One day over a delicious cup of cappaccino with my friend Elbo and Kyle, our local coffee efficianado at Terrain Garden Cafe, the conversation turned to an interesting process called "coffee cupping".
Kyle explained that coffee purveyors use this process to select the best coffees from all around the world. This process, in many ways, is far more complex than grading and selecting a bottle of fine wine. Seven different tests are delicately conducted on the coffee beans to determine its quality. Elbo and I were so fascinated and intrigued. To our delight, Kyle told us that he was holding a cupping class at Terrain Cafe. In unison we exclaimed, "Count me in"!!! :-)
Counter Culture is the coffee purveyor for Terrain. For our class, Kyle selected four very unique coffee beans from different parts of the world. We had La Golondrina from Columbia, a Counter Culture Organic blend, Adido Yirgacheffe from Ethiopia and Thiriku Nyeu from Kenya.
With patience and great care, we conducted each of the tests. Then we proceeded to write down our observations after each. At the end, we all sat down and shared our findings and discussed what aromas and tastes we detected and why. The origin of the coffee beans, the climate and the soil greatly affected flavor notes we detected. This discussion really gave me an idea of the complexity of this subject. I also realized that selecting a favorite is very subjective.
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