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Inverness High School pupils learn art of making a good coffee during barista training at Bike Shed in Merkinch


By Val Sweeney


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Adi Vitan serves coffees during barista training at the Bike Shed in Merkinch. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Adi Vitan serves coffees during barista training at the Bike Shed in Merkinch. Picture: James Mackenzie.

The secrets to making a good coffee are being discovered by a group of Inverness school pupils on a barista training course.

The pupils from Inverness High School are taking part in the training sessions at the Bike Shed community events venue and coffee house in Merkinch.

They are learning how to use the coffee machines and about different styles of the drink and the production of coffee beans plus money management.

They have also invented their own milk shakes – including a salted caramel and an After Eight – which they will serve when they take over the Bike Shed on Monday. Customers will be invited to pay what they can.

The Bike Shed coffee house opened four years ago in a joint partnership involving the Methodist Church and King’s Fellowship, which runs a successful coffee shop in a converted fish processing factory in the Smithton Industrial Estate.

The aim has been to serve barista-made coffees at affordable prices and create a social hub.

The Bike Shed coffee house and venue in Grant Street, Merkinch.
The Bike Shed coffee house and venue in Grant Street, Merkinch.

Dave Saunders, who helps run the project, said the course is run one day a week over three weeks.

“We have been planning it for two years but struggled because of Covid and other issues,” he said.

“It is good to finally get it off the ground. It is great fun.”

Mr Saunders, who praised the pupils taking part, said it could help young people considering a career in the hospitality industry to get new skills.

“It is a really good opportunity for the pupils to get something on their CV,” he said. “Coffee is a massively-growing industry.”

Baristas Leanne Maclennan and JD Bump are leading the course, which also involves the Inverness Roasting Company.

Pupils have been learning about different styles of coffee at The Bike Shed.
Pupils have been learning about different styles of coffee at The Bike Shed.

Mr Saunders said the pandemic had prompted the Bike Shed to reimagine its role in the community and to become a venue, hosting events, such as live music, open mic nights, craft workshops and providing space for young people and serving coffee.

“We are more of a community space which was the original idea for it,” he said.

Community cafe offers free drink to people in need


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