i had an excellent training session today.
in this case, i was not training but being trained.
it was really good - very valuable.
i think all baristas should try to get trained and/or re-trained regularly. it's so worthwhile.
stephen diagnosed a bad habit i've fallen into with my shots (i'd started pulling them a bit short, which was resulting in a truncated and somewhat flat profile). just one more second of patience and the flavour became balanced and complete. nice! better than that, he figured out why i've been struggling so much with my milk texturing on the Mistrals. i had the wand orientation off and i had the pitcher angle wrong as well. finally, i had a compromised grip on the pitcher from trying to use the grip i've always used on La Marzoccos, but with the cross-hand thing i now need due to the placement of the steam knob on the Mistral. and just like that the texture was better, the roll was back and now i'm able to get the latte art back on track.
i just need to rediscover the confidence i used to have now that the milk is working.