Coffee Appreciation Courses

Every so often we offer coffee appreciation courses. These are not to be missed! You will enjoy hearing a brief history of coffee while sipping your favorite Urban Grounds beverage and then move on to cupping several of our single origin coffees.

Here’s a brief explination of cupping, taken from The Coffee Geek (http://www.coffeegeek.com).

The cupping process was conceived as a means for evaluating and comparing different coffees on a level playing field. Because the differences between great coffees can be very delicate, observations about the characteristics of those coffees (flavor, body, finish…) can be easily influenced by small variations that occur as part of most brewing methods. By eliminating some of these variables, a carefully prepared cupping allows the coffees being tasted to compete on the basis of their own intrinsic merits.

Some degree of scientific rigor is key to conducting a fair cupping. Measurements of water and coffee grounds should be precise, any grinding equipment should be flushed between cups to prevent cross-contamination, and the pouring of hot water should be done with great consistency. Time is also a factor; once the grounds are wet the steeping process is underway, and the coffee will undergo many changes in chemistry and flavor over the next 20 minutes.

It is very important to evaluate each coffee from the start of this cycle to the finish, so most cuppers have developed a protocol for managing this sequence of events to ensure that every coffee on the table gets equal treatment.

Cupping is also very much a social thing. While one can cup alone, cupping is best done in a group, where you can compare and contrast notes, opinions and thoughts on what you are sampling. For many beginning cuppers, evaluating coffee with others will open your eyes and your tastebuds to nuances in a coffee you might have otherwise missed – your cupping partners will point something out and you will revisit the sample and possibly discover it yourself.

Email us at ugcoffee@gmail.com to be put on the list for the next course!

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