Joe and Abbie got the chance to attend a cupping session at Coffee Island in Covent Garden with some Brazilian coffee farmers thanks for the Brazilian Speciality Coffee Association.
Another first in a brilliant year – neither of us had ever cupped a coffee before. What’s even better than this, though, was the fact that the farmers had been flown over from Brazil to talk the attendants through what was on the table.
The farmers were explaining that, although Brazil isn’t necessarily known for growing speciality grade coffee and is usually mixed with other bean origins for an expresso blend, the techniques and the wider knowledge of coffee they now have means that it is now possible to see a single origin Brazilian score at speciality grade.
It was a very well-organised event by the Brazilian Speciality Coffee Association, and gave us a real insight into the care and attention these plants that create the second-most traded commodity in the world receive.
Will there be a move away from seeing Brazil as a base for a coffee blend and into being a single origin speciality bean? Maybe not just yet, but these farmers, and many of the other coffee producers in Brazil, are doing their best to make sure it is even mentioned in the same context.
Back to the cupping, it was a wonderful experience for Abbie and I. The slurping and swilling may have felt a little awkward for our first attempt, but as we got into it, we relaxed and enjoyed our time thoroughly.
Thanks very much to the Brazilian Speciality Coffee Association for inviting us along. We are now very much looking forward to cupping coffees in the future.