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Coffee school for espresso klutzes

The shiny behemoth on your kitchen counter mocks you each morning as you reach for your automatic coffee maker. Why, oh, why did you ask for an espresso machine for Christmas? In your few attempts at using the contraption you scalded yourself with steaming milk and produced a strange, blond brew that your better half laughed at. Barismo feels your pain, which is why the Arlington coffee roastery and cafe offers two-hour espresso-making classes for the average Joe ($50, next class is March 2). “If you have all the gear as a cafe, but you aren’t getting the same taste, that can be frustrating,” say manager Tim Borrego. A barista will explain grinding, tamping, and more, then watch as you pull shot after shot. Like an espresso coach, he’ll give you pointers on everything from your mouse tails to your brew’s hue. Small classes are taught monthly on Sunday nights. Barismo also gives occasional workshops on foaming milk and manual brewing. Look for a wider range of classes, on brewing theory, for example, at Barismo’s new roastery, due to open this spring in Somerville. Barismo, 171 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 339-368-7300, www.barismo.com.