Going in Blind: Coffee Tasting at The Glenwood Bakery

Tuesday, 27 May, 2014
The Glenwood Bakery run by the charming Robinsons, Adam and Carin, serve coffee from alternate local roasteries each week. And each roastery has it's following. Tired of hearing constant requests from both sides to use one or the other, Adam was of the belief that if he took down the sign to say which coffee was pouring on that particular day, his customers wouldn't be able to tell the difference especially ordering lattes and cappuccinos.

That was when he approached us.
Our task was to show that not all coffees are created equal and that they definitely have different flavour profiles and the fact that customers can pick up the difference is in fact, a very good thing. So we invited Terbodore, Colombo Coffee&Tea and Bean Green to provide a blend that we could play with. Adam invited a couple of his regulars and staff and we got the party started.

We prepared each coffee in two ways, both as a filter and as a single shot espresso capped with milk as is generally served at the bakery.

Each person in attendance was asked to note down what they tasted in the cup. This wasn't a competition to see whose coffee was preferred merely to see that even disguised by milk, the coffees have distinct flavour differences.

Even for the delegates from the roasteries it was an eye opening experience to taste the differences between the blends. Afterwards we discussed how the roast profile had an impact on the flavour as everyone noted that the Terbodore Great Dane Espresso Blend which was slightly more darkly roasted than The Bluff Bru of Bean Green and the Fedora Classic from Colombo exhibited a smoky aftertaste. The sundried Ethiopian beans of the Bluff Bru had earthy and fruity characteristics, while the Fedora Classic was smooth and chocolatey.

It was also noted that from person to person the espressos tasted different, which is an important point to note as at the end of the day, your barista has a huge impact on the coffee beans.

Fun was had by all and Adam had to concede that just like wine, coffee is complex and the differences are vast and his customers preferences are valid. Apart from being a bit grumpy that he was wrong, he felt enlightened and everyone who attended left feeling a little bit more knowledgeable about this wonderful world of coffee and eager to learn more. 

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