Sunday, January 31, 2010

Coffee Cupping

Yesterday the four of us went to this for Laurel's birthday, and we're all glad we did! The roaster of Landgrove Coffees was here in Lewiston at a coffee shop downtown called La Boheme. He was a bearded man of average height wearing a button-up flannel shirt and a Clint Kyles personality, personable, happy to answer questions, and very interesting to listen to. I think the wine makers we know, beer makers, and the coffee guys have more in common than I might have thought. The process of carefully tending the plant, vine, et al, until it has reached a certain readiness or ripeness; and then going thru the stages that it takes to have a good end product. Different beans from different countries are not the same color or size or the same flavor. How and where it is grown really effects the taste as well as what you do during the roasting stage.
We were served four different coffees at a time, one scoop of ground coffee each, mostly Ethiopians. We smelled it, we looked at, then John (the roaster) poured hot water over the grounds and we steeped the coffee. Next we looked at it and smelled it some more, broke the grounds up on the surface, and lastly slurped the coffee. We had to try to describe it by smelling it, then see what we might add to that description once the coffee was tasted. The first coffee was most memorable, I think, everybody went on about the smell, color, and taste of that one. It was a fresh-ground Ethiopian. The second was a stale version of the first coffee roasted in June. The grounds did not form a capon the top and nothing about that coffee was perky, but very flat. The third was a dry-roast Ethiopian which apparently is hard to get, seems like that's the one with hints of blueberries, very different but tasty. Also we tried a Brazilian, another Ethiopian, I believe, and then a blend of the two. Lastly, we tried an Indian coffee which apparently is not a popular flavor. I didn't think it was as bad as described. I feel more educated now in my coffees and more prepared for the NW!

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