Watch Vajra brew coffee. Want to see him do this in person? Join us on a Coffee and Pastry Tour!
Lacy Boggs from Yellow Scene magazine came on a Coffee and Pastry tour. Here’s her story…
But first, I had to find out what a cupping actually is. Here’s how The Cup describes a cupping on their website:
“We are happy to be back on a regular schedule with our Monthly Coffee Cuppings! We offer free coffee cuppings the last Saturday of every month, starting at 9am and lasting for an hour. The cupping will offer 5 or 6 coffees for side by side blind tasting. The Cupping will involve smelling, sipping and slurping each coffee while taking notes on all the flavors, the body, the acidity and the overall balance of the coffee. After tasting the various coffees, we will discuss what it is we tasted, what we liked and did not like, the history of the region, and the attributes of the coffee. It’s a great way to learn more about the beverage most of us drink every day.”
Mark Glenn, owner and master roaster of Conscious Coffees was there to guide us through the cupping. First smelling ground beans, then adding water and smelling again. Next, mixing the grinds into the water, skimming off the floating grinds, letting them cool to room temperature for a better tasting experience, and finally, tasting.
It was really interesting to hear participants call out flavors and aromas like blueberry, cedar, smoke, and broccoli. I learned that I do not yet have a very sophisticated palate, so I’ll be back at The Cup on the last Saturday of every month for the monthly cupping. It’s time to start discovering coffee!
March 18, 2011
The first coffee and pastry tour was a lot of fun. I learned so much about coffee- a favorite morning drink that I’ve been consuming ever since my first day living in Spain at age 21… 10 years ago.
I’m excited about my Coffee and Pastry tours because they are a great opportunity to learn about coffee from people who know coffee. It’s not just a tour where you taste a little coffee, walk to another coffee shop, taste a little more coffee, and repeat the process. This is an educational event on the art of coffee. That’s right- the ART of coffee. It turns out that everyone has a different way to brew this beautifully delicious bean.
Our first stop was The Cup, a local coffee shop/bakery/lunch spot/work-away-from-home office, owned by Wendy and Chris. The Cup features Conscious Coffee, and while Chris was talking to us about why The Cup serves this particular local coffee roaster’s coffee, he introduced us to Mark, the owner and socially/culturally/environmentally conscious coffee roaster himself. Wendy’s baked goods (made from her personal recipes) graced the table, and we were completely absorbed in coffee, beans, roasts, grinds, brews, geography, seasonality of beans, and good company.
The Cup gave us a sample of the Bolivian roast we were drinking, and after a nice morning nibble and coffee tasting, we walked over to The Unseen Bean.
The Unseen Bean is aptly named. Owner Gerry Leary is the blind master roaster and business owner who, with the assistance of London, his super obedient (and super nice!) guide dog, roasts coffee to perfection based on sound and smell. He was open to sharing his coffee roasting experience with us as we tasted two coffees from his freshly roasted beans.
After a really nice chat with Gerry, some quality time with London, and some great coffee samples, we walked over to Tee & Cakes.
Brian Wood, owner and self-proclaimed coffee junkie, serves NOVO coffee at his shop. He served us some of NOVO’s Amaro Sun Dried coffee along with a nice write up of the beans, including info on the origin: Ethiopia, and nuances: strawberry and spiced apple on the front, cocoa and unripe banana on the finish. Let’s remember, folks- we’re talking about coffee, not wine. You really need to try this particular NOVO coffee and I promise you’ll taste flavors that you don’t usually associate with coffee.
In the end, I’m really hopeful that as a guide I will start to learn a lot about coffee on these tours. Listening to Wendy, Chris, Mark, Gerry, and Brian talk about the coffees featured on this tour really opened my eyes to the distinctly different flavor profiles of these distinctly different brews. So, register for a coffee tour and enjoy a caffeinated lesson. Fridays, 10 am.