Wednesday, May 13, 2009

When Slurping In Public Is OK

Today the hubs and I played hooky and took a PTO day from work to meet up with some friends for a day of coffee.

First stop was Victrola Coffee Roasters on Capitol Hill. We were attending a cupping which is essentially a coffee tasting technique to evaluate coffee aroma and flavor profile. This particular cupping had eight coffees from Sumatra.

This was our first cupping. Two tablespoons of the freshly roasted and ground coffee was placed in several large shot glasses. We were able to pick up the shot glasses and rub them back and forth between the palms of our hands and then sniff the aromas.

Boiling filtered water was then poured over the grounds where a crust formed. We all took turns walking around the table smelling the aromas of the different blends.

In the photo above is the hubs with our friend Paul on the far left.

After this we were each given a spoon to use to push the grounds away to get to the coffee underneath to then slurp back over our palate to get a taste of the coffee. We went around the table again and were able to try all eight varieties.

In the photo above you can see the coffee in the center still has its crust but the ones on each side have been tasted. The roasted beans for this blend appear in the background.

It was hard for me to identify differences in the smell of the ground coffee and then when it had water mixed with it. Once we were able to taste I was able to distinguish different flavors in each of the varieties. I definitely had my favorites one of which had a nice chocolate hint to it.

As I understand it its best to try coffees at a cupping from around the coffee growing region. This region lies between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer.

Next stop was Dillanos Coffee Roasters in Sumner. There we had a tour of their roasting facility. The tour was very informative. We were able to see from start to finish how coffee beans are roasted. Starting with pallets stored several feet high of green coffee beans. Then on to the blending machine where different types of beans are blended together via a recipe to get the blend they will roast. Off the the huge roasting machines where it only takes around fifteen minutes to roast pounds of beans. After roasting the beans go in to a huge cilander which sits over a fan and takes about five minutes to cool the beans to room temperature. If this isn't done quickly enough the beans will be burned. Then on to pacaking and shipping. All of this takes place in about 100 yards.

1 comment:

Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

Wow, I didn't know you could take coffee tasting tours like that. Sounds amazing.