The First Cupping

After a couple days of furious roasting we decided it was finally time to try all the new coffees and roasts. To pit them in a battle head to head, mano a mano, roast to roast! Well… nothing THAT exciting, but we did break out 3 different kinds of coffee, 4 different roasts, and one kind of weird concoction.

From left to right we have: Bali Kintamani, Ethiopa Yirga Cheffe Kochere, Brazil Cerrado (roasted to just past second crack), Brazil Cerrado (roasted just past first crack).

I will go into a little more detail on performing a cupping in a later post, but for now… the coffee!

From worst to best:

Brazil Cerrado (dark): This coffee was just roasted way to dark for a cupping (which should normally be done early in first crack).  Rather than tasting the origin of the bean, instead we mostly got the taste of the roast.  More on the Brazil Cerrado to come. (Note: I later found out that because the Brazil Cerrado is not a very dense bean, at a dark roast it will pick up an ashy flavor VERY easily.  If you want to roast this bean dark, you should stop it immediately after second crack.)

Bali Kintamani: The Bali was as-expected, a nice floral aroma, though not terribly sweet.  As I mentioned in my first post on the bean my roast was extremely light, which contributed to a strong “jute” taste, which really shone through in the cupping process.  Not something you want to shine through…  Letting the roast go for another 20 seconds should really help this coffee blossom.

Brazil Cerrado (light):  The Brazil Cerrado light roast was a very subtle nutty flavor.  As a cupping coffee it was decent, but at this light roast its flavors would make an incredible espresso.

Ethiopa Yirga Cheffe:  The Ethiopian coffee definitely won this home cupping competition.  With an incredibly light, but powerful sweet, fruity taste, this coffee makes you want to pour a small cup to slowly bask in while forgetting about the world around you. 

Bonus:  The one weird “roast” we tried was the Ethiopian with a touch of salt ground in.  While the salt smoothed the coffee out (removing all bitterness), it also dulled the sweetness.  I think there might be a level at which salt could help the coffee (perhaps a grain?), but our experiment was a failed one.

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