If people can be divided into two classes, coffee person and tea person, I will definitely say I am the latter. But that never stops me from hanging out at great coffee shops, as long as they serve tea or at least chocolate. I love the comfortable styles at common coffee shops rather than fancy atmosphere by tea houses.
Lately I have been regularly hanging out at Caribou Coffee after work… to do more work. Or just do some book readings. The interior gives so much inspiration to me that I feel more productive taking work here than home. Or just some book readings; I can finish books faster here than in my room (It becomes obvious that I am writing this in between my working break here, doesn’t it?). In addition to that, the service is just awesome. The baristas are so friendly and have great sense of humor.
Couple days ago I was so fortunate to experience what is called as coffee cupping. This is pretty similar with wine tasting and tea tasting, both of which I had tried previously. I felt glad that I could get the first-hand knowledge about how rich coffee world is.
Even before the cupping session, I was actually a bit curious about coffee. I have my physical limitations of drinking coffee, but I am always eager to learning something new. Driven by the curiosity and a bit boredom, I jokingly ordered two cups of different coffee beans; they have seven. The friendly baristas was taken surprised, not only that I rarely ordered coffee but I ordered two.
I was then got surprised back when one of the baristas, the senior one, suddenly taking out small bowls from the back room. He then offered to show me coffee cupping activity.
Here how it goes. The coffee beans are brewed in each small bowl without filter. I had to taste each coffee. I had to do what they call as 5S: sniff, slurp, savor, summarize, and share. I had heard about this 5s when the baristas did some coffee talks to other patrons. (Anyway, I have also heard in wine tasting there is this 5S: see, swirl, sniff, sip, savor.)
After sniffing, slurping, and savoring, I had to summarize and share my thoughts about the coffee. And boy, I had not even a single clue about the flavors. I was shown a paper containing flavor wheel that classifies coffee flavors. That was not very helpful either. I guess I need way a lot of practice.
After that the bowls are shuffled and I was asked to try again all coffee and guess the name of all the coffee. I could only correctly guess two out of six. I was amused by how most of the well-trained baristas could guess correctly. They are really awesome!
Nevertheless it was a very enlightening experience for me. I feel so thankful to the baristas that kindly offered me such a great opportunity to learn. I am really eager to trying this out again some other time and learn about the richness flavors coffee can offer.
In case you are in Bandung and thinking about enjoying coffee or just hanging out at coffee shop like I do, I am glad to recommend you to check out the place. See the map below for the location. And please say hello to the kind baristas from me!