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Reports From the Road
SCAA Seattle 2005, Day 2
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: April 17, 2005
Article rating: 7.9
feedback: (15) comments | read | write
 
Workshops: Brewing Fundamentals and Cupping Skills (2)
Posted by Mark Prince, 10:25am Permalink to this blog entry
Click for larger image

I stopped in on two workshops this morning - the brewing fundamentals workshop, and one of the cupping labs.

The Brewing Fundamentals workshop is running on all its cylinders, and is one of the better workshops offered by the SCAA. There's no built in excuses or opt outs for quality coffee in this workshop - every point stressed is a point directed towards getting quality coffee.

Details in the class are very technical, and I for one like to see that. They get in depth into, well, the "bed depths" of the spent grinds, how dispersion of brewing water is a major factor, and touch on details most of us Coffee Geeks know - tempts at 195F-205F for the brewing water, proper saturation methods for the coffee, etc.

There is some good discussion on how to make your workflow at your cafe or restaurant better, while maintaining a high coffee quality.

There were approximately 45 people in this class (a full house), and while I left the session before this, there was also a hands on drinking demonstration to show defective brewing methods along with optimum brewing methods. I know from personal experience doing this on my own with people that it's an eye opener.

Cupping Class

The cupping classes at the SCAA are always popular, and they really do teach a lot of skills. The cuppers get the SCAA's guidelines on how to properly cup and evaluate coffee, and are first put through a calibration session before getting down to the nitty gritty.

The session I sat in on was cupping Bolivian and Colombian coffees, and in the calibration, you saw some newbies who were learning a lot, and some newbies who had surprisingly good palates and tastes for the coffees they were trying.

One cool thing - I noted that a lot of the cuppers were using Pocket PCs or Palms... it's rapidly becoming the defacto tool for coffee cuppers. Gotta love new technology!

On a side note, in my own continuing progression in cupping, I bought the Nez du Cafe kit from the SCAA at this show - all $275 of it. I plan to really hone my own cupping skills this year. Passing the SCAA's Sensory Skills test is my impetus; I think I finally feel confident enough to progress in cupping. Who knows, instead of observing this next year, I may take a course.

Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image
Brewing Lab
Room was packed with people learning how to brew coffee better.
Wettability
"Wettability" of ground coffee discussed in a slide.
Scale.
Eww. Scale. Blech. A graphic example.
Cupping samples
Samples of Colombian and Bolivian coffee for the cupping seminar.
Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image
Calibration
Cuppers go through a calibration before getting down to the nitty gritty.
Pocket PC!
Lots of these were evident.
Discussion.
finding out where everyone's palate is before getting really into it.
Article rating: 7.9
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: April 17, 2005
feedback: (15) comments | read | write
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