#5ThingsWeDidThisWeek No.#10 Coffee Event Special
When Matt Biddle, owner of Aussie-style Black Dog Cafe told us he wanted to do something to raise the profile of speciality coffee in Tunbridge Wells, it was music to our ears.
1.) We believe that our speciality coffee event last Thursday evening (28th April) was the first of its kind in Tunbridge Wells. Previously we have had to travel to London or Brighton to find any kind of any 'coffee scene' or gathering of people who appreciate fine coffee. We aim to change that. To make our first event really special, we asked Matt Sealby from our coffee merchant, Falcon Speciality (based in Lewes) to bring samples of the latest coffees to land in the UK - Fresh off the boat.
Examples of some of the finest coffee's from Brazil, Sumatra, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia lined up prior to grinding.
2.) Prior to the coffee tasting (the coffee term for this is a cupping) Matt Sealby shared stories of his travels to origin with the audience. He spoke about the main species of coffee plant, the sub-varieties, how they are grown and processed. He explained how coffees from different geographic regions might taste different to one another, what to look for when tasting coffee and how to talk about coffee flavours.
The key to tasting coffee is to slurp noisily, so that the flavours are sprayed across the pallet
3.) It was soon time for the main event. First, the beans which had been carefully weighed out into each glass, were ground to a consistency a little coarser than you would use for a cafetiere. Attendees were then invited to go along the line and sniff the grounds so as to compare the aromatics of each coffee against one another. Hot water, just off the boil was then added to each glass, and the coffee allowed to brew for four minutes. The gathering were then invited to take in the aromas once more whilst breaking the crust that forms on top of the coffee as it brewed. Any coffee grinds floating on top of the coffee were then cleared away to present a clean 'cup' for tasting. Everyone was then given a special cupping spoon and invited to taste the coffees several times over as they cooled. Dark chocolate and nutty notes from the Brazil gave way to increasingly fruitier and sweeter flavours and we moved along the line, culminating with bright berry and rhubarb flavours from the Ethiopian Rocko Mountain Reserve. Perhaps it was no surprise that the latter was a firm favourite amongst the audience. The Rwandan coffee was also very popular.
Resident barista, Jourdan was on hand to help participants achieve their first latte art
4.) We rounded off the evening with an amateur freestyle latte art competition. Those who wanted to get involved were allowed one practice attempt under the guidance of Jourdan, The Black Dog's resident barista, then they were on their own. Most people were able to produce something. We got a very interesting 'onion' cross-section and some recognisable fern leaf designs. Above all, everyone had a bit of fun. Our thanks to Matt Biddle, for hosting the event at The Black Dog and Matt Sealby from Falcon Speciality for sharing his encyclopaedic knowledge of coffee and for judging our little competition.
A collection of pours - which one do you think was Jourdan's?
Two prizes of a bag of our Classic Blend beans were awarded to Bella and Mike for best pours.
5.) Finally, we continue to look for the right people to fill two vacancies at the roastery. Check out this link for details of the two positions we have available.