company - education - coffee

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cupping coffee clubs

Cupping coffee is one of the things I enjoy most. To cup is divine. In truth, it could be Tea or anything in the cup and if the flavor is there I would be happy.

Cupping is traditionally something you do when evaluating coffees in a professional capacity. Many of the best barista I know spend extra time and money cupping outside of work to build a better palate and understanding.

When I sit down for a cupping, it's largely a group of friends getting together to evaluate a coffee and enjoy it. That's not the norm but I think more people should consider this type of event. A coffee club if you will.

I think Ben originally called our group the Saturday Afternoon Coffee Club but that was a long time ago. A lot of faces came and went. In the end, we tightened up and had a small group of us who were really serious and no nonsense.

It doesn't need to be serious though and it can just be fun.

Dipping the grounds for the last drop
Photo courtesy of Gabe Rodriguez

Coffee can be fun but you have to distance yourself from the personal nature of the business. Inviting someone who works at a company to bring their own coffee to cup is not a good idea. If the invites don't keep an open mind, you can end up with someone who simply critiques everything but their own products.

When I was in Guatemala though, I got a big reminder of the joy of cupping.

Edwin fetched us all personal cupping spoons, looney toons and the likes. it was a statement made unintentional. We were not the rock stars or the big egos, just the coffee people. No silver spoon, just ready to try something new.

Some of the joy gets sucked out of coffee when people become unwilling to see other perspectives. A lesson I took away from the trip is appreciation for others and their views. The flip side is that it left me with a bit to chew against the myopic and narrow minded people in the business.

All that aside, cupping an amazing coffee with a group of friends is great fun. We will be looking to get together with some of our local buddies and tap some old friends soon. It's time to start doing something and culture a bigger community.

Ideas or participants welcome...

Jason's cupping face
Photo courtesy of Gabe Rodriguez