Wednesday, November 12

The Long Awaited, And Long Put Off, Cupping!

Well, yeah, it's taken me a while. About a month in total...sorry guys. Been fairly busy recently, so it's been a case of taking sleeping pills and going to bed rather than blogging lol. So, shall we get on with the show?

I decided to take on a traditional cupping, with four dishes for the coffee, all freshly ground, a cupping spoon (okay...a deep dessert spoon), and all the other cupping bells and whistles that could be easily found in a coffee lover's kitchen.

I've described the outward appearance of the bags. So next, the coffee itself. On opening the bags the first thing I was hit by was the smell of each. Unfortunately I didn't have any paper to hand, so I can't tell you the details, but one coffee has really stayed with me since that day. The La Ilusion smelt amazing. A really sweet, fruity smell with hints of deep chocolate. It was one of those rare coffee moments when even the most experienced barista suddenly gets the feeling they had when they truly enjoyed their first coffee. Not, of course, to say the other coffees didn't smell fantastic, but the CofE just took the biscuit.

To make this feel less like a narrative I'm going to describe each coffee in full, rather than step by step.

Firstly, the El Salvador La Fany. This coffee is from the Santa Ana region and 100% bourbon. The grinds have the smell of dark chocolate and caramel. After letting it brew for four minutes I broke the crust. The aroma was deep and chocolaty, with a slight floral note. On the tongue it has a lovely sweet, creamy taste with a dark chocolate and caramel finish which lasts. It has a fantastic body, not heavy, but not overly light. A very robust, tasty coffee.

Now, the Kenya Gethumbwini. The grinds smell oaky, with a floral note. After breaking the crust the chocolate comes more to the fore, and the floral note develops into a deeper, fruitier aroma. On the tongue it has creamy feel, with the taste of blackcurrents and oak at the opening, with a floral and chocolate finish. I found it an acidic coffee, while not being overly sweet, but well balanced. This coffee is the type of after dinner or late evening french press I'm fond of.

The Brazil Cachoeira Canario 2007-2008 smelt like a deep, dark chocolate. The beans come from the Canario varietal, dried on screen from Minas Gerias. After brewing it smelt much the same I found. On tasting it was a sweet chocolate with a good body, not too heavy. In the finish I also caught a little bit of caramel with a smooth chocolate aftertaste. This is one single source I'd be very interested in trying as an espresso, despite not being a specific espresso coffee.

Finally, the Cup Of Excellence. This is from El Salvador, in the Santa Ana region and is 100% bourbon. The smell was chocolate with a definite fruit kick. After brewing I found that the fruity aroma had disappeared and was replaced by a deep chocolate aroma with a hint of cherry. On tasting, however, this coffee really comes into it's own. It opens with a real fruit hit, a mixture of acidic fruits such as gooseberries. Steve himself puts this best when he describes it as "Fruit Salad sweets". It has a fantastic body which I found similar to that of a strong tea, and had a long lasting, sweet finish and aftertaste. Frankly, i think anyone who has the chance to should leap at this coffee. It's really that damn good.

So, all in all a very fun evening cupping for me, and I hope you found it useful. These coffees and many more besides are all available at, and I really recommend you take a look. This is my first real attempt at my own cupping, and am looking to improve all of the basic equipment, so hopefully there should be a few more of these in future.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and again, sorry for getting this up so late.


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Hey y'all. Welcome to the Third Wave UK speciality coffee blog. Whether you're a coffee profesional, home barista, or just interested in speciality coffee or the speciality coffee scene in the UK, this blog will hopefully have something for you. Cheers, Seamus McFlurry

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