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Coffee tasting/appreciation course in Melbourne?

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  • Coffee tasting/appreciation course in Melbourne?

    I see plenty of coffee making courses advertised, but Im having difficulty locating a coffee tasting/appreciation course in Melbourne.  

    I think I got the idea when I bought some coffee beans from Vic Market once and wondered why I was yawning all day at work.  I googled the coffees origin and found it was a naturally low-caffeine type.  I wished I had known that beforehand!

    Just as wine connoisseurs learn about the different qualities of wine, Id like to know what flavours and qualities distinguish one coffee from another, and what makes some better than others.  

    I absolutely dont want to spend money on a course that spends any time on coffee-making technique - Ive been making coffee for years and although I dont pretend to be world champion I think I know what Im doing

    Does anyone know of such a course?

  • #2
    Re: Coffee tasting/appreciation course in Melbourne?

    The absolute best coffee tasting course going at the moment, IMHO, is Saturday mornings, 10am at Brother Baba Budan in Little Bourke Street. Its not so much a course, its just a cupping; ie. a tasting of coffee using the methodology that roasters use to evaluate coffee for roasting or purchasing. It lasts about 1/2hr to an hour and there is no cost, though they always put a lot of effort into preparing for it, so its pretty poor form, IMHO, to turn up without buying anything or at least chucking some cash into the tip jar. There is usually a lineup of about eight different coffees that is always changing and always interesting; theres often some excellent and unique coffee that you basically wont be able to taste anywhere else, along with some solid and less unusual coffee and the odd defective cup thrown in to keep us all on our toes. If you turn up to a few of these in a row, you will build up a coffee palate in no time.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    • #3
      Re: Coffee tasting/appreciation course in Melbourne?

      Many thanks luca. Do the people running this give you any pointers as to what flavours you are tasting or do they just serve the coffee and tell you the names?

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      • #4
        Re: Coffee tasting/appreciation course in Melbourne?

        Hi DW,

        I went to one of these a couple of months ago as my first cupping session and it was really relaxed and low key. Sampled 4 one of which was a doggy boring 4 week old one 2 great ones and one that was a bit average to my palette. Followed up by running the pick of them past the clover and a bit of a chat about them it is well worth the trip

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        • #5
          Re: Coffee tasting/appreciation course in Melbourne?

          Check out the crew at Di Bella Roasting Warehouse in Victoria.... 19 Leveson Street North Melbourne... ask for Mick...

          He will be more than happy to take you on a tasting flight of origins and blends.....

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          • #6
            Re: Coffee tasting/appreciation course in Melbourne?

            Originally posted by 4C5F47444E4D280 link=1241955257/2#2 date=1241999692
            Many thanks luca.  Do the people running this give you any pointers as to what flavours you are tasting or do they just serve the coffee and tell you the names?
            Generally when people "cup", they taste the coffee by slurping spoonfulls of it as it cools. People usually take three or more passes through all of the coffees as they cool. This is important because the coffee beings to taste different as it cools and as you get nearer the bottom of the cup, where the grounds are steeping. The general etiquette is not to say anything about the coffee as people are still slurping to avoid putting any suggestions in peoples minds. Once everyone has finished, there is usually a free-flowing discussion of the coffee on the table. Usually, people will start by pointing out their favourites and then pointing out anything that they didnt like. People are usually hesitant to say anything the first few times that they do it, but people who cup regularly are always very encouraging and happy to see more people learning about coffee.

            I should note that cupping isnt really directed towards espresso. At the end of any cupping, I usually make a point to review the coffee separately for espresso and for brewed coffee, as some coffees are suited to one more than the other. Cupping uses a standard brewing method and roast to focus on evaluating the coffee rather than anything else. If you want to learn about espresso extraction, something like the William Angliss masterclass might be worthwhile. Even so, the cuppings at BBB are still well and truly worthwhile.

            Cheers,

            Luca

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