As featured on the recently launched South Sound Coffee Trail, the Olympia region’s roasters source and prepare a darn good cup of joe. But not all morning mochas are created equal. Interested in upping your craft coffee knowledge? Sip, sample and learn a thing or two about the qualities, preparation and origin of your daily coffee at classes offered at area roasters.
Similar to a flight of beer or wine, cuppings present a variety of coffees to be sipped, compared and discussed. Cuppers walk away with a new appreciation for the flavors found within their morning ritual.
To achieve tasting success, we spoke with Batdorf & Bronson’s Roaster Arturo Villalobos who has been roasting coffee at this leading roaster for going on 10 years. He also leads public cuppings and handles research and development for the Batdorf & Bronson brand by cupping top coffees from around the world. Here, he presents six simple steps to achieve coffee cupping success:
- Select. Choose 3-5 different coffees that will be sampled. These can be chosen based on origin or flavor profile. For example, perhaps you may want to explore African coffees, so you’d have four from Africa and a fifth from Central America that may have some African qualities.
- Measure. Seven grams of coffee to five ounces of water. It’s important to brew five cups of the same sample coffee as coffees from the same farm can taste completely different from each other.
- Brew. Grind the coffee on a French Press setting and brew for four minutes in a French press or preferred method.
- Skim the top. A foam will appear after the coffee is poured. Make sure to remove just the top layer with a spoon to uncover the dark liquid below.
- Slurp. Using a large soup spoon, slowly enjoy 3-4 slurps from each cup to get the flavors into the back of your throat. Slurping allows you to fully appreciate the natural flavors of the coffee.
- Discuss and compare. Spend time with each cup. Take a slurp to start, take a break to discuss and then go back to a cup a few minutes later. The longer you wait, the more you get out of each pour. You may recognize the cocoas and spices that make up the flavor. See how some coffees taste better cooler or hotter, or vice versa. Take your time and go back to each coffee 3-4 times to make sure all the flavors are experienced.
Meet Arturo at Batdorf & Bronson’s Tasting Room for a one-hour, complimentary public cuppings, offered the last Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. Those looking for a more in-depth experience can book the 2.5 hour cupping class offered select Wednesdays and Thursdays. The $40 experience includes an in-depth tasting, one pound of coffee and a brewing method such as a clever dripper or a cone brewer. Email Arturo directly for upcoming classes or to register at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on area cafés, cuppings and other caffeinated events visit southsoundcoffeetrail.com.
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