Every Wednesday at noon and Saturday at 11:30a.m. Broadway Cafe and Roasting Company hosts a group of 8 people at their roasting plant just off of 40th Street and Broadway to cup 2 different coffees.
But what is cupping? You can learn a little bit more about cupping at the event. Basically cupping coffee is a way to taste coffee. It’s a process that roasters go through when they receive samples from green bean suppliers, they do a sample roasts of the coffees they receive, then cup the coffee. They cup the coffee to pull out flavors that may or may not appeal to them. Sometimes the flavors you taste in coffee are actually defects in the beans themselves. A roaster needs to know that before they buy pounds of the green then turn it into the coffee we love so much.
What do we do during this public coffee cupping? Emily, with the help of the roasters, pick a couple different coffees to cup. A couple weeks ago we cupped their Anniversary Blend but as the individual coffees then drank them together as the blend. When you walk into the roasting facility, you walk to the back, a space not everyone is privileged to go and be. You will see a table with 8 cups of dry, ground coffee on both sides of the table with a total of 16 cups. As well as cups of water and a cup of spoons in the middle of the table. There are also these vials of scents that resemble different things such as caramel, chocolate, smoke, or even toast. You may feel like you are in a class room because there is also a chalk board with the coffees and the coffees’ information; like origin, elevation, and region. There are no flavor notes on the chalk board because it’s one big discussion about what you taste. This is experience may feel like you are in a class room, but it is just a get together for coffee lovers to discuss about our common thread, our love for coffee.
Before they add the water to the coffee, you actually want to enjoy the aroma of the freshly ground coffee, and take note of what you smell. Then they will add the hot water and we wait 4 minutes for the coffee to steep and form a crust on top. After the 4 minutes is up we will then break the crust and take note of the aromas that arise from the coffee. Then a few of us will take the crust off of each of the cups to then get ready to actually try and drink the coffee. This is a part of the cupping where it can get a little loud. When trying the coffee, you actually want to slurp the coffee, by aerating the coffee you are allowing the coffee to go up to your olfactory and spread across your taste buds to get a better taste.
After we go through the coffee cupping process, we will then taste the coffee as a french press and then as a air pot. From the first sip, you can taste the difference between the coffees and the brew methods. To me, it is always fun and exciting to learn that each brew method pulls out different flavors in the coffee.
Broadway started to do the public cupping because of Emily(who is the woman pictured above on the left). Emily is a recent hire of Broadway. She used to work in a cafe in New York who served Intelligentsia Coffee. Emily wanted to do the public cupping because she wanted the public to have a way to learn more about coffee in an atmosphere that wouldn’t intimidate your average person. She often found that from previous job, that when people know just a little bit more about coffee, it puts them above those that do not know a lot. It then gives you a little bit more respect for that product when you know a little bit about it’s history.
So you do not have to be a coffee fanatic to attend. You can know a little or a lot. The public coffee cupping is a learning experience for every one that is there. Bring a friend. They just ask that you RSVP through their Facebook, or email. I will have more information below.
Broadway Cafe and Roasting Company
4012 Washington, Kansas City, MO
Wednesdays at noon
Email Emily for reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org