of Barista, Koffee Brick.

Of which why Jion (pronounced as John/Jon) is inspired to conduct coffee classes in Miri. His hope is not only to educate the public or coffee enthusiast out there but also to encourage the public to respect the coffee beans at the same time apart from sharing his knowledge on coffee to the public. Like the saying said ‘sharing is caring’. God bless his kindness.

The coffee class 101 is divided into two section; theory and practical classes. You may opt to attend either one or both of the classes. If you’re a student and seeking for a topic for your assignment or project, you may want to consider to attend this theory class. However, if you’re a coffee enthusiast, I personally reckon you to attend both of the classes.

finally, Malaysia’s own coffee. planted and produced at Johor.

The theory class is about the introduction of the origin of coffee, types of coffee and many more. It is basically like attending a history class on coffee. Equipped with a flat screen tv as the class projection screen, it is very one to one class session. Q & A session is allowed throughout the theory class session and to me, this gives a better understanding of the entire presentation. During the session, one will also get to taste an introduction to coffee tasting. Here, we were not only taught on how to differentiate the taste from Arabica and Robusta coffee but also the proper way to drink the coffee.

one of class presentation slide during the theory class session
coffee from respective countries
Arabica coffee (left), Robusta coffee (right). look the same but it has its own distinctive taste.

So, the next time, you hear someone sitting next to you sipping or slurping their coffee loudly, that is not being rude but they’re merely appreciating their coffee. Similar culture to the Japanese slurping their noodles, don’t you think?

Minimum number of pax required to start the theory class is 5 person and it only cost you RM10 per head. The entire class will take approximately 1.5 hours depending on the Q & A session. Koffee Brick will conduct the classes based on first come first serve and the timing is flexible based on the client’s preference.

The practical class is where one will get the ‘feel of being a barista’. You’ll never know the experience might intrigue you to pursue a career as a full time barista or open a new coffee joint or even brew your own coffee at home in the near future. Here, one will get to do some hands-on the different method of coffee brewing. During my class, we get to do manual brewing and vacuum siphon brewing methods. To be honest, it is not an easy task being a barista. One need to weight the coffee beans then get it grind within a stipulated timing. Once that is done, one need to carefully pour hot water in a circular motion onto the grinded coffee powder on a filtered paper which is placed on a weighing device (forgotten the name). Everything need to be done in perfection.

Cassandra shows us the manual brewing method
Alyssa gets to do her own coffee with the guidance from Jion

Meanwhile, the vacuum siphon brewing method looks more complicated than the manual brewing method. A vacuum siphon consist of two chambers; vapor pressure and a vacuum that produces coffee. The grounded coffee will be placed onto a glass container. While the water continues to boil in the glass carafe, the stem of the coffee ground container is placed on top of the vapor pressure. The hot water will forced up the stem of the coffee ground container due to the expansion of the boiling water and mixes the ground coffee. At this point, the coffee has been fully brewed and the glass carafe will be taken off the heated surface. To me, this is where magic happens.

the heating session in progress

When the glass carafe cool down and the boiling water contracts, the brewed coffee is pulled down into the glass carafe, leaving the ground coffee looks drier due to the siphon pushes air over it during the process.

this is the final look after the magic happen 😉

Interesting, right? If you are keen to sign up for the practical class, minimum number of pax required is 5 person and it’s RM50 per head. The entire class will take approximately 1-1.5 hours. Koffee Brick will conduct the classes based on first come first serve and the timing is flexible based on the client’s preference.

The whole idea of the coffee class is to appreciate the coffee with respect.

i loved the handwritten menu wall

The Art of Drinking Coffee : Coffee Tips
The proper pronunciation is ‘ess-presso’ (not Despacito yo!) instead of ‘exx-presso’. Make sure you pronounce it properly the next time you ordered one. You do not want to embarrass yourself in front of the barista or you might get a smirk from the barista while taking your order.

Coffee Slurping
To fully enjoy and appreciate your coffee, the first thing to do is to slurp (preferably a long slurp) the coffee, let it linger in your mouth for a second then swallow it. The reason of doing this is to wash down or clear your taste palate. Then when it come to your second slurp, it is here where you get to taste the real coffee. Similar to wine and olive oil tasting, right? Try it and you’ll get what I mean.

Coffee with latte art
Some coffee comes with latte art. The latte art are those cute little design on the surface of your coffee of which are made based on the barista creativity out of the milk foam. Most of us would feel ‘sayang’ to spoil the latte art so we prefer not to stir the milk with the coffee. However, it is a common sight to see people stirring their coffee at any kopi tiam but when you’re at a specialty coffee joint, most of us hesitate to do so. The truth is, the proper way of enjoying your milk coffee is to stir the milk with the coffee even at a specialty/hipster coffee joint (except at Starbucks).

Sour Coffee
Should you encounter this during your second or third sip of coffee, this could be due to the coffee ground extraction during the brewing process. Like I mentioned earlier, coffee brewing requires perfection that includes the timing involved. If the coffee extraction takes too long or too short within the ideal timing, you’ll get weird coffee taste. That’s why a good trained and experience barista is needed. At Koffee Brick, you can reject it and get another replacement for free. You can even tell them to brew your coffee based on the preferred brewing method prior to your ordering.

During coffee extraction, this is where the sweetness, bitterness and the acidity of the ground coffee releases and when it is not done properly, you’ll end up with sour coffee, says Jion.

Koffee Brick Signature Coffee
Every specialty coffee outlet has its own signature coffee. At Koffee Brick, the nitro coffee is a must try coffee (to me, it’s a coffee to die for). One can only get a kick of nitro coffee at Koffee Brick until the owner whom was kind enough to share his knowledge and expertise on nitro coffee to Route 66. So, that makes two specialty coffee outlet in Miri serves the nitro coffee by far.

Jion is serving us with the nitro coffee

Nitro coffee is a cold brew coffee charged with nitrogen that gives a rich and creamy taste. Some say it taste similar to Guinness Draft Stout. Love it to bits but it does poke a hole in my wallet! A cup of nitro coffee will cost you RM15.

Koffee Brick : Other services
Koffee Brick open its door to those who wish to use their premises for workshop, seminar or any celebration party without any venue rental. However, early notification on booking is required. Koffee Brick also offer free coffee grinding services to its (regular) customer.

during our class, there’s an art workshop going on at the premise

Thank you for the invitation Koffee Brick and I wish you guys to keep up the good work and may the business grow prosperous. It was an informative experience and I tend to appreciate coffee more after the class session.

Fun Fact
It started when Alyssa was mesmerized with the new infrastructure developments happening in Miri especially hipster joints after spending few years abroad. So, after our beach cleaning activity in last May for Borneo Jazz 2017, we hanged out at Cafeine Port and chatted over cuppa coffee on the rise of hipster coffee outlets in Miri. She took the advice and wrote about it with a catchy headings ‘Rise of Hipsters Café in Miri’.

Little did we knew, her blog post led to the attention of one of the café; Koffee Brick. Alyssa was offered to attend a coffee class and was asked to tag along few friends. I guess you know what happen next. The rest is history.

Due to the effort of saving some space on my webhost space (unless I can get a SPONSOR for my web hosting for a bigger storage capacity), I’ve upload less pictures. Nevertheless, you may get to read my other fellow bloggers experience on the same class. Below are their blog links so do check out on their sharing;
Alyssa – The Jaren Wanders
Pei – A Sharing of Mine
Fanne – And She Blogs

I hope you enjoy reading the lengthy blog post (I’m amazed with myself for able to write this long but when it comes to academic assignment, I barely can write 500 words). This is not a paid review but merely my view on the Coffee Class 101. Should there is any incorrect information spotted, appreciate the feedback and please leave it under the ‘Comment’ section. Thank you. 😉

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