The crew was all assembled as we barreled through the door, late(flight delay, taxi strike, slight miscommunication with google maps) and severely windswept (pumping South Easter, apparently this means good things for surf in this town, but causes chaos in every other way).
The coffees had just been ground and the stage was set for a coffee extravaganza.
The cuppers were Gerald (Union Hand Roasted), Wayne (Origin Coffee Roasting), Khanyiso (Bean There) and Rodreck (Union Hand Roasted).
A group of the who’s who of the Cape Town coffee scene (some present here) have begun a regular group cupping to keep their tastebuds sharp and share new beans, roasting techniques and fun times. We felt very privileged(and completely out of our depth) to be at one of these little get togethers.
Next we were introduced to the four stars of the show: Yirgacheffe from Ethiopia, a special micro-lot from El Salvador, a Rwandan Kivu and a delightful Guatemalan.
Things quickly descended from there into a flurry of activity and sensory skill. Dry fragrance. Wet aroma. Time the brew. Break the seal. Slurp. Slurp Slurp. Spit. SLURP! (There was a lot of slurping!) Discuss. Lemon creams. Romany creams (Wayne was obviously craving biscuits). Blueberries. Jasmine. Milo. Back to slurping.
"I'm sure this is the Yirga Cheffe!"
"No, I'm certain the Guatemala was over there"
"It doesn't taste the way your Yirga Cheffe normally does, did you roast it differently?"
"Wait, you're right, this is definitely the Yirga Cheffe, that one's the Guatemala."
Hug. Big hug.
The story of that life-changing 'god cup moment' with El Salvador. Slurp. Spit.
Too. Much. Fun.
Timing is everything. Seriously, we're timing the brew here.
Look at those beauties!
Breaking the seal. The aroma released here, is completely unique and will never be smelt again, so dramatic!
You need to get really close in there, really close.
As much as 80% of the taste is based on what you smell!
I have to work on my slurping technique, apparently I'm not fast enough nor am I loud enough.
What a wonderful experience. Iain and I learnt so much, smelled and tasted some spectacular coffee and were just overwhelmed at the camaraderie in this group and the warm welcome they extended to us. Thank you to Gerald for setting this up at Union Hand Roasted.
Interview with a Barista (and roaster!) is with him this time around, so watch this space for a little more insight into one of the many amazing coffee personalities we have in this industry.