You might have noticed over the past couple of months that I have an interest in coffee. From the daily stops that I make for coffee through to a couple of events that I have shared. When a friend shared a post from Viva Coffee Roasters about a little coffee event I was quite interested. The event was called An Evening With The Roaster, and it had my attention.
The event took place on Thursday the 8th of March and was made up of two main parts. The first part was a coffee cupping session where we cupped nine different single origin coffee’s. With the second part of the night a look at the roasting process and roasting a unique coffee blend from our choice through the cupping session.
I have had the opportunity now to attend a few different cupping sessions at a couple of different coffee roasters. While there are slight differences with each roaster, the process is quite similar. Coffee Cupping is a process is undertaken to observe the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. The process is done professionally by people known as Q Graders and coffee roasters but can be done informally by anyone.
From the perspective of a coffee roaster, the process is undertaken to identify the individual tastes and aromas of a specific single origin coffee bean. The observations of the cupping than allow them to combine particular beans to create a particular blend including the tastes they are looking seeking.
Below you can see the cupping table prepared for the evening at Viva Coffee Roasters. On the Table is nine different single origin coffee beans from a variety of countries and regions. These included coffee beans from Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Nicaragua, Guatemala and four from Colombia.
Coffee Cupping is not an overly technical process but has a few important steps. With it being an important part of the coffee roasting processing to help ensure a consistent blend over time. The roasted single origin beans are ground in a certain amount into a cup before they are covered in hot water. They are allowed to brew for around four minutes before a crust will form on the top of the coffee.
At the four-minute mark, you will break the crust and take a smell of the coffee as you do, looking for what aromas you can detect. The crust is then removed, and you take a small spoonful of coffee and slurp it into your mouth. The slurping action helps ensure that the coffee reaches all parts of your palate to give a better sense of the tastes and flavours of the coffee.
The biggest discovery that I have made personally from the cupping process is more on a personal note than anything around coffee. I have found that I either have a rather underdeveloped palate or a very difficult time identifying any particular flavour. I do not think that this is all that uncommon, as in general being able to identify a wide variety of individual tastes can take some work.
Creating A Blend
Through the cupping process, we discovered the tastes and flavours of the coffee on the table. At this point, it was up to us to choose the coffee beans which would go into our coffee blend. The process for our session followed along from choosing the flavours that we would like to combine from the single origins that we had cupped. I do think that the process of creating a coffee blend usually takes on a lot more detailed work in the normal process of coffee roasting. But it was a sufficient method to follow for our session to simplify the process a little.
There were three beans which were chosen for our blend. They included the Ethiopian at 40%, the Colombia Florida at 40% and Guatemala at 20%.
The Roasting Process
Even with all of the detail that was provided, I am still not even close to being able to adequately describing what happens in the roasting process. However, what I can say is that the process takes green coffee beans, heats them up and the product is the brown coffee beans you are used to seeing at the coffee shop. There is obviously a whole lot more to the process. Including a lot of detail and knowledge that go into preparing the coffee and roaster for the process. But you might just have to watch for a similar event being held to find out all the details.
The coffee spent about 15 minutes in the coffee roaster. The roast is a medium roast which sits somewhere between the first and second crack stage of roasting. There are two more stages at this point. The first is the cooling which you can see below, where all the heat is drawn out of the beans. The final step is for the roasted coffee to go through a machine that removes anything that is not a coffee bean. Helping to ensure that all you get in the bag is the roasted coffee bean.
You can buy Happiness Blend
The final result of the evening was a bag of the coffee blend we created to take home. As such we had to choose a name for the coffee blend we have created. With some inspiration coming from the label on the takeaway cups at Viva Coffee. So the name for the blend came out as “You can buy Happiness.”
A Great Event
The night was an excellent chance to see a little behind the scenes of coffee roasting. It is a great way to gain a better understanding and appreciation of what goes into your cup of coffee. I would highly recommend an event like this if you have more than a passing interest in coffee. Getting to see the whole process is rather interesting and informative. At this stage, I am unsure what plans for these events in the future are for Viva Coffee Roasters. But if you are interested in an event like this, you can find their contact details on the Viva Coffee Website.
Thank you for taking the time to read along. If you enjoyed this post please consider sharing it with your network. If you have any questions you can leave them below in the comments and I will be in touch.