Who doesn’t enjoy a good cuppa? But how many of us truly understand that coffee, just like wine, has different flavour profiles, aroma, taste and fragrance?
Award-winning café My Kingdom for a Horse owner and operator Emily Raven, along with her team of talented baristas, hosted coffee aficionados at a special coffee cupping event for keen bean enthusiasts last week. It was a great opportunity to try a wide range of coffee and appreciate the amazing flavour profiles across the coffee spectrum from different countries.
“We want to share our enthusiasm and love of coffee, and help people to appreciate good coffee more at home by demonstrating different brewing techniques,” – Emily Raven, owner
The café’s experienced baristas demonstrated different brewing techniques, while guests had the opportunity to participate in the cuppings and sample coffee beyond their experience of espresso-based drinks. As well as learning to taste the way professionals do in a cupping, guests experienced a selection of single origins for both espresso and pour over brewing methods.
Cupping is one of the coffee tasting techniques used by cuppers to evaluate coffee aroma and the flavour profile of a coffee. To understand the minor differences between coffee growing regions, coffee from around the world is tasted side-by-side.
Amy Schubert, the café’s senior barista/coffee guru, showed us a simple, yet replicable way to sample different flavours of coffee. Freshly ground coffee is placed in each cupping bowl, then filled with hot water. After 4 minutes, the crust of the coffee on the top is broken using a preheated spoon: this is where a potent burst of aroma is first released. The spoon is rinsed and then moved on to the next coffee sample and the flavours change as it cools down. As we slurp a tablespoon full of freshly brewed coffee, it is aerated over the palate, enabling us to taste the flavour profile of the beans.
Emily is also the roaster for the café’s own specialty beans. She explained that if the beans are roasted for too long, it destroys the flavours; if roasted for too short, the coffee could have too strong an acidic flavour. Just like fine wine coffee needs to be aged, as do the beans as they are still releasing volatile gases after being roasted.
Kate Murphy, another passionate barista, explained that one does not need fancy coffee equipment to get fancy results. She showed us the “pour over”, where the pour over brewing involves pouring hot water over and into the cone filter, gently pushing water through the ground coffee to extract the coffee flavours.
What’s left of the hot water in the server or mug is filtered coffee with fruity, floral notes. Similar to decanting wine, the coffee is then tipped into another server to aerate the coffee. Unlike an espresso, the pour over is a gentle process of extraction, with less pressure through finely ground beans.
What sets the specialty coffee at My Kingdom for a Horse apart is that not only is their coffee roasted in-house by knowledgeable experts in the city, but there is traceability of coffee to the farm. Knowing that their specialty crops come from sustainable and ethical practices, and understanding the supply chain, helps benefit the communities and farms involved. They also aim to please the palates of coffee lovers, by sourcing interesting flavour profiled coffees around the globe.
Coffee cannot get any easier from bean to cup, with a variety of beans and simple methods to make your own cuppa at home. Now it’s time to pour and enjoy!