May 9, 2007

At 9:00 AM this past Sunday, I made my way down to Victrola Coffee Roasters on Pike Street for their first monthly cupping session. We started with an introduction on the history of coffee, then were told about the many flavor characteristics of the various coffee-growing regions. Did you know that coffee can taste “winy” or “Rioy” (as in Rio De Janeiro)?

The actual procedure of cupping doesn’t center around tasting, to my surprise. First you smell the roasted beans in small cups. The beans are then ground and mixed with water (without a filter) and smelled again. The tasting part involves slurping the coffee a spoonful at a time to spread it across all the taste buds.

All in all, it was a very educational experience and it gave me a unique insight about gourmet coffee—but not coffee snobbery. For people who drink caffeinated beverages all day, the folks at Victrola are very laid-back and cool.