Latest Posts

  1. Coffee Tasting at Sweet Maria's - Nov. 16th

    Coffee Tasting at Sweet Maria's - Nov. 16th

    Sign up for our upcoming tasting event.

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  2. What The He — Is Jasmine?

    What The He — Is Jasmine?

    So, what is the taste and smell of jasmine? Yirgacheffes often have the most clear-cut jasmine notes of any coffee, but...

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  3. Bright Coffee

    Bright Coffee

    Here's a few coffees with exciting, snappy, zingy, citrusy, tart, vibrant notes

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  4. Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate...

    Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate...

    A few coffees where chocolate notes take the spotlight.

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  5. Sugar Cupping Part 2 -- Rough outline

    Sugar Cupping Part 2 -- Rough outline

    This is a very educational exercise you can easily try at home.

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  6. Sugar Cupping

    Sugar Cupping

    Sometimes tasting something that isn't coffee can help you learn more about what your coffee tastes like.

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  7. Taste and Price: When Values Shift

    Taste and Price: When Values Shift

    I recently caught glimpse of this and found it very thought-provoking.

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  8. Taste and Price: When Values Shift - DUPLICATE

    Taste and Price: When Values Shift - DUPLICATE

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  9. Podcast:More About Coffee Lexicons

    Podcast:More About Coffee Lexicons

    Cupping and talking about the taste lexicon of coffee with Tom and Chris Schooley

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  10. Podcast: Tasting and Coffee Lexicons

    Podcast: Tasting and Coffee Lexicons

    Describing the basic flavors of coffee.

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  11. Tasting: Cupping vs. Filtered Brewing

    Tasting: Cupping vs. Filtered Brewing

    tasting differences in two roasts, and then tasting the differences in the same coffees via different methods

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  12. There's No Accounting for Taste

    There's No Accounting for Taste

    This has been a very challenging week for cupping. Why? I can't taste.

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Cupping Sumatrans With Brasilians

Cupping Sumatrans With Brasilians

Bruno and Chiago came by, two real Minieros ...ie coffee guys from smack dab in the center of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Bruno runs Beccor in Portland and we get some coffees from him, including the really nice Carmo de Minas lots from Sertao; my favorite of last year, the La Esperanca, and the Fazendo do Serrado we just added to the list. The odd thing is to cup Indonesia coffees with coffee people from ... well, anywhere but Indonesia. It completely baffles them. They think we're insane. How can we accept Sumatra wet-hulled coffees with fruity notes, earthy flavors, a rustic finish, then turn around and reject a Brazil lot with those same tastes? How can a Central America coffee with no acidity be sold at commercial prices, yet a Sumatra with no acidity attains healthy specialty prices? These Indonesians are defect coffees right? Yes and no. As consumers we have decided we don't want one flavor standard for all coffees. It's a specialty trade, right, and like a specialty store we want 15 types of mustard and 20 olive oils and just as many balsamic vinegars. Some of those push the envelope on "good taste" as well, in order to discover a wider range of flavors, some produced on the tree, some influenced heavily by the processing methods after the coffee is picked. Purists may cringe, but I think it's important to represent a wide range of coffee "characters" with the exception of those which are downright revolting or, quite possibly unsafe (moldy and musty coffees are indeed unsafe!) We look to each origin to perfect their own techniques, to "do what they do best" with their coffee. We don't want a Sumatra coffee from Panama, and we know for sure we cannot get the classic Panama cup profile from a Sumatra. What this says about our Gesha lots, our Nicaragua Java, our dry-process Centrals from Guatemala and Mexico ... I will leave that for further discussion. -Tom

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