Friday, September 13, 2013

Coffee Tasting

I am not a big coffee drinker. In fact, 1 cup is my daily limit. I always thought I would be more of a coffee lover if I knew more about it. So I was intrigued by the announcement that our kitchen here at Los Poblanos Inn was having a coffee tasting this morning.

Eric and I sat at a small table and were given a score sheet and a "Tongue Flavor Map", a bookmark shaped piece of paper that had a drawing of a tongue indicating where you might find the tastes of bitter, sour, salty, and sweet. Then we were given two cups containing ground coffee, one light roast and one dark.

 Before the actual tasting began, we were given the following information by our instructors, two brothers who own a coffee plantation in Columbia. They grow and roast their own specialty coffee called "Villa Myriam".

-Specialty coffee grows at higher elevations, is shade grown and hand picked. It is only 10% of the world's coffee.

-Only the Arabica bean is use for specialty coffee.

-Before the coffee can be shipped out of Columbia,  the coffee must be graded as specialty coffee. There are only about 1,000 people world wide who are specialty coffee graders.

-One bad bean can spoil the whole 150 pound burlap bag of coffee beans and would therefor disqualify the batch as specialty coffee.

-The more oily your coffee beans are, the more likely they are to spoil. Dark roasts are used to hide defects.

-NEVER put coffee beans in your refrigerator or freezer. Coffee will absorb flavors of other foods in the fridge, and the humidity will degrade flavor.  Keep the beans in their original bag in a dark place.

-A good coffee is only as good as the brewing method. French Press is the best. The brothers prefer the Aeropress. I am so glad that Eric gave me one last Christmas!

So armed with all this information, we were now ready to smell and taste the light and dark roasted coffee. Our comments: light roast smelled like cocoa, carrots, and fish (!) Dark roast smelled like cigarette butts and petroleum. Infused with hot water, the light roast tasted like molasses and dark roast tasted like chocolate (yummy!).

Our instructor from Columbia

Tasting Paraphernalia

The Smell Test

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