The San Diego Home Roasters met Saturday February 3rd at Caffé Calabria f=
the monthly meeting. This month featured both a coffee cupping presented b=
our hosts and a roasting demonstration from one of our members.
For the cupping, Calabria's Michelle turned on the Ritz for us. She had
prepared in advance a cupping table with all the necessary paraphernalia.http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d125/huuanito/sdhr-1.jpgThere were 6 different coffees labelled as follows:
Costa Rican in-house,
Papua New Guinea in-house,
Papua New Guinea FTO Purosa grade A Vournas,
Papua New Guinea Purosa AA Vournas, and
Papua New Guinea Purosa A-Y Vournas.
The first 3 coffees were each roasted two ways:
the usual cupping roast and the normal production roast for that bean. In
addition Jeffrey, one of our members brought along some of his recently
popper-roasted Monsooned Malabar and this was added to the cupping.
Michelle carefully explained the procedure to us and we started in.
First we all sniffed the dry aroma of the various roasted and ground beans.
The differences between even the two roast levels of the same bean was quit=
apparent. Along with sniffing the dry aroma we also were able to visually
inspect samples of the whole roasted beans in an adjacent tray. Michelle
then measured out an amount of the grounds into the glass tumblers radially
in front of each coffee around the table. Then she added hot water to each
and shortly after a crust of ground coffee formed on the surface of each.
While waiting for the coffee to brew we each armed ourselves with a cupping
spoon and a 12oz paper cup to use as a personal spittoon.
After about 3 minutes we proceeded to "break the crust" on each brew using =
cupping spoon. To do this one pushes the crusted grounds to the bottom of
the tumbler with the spoon while sniffing deeply the released aroma, and
noting the various components of that aroma. There were enough tumblers s=
that we all had several trials at this procedure though there were not
enough so that we could all break the crust on a sample of each coffee.
Next the remaining floating grounds were removed from the surface deftly
using a pair of spoons.
Then we proceeded in file to the next step: taking a spoonful of the brew,
raising it to the mouth and deeply slurping on it inhaling lots of air with
it, so that the coffee is spread all around the inside of the mouth to give
full access for all the flavors. After noting the nuances the coffee is the=
spat out into the personal spittoon and an attempt made to sense any
aftertaste from the coffee.
Between slurps the cupping spoons are rinsed with hot water provided for th=
This last step is repeated several times to judge taste changes as the
Once we all had many tastes of the coffee and it was all mostly cooled,
Michelle shooed us out of the cupping room while she arranged a blind
cupping of the Costa Rican, Colombian and one of the PNGs.
On our return she had three tumblers arranged on the counter marked only as
1,2 and 3 and we had to use our newly acquired cupping skills and using
cupping spoons to slurp up a taste of each and to pick which was which. We
noted our findings on the back of some business cards and then Michelle
revealed who had it right by placing the identities of coffees by the
Only one of our group managed to identify the coffees correctly so I guess
we'll all need to come back again next month to practice more.
Next we moved on to Fulton's demonstration of his Hottop roaster. Fulton ha=
his roaster fed via a variac to set the input voltage accurately so as to
make sure that it roasts repeatedly to the same levels, as house voltages
can vary somewhat.
The batch size was 250 grams green and, if I recall correctly, resulted in
around 206 grams roasted.
First crack appeared at around 14 minutes and the roast was dumped into the
cooling ray around 17 minutes.
As is usual with this dry-processed coffee the roast was slightly uneven,
but that is the nature of this type of bean and not a reflection on the
After running a couple of cooling cycles through the machine Fulton roasted
up a second batch.
Once the roasting demonstration was over we drifted into another corner of
the wharehouse where Michelle and Silvana had prepared a vacuum pot of a CO=
Guatemalan coffee and we cupped that. It was one fine coffee. Very clean
tasting. I'd describe it better but describing coffee taste attributes is,
sadly, not my specialty.
Jeffrey and Silvana held an intense conversation about espresso preparation
and then Jeffrey, who has a Rancilio L27 at home, pulled several doubles o=
his own popper roasted espresso blend on the house back-room La Marzocco.
Later Jeffrey also gave us a quick demonstration of his amateur latte art
skills. Most impressive, a fish. Didn't look amateur to me:http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d125/huuanito/sdhr.jpgFor our meeting on the first Saturday of next month, March, Michelle has
graciously agreed to host another cupping. This will be followed by a
demonstration of the espresso making art by Silvana .
And if YT get his act together in time, for the following month we are
hoping to have a SC/TO (stir crazy/turbo oven) coffee roasting demonstratio=
which will feature Tom's beans.