Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My first cupping...

Today I had the pleasure of cupping for the first time at Cafe Imports in St. Paul. Jamin was a very gracious and informative host and I learned a lot. He also took me on a tour of the facility and I was highly impressed, although he said they were small fish in the coffee world I was still amazed by the masses of coffee sacks everywhere. He explained nevertheless that they are definitely going for quality and not quantity, seeking to raise the level of coffee one cup at a time...

We cupped 16 different Nicaraguan beans and boy was it a treat. These were all Cup of Excellence winners and ranked as such so I knew we were in for something special. I felt like a newbie at first but Jamin put us at ease quickly and lead us easily through the cupping process. I got to do a dry smell of the ground coffee first and then a wet smell. After that we aspirated the coffee quickly, swirled and spit until I started feeling a buzz even though I wasn't technically ingesting the stuff. My tongue went dry a couple times from the constant contact with the coffees and I took a few water breaks to get my senses back.

I really had a great time. It reinforced to me the notion that the world of coffee is vast and almost limitless in its scope. I've definitely got a lot to learn but with each day I feel like my palette awakens, the nuances surface and I just get more and more excited about what's around the next coffee corner. I was happy and a bit surprised that when the rankings were revealed at the end my choices lined up fairly well with what the experts had chosen for the best coffees. I guess I am figuring out something...


  1. coffee will save us all. God bless coffee - GOD BLESS COFFEE!

  2. Next time your tongue goes dry during a cupping, ask Jamin for a tongue scraper. That will help tons!