I took the morning off to attend cupping at one of Melbourne’s micro roasters, The Vertue of the Coffee Drink. They hold public cupping sessions weekly, which kick off at 10am each Wednesday. In true Melbourne form, The Vertue of the Coffee Drink is hidden down a laneway, just behind the Lygon and Elgin Street intersection. Upon arrival, you soon realise that these guys know a thing or two about the brown bean. From the Has Garanti roaster gleaming in the sunlight, to the main coffee bar kitted out with a La Marzocco Strada, numerous Mythos One grinders, an ek43, a set of pour over station, and freshly roasted beans; they have all the tools for extracting coffee.
This morning the bench along the wall was converted into a cupping table, where we blind sampled 6 beans from Central America.
Cupping doesn’t just involve slurping and spitting, it encompasses the objective assessment of a beans aroma and flavour profile, and helps coffee professionals and enthusiasts increase their knowledge. I am always grateful when roasters willingly share their knowledge with the community, as it and promotes communication between the coffee industry and the public. On a personal level, it also allows me to meet fellow coffee lovers, like Nahoko, who attended cupping this morning.
So, once the beans were all roasted in the 2 Drum Coffee PRO Sample Roaster, Kiran prepared each lot, and we went through the process of assessing the fragrance, aroma, and then flavour. Once we have cupped each coffee, Kiran revealed each coffee on the table, and it was no surprised the one I was most impressed by was the Guatemalan Santa Isabel. This coffee is from Alta Verapaz, and grows at around 1400 to 1600 meters above sea level. The Valdés Family employed a Kenyan style of processing, which results in a clean yet bright cup, with lots of red fruit highlights.
The following coffees were also on the table:
This washed offering was sourced from First Crop, who visited the Renacimiento Co-Op earlier this year. According to First Crop, the town that this coffee is from is named after a German defector who moved to the area after escaping Germany in World War 2. In the cup, we tasted baked chocolate notes, with little acidity.
Guatemalan Las Crucitas.
This fully washed offering had a well-rounded body, with chocolate and stone fruit notes.
This washed Nicaraguan had a little bit more acidity, with notes of nougat on the finish.
Nicaraguan Juan Raul Rivera.
This honey processed offering was both sweet and herbaceous, and burnt sugar notes were evident as it cooled.
We also cupped a washed Nicaragua SHG (Strictly High Grown ), which was bold, and loaded with cocoa notes.
The Vertue of the Coffee Drink
8 Raffa Pl, Carlton VIC 3053