Midwest Living Review
JP's Coffee has been the most popular coffee shop in Holland since it opened in 1993. With lots of fresh baked goods and free Wi-Fi, JP's is always crowded. The shop's newest addition is the Midwest Barista School. The MBS was designed to teach professional baristas and coffee shop managers how to make good coffee -- and to be profitable doing it. While that is still the primary purpose of the MBS, the school has expanded to teach amateurs how to pull perfect espresso at home. The four-hour Home Barista Training classes pair expert coffee-makers with one or two students (you can bring a friend for a slight discount). Classes are individual and tailored to the interests of the students; our class covered topics ranging from choosing the proper coffee roast to properly grinding the beans, tamping the grounds into the little grounds basket (who knew how important that was?) and ultimately how to pull the perfect shot of espresso. From there the lessons delve into making cappuccino, latte and other coffee drinks, decorating coffee with those interesting little heart and leaf patterns with the steamed milk, and finding and purchasing good equipment. At each step, students did the work on commercial-grade equipment -- we didn't just observe or listen to lectures. The four-hour Home Barista Training costs $149/first person; a second attendee costs $99.