What a wonderful opportunity! Yelp Brisbane organised a cupping course at Campos Coffee in the Valley, and we were invited! Campos opened up their purpose built cupping room so that we could experience an insight into the world of coffee tasting and appreciation. The first thing we noticed was the amazing decor and impressive lighting made up of campos coffe cups. Then we scanned the table to see green coffee beans, roasted grinds, coffee cups – coffee heaven in Brisbane. Cupping is a ritual and performed the same way across the world to ensure a consistent approach to coffee tasting and selection. In fact it is only a recent phenomenon, established by the American Coffee Association. As there is almost a years work in one cup presented for cupping, it is important that during the process there is no talking, no strong perfume and no facial expressions. The idea is look, smell, taste and then chat at the end to compare and contrast.

20120716-114019.jpgTime to immerse ourselves in the process. First we smell the roasted and ground beans of  4 single origins and 1 commodity coffee. Only limited value is given to the aroma (8%) because it doesn’t always translate well to the cup. The grinds are then steeped in hot water for five minutes, and a sample of coffee floating on the top is extracted with a tricky spoon manouver, then we smell again. Before we taste, the floaties on the top are scraped off to leave the clear fluid and remove the chance of leaving with chunks of coffee in our teeth!

20120716-113834.jpgBetween each of the steps, we learn more about the world of coffee. Sun drying the coffee beans promotes the berry flavours because the sun interacts with beans to raise the sugar content. Then the fun bit – the great coffee slurp – the noisier the better! The slurp enables us to fuse smell and taste to provide us with the full coffee flavour. It is amazing to experience the depth and richness of flavours – berries, currants, caramel. We thought it was nonsense til we did the course and learned about the growing, picking, processing, drying, roasting and grinding of the coffee beans.

A Few Quick Facts

  • over extracted coffee means grinds have been in contact with the water too long
  • the way the beans are ground  in the coffee shop is extremely important to flavour
  • 1 kg of green beans = 700g of black beans
  • Coffee that has berry notes is best black; Coffee that has caramel notes is best with milk

20120716-113856.jpgCampos Cupping course is a multi-sensory extravaganza! The staff were helpful, knowledgeable and passionate. The course provided us with a wonderful opportunity to sample coffee and experience coffee on a whole new level. Our cupping host said, “You are never done when it comes to coffee knowing and coffee tasting.” This course, however, gives a giant leap forward. Do yourself a favour and book in for your own experience!

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