Sunday, August 2, 2009

Coffee Cupping

We've been working to institute weekly cuppings at The Hub. For those that don't know what a cupping is, you now have a very good reason to show up!

We started out with Sunday morning cuppings, 10 a.m., free and open to anyone interested in tasting some wonderful coffees. It seems though, that everyone prefered to sleep in on their Sunday morning... We're all constantly caffeinated at The Hub, therefore normal sleeping behavior is a mystery to us. Yes, our fault, but it's now quite obvious that sleeping in on a Sunday morning will win every time.

So, we've made some changes. We will now be testing out our little coffee cupping sessions at 10 a.m. on Friday mornings! Yay! If you can't show up for a free boost to get you through the last day of the work week, well...

I do realize that many people haven't heard of a cupping. And since there are already so many wonderful descriptions and opinions on the matter scattered all over the Web, I'm just going to let them fill you in. The following is an excerpt from an article published at Geoff Watts is the owner and primary coffee purchaser for Intelligentsia Coffee, a Chicago-based company that is just one of the choice few that are taking coffee to a level unimaginable in the minds of your average coffee drinker. More on the entire cupping process and the reasoning behind it can be found here (please keep in mind, this is a general reference; basic reasoning is more or less the same, but cupping procedures may vary a bit from place to place).

''I’m a firm believer that understanding is developed through the act of comparison. Learning to talk about the character of a coffee from a particular origin requires that one have some frame of reference, and if the goal is to figure out what makes a coffee from Kenya great it is important to know what makes it different than other coffees. In other words, what does it mean to taste like a “Kenya”? What tastes distinguish a Guatemalan coffee from a Nicaraguan?

''By evaluating coffees in a comparative setting and with an inquisitive, reflective approach one can learn to identify the most essential flavor traits of coffees from different origins. The goal should be to build a reference library of flavors and taste sensations that can become a background against which one can examine new coffees. Over time a cupper will begin to associate particular flavors with geographical regions and different botanical varieties of coffee. Eventually, a phrase like “this tastes like a bourbon from the Santa Ana region in El Salvador” can have some real meaning. It is important to remember, though, that dogma has no place in coffee tasting. Every time I think I’ve got a region figured out, a coffee comes along that shatters my expectations. Keeping an open mind and sense of curiosity is absolutely essential to becoming an accomplished taster.''

Geoff Watts, Intelligentsia Coffee

So hopefully you're as excited as we are to cup some wonderful coffees! And if you've been following the blog, you already know that we'll be phasing in new harvest lots over the next month or so as Barefoot Coffee Roasters recieves their newest shipments from abroad. See you at The Hub!

1 comment:

  1. It was great having you down here in Ventura. Good luck in school.

    Bill & Kalli