Trips: Coffee Lab International

Written by Cafe Campesino on Jul 1, 2004 in NEWSLETTER, Trips |
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Adapted from Monika Firl’s article in the Cooperative Coffees newsletter

The Cooperative Coffees Green Bean Committee coordinated the first-ever roasting and cupping workshop June 10 and 11, with the support of Mané Alves at Coffee Lab International in Vermont. Attending was a lively blend of the coop’s experienced to most neophyte roasters. Participants included: TJ Semanchin, Peace Coffee; Larry Larson, Larry’s Beans; Drew Park, Bongo Java; Lee Harris, Cafe Campesino; Chris Treter, Higher Grounds Trading; and Monika Firl, Cooperative Coffees.

Cupping exercises included blind tastes, grading and discussing how our beans compare to “typical” or “exceptional” coffees from same region.

We were able to experiment, looking at the affects of changing speed and temperatures, and to discuss the ideal roast profiles for our stock varieties.

“You want to find the sweet spot of every coffee,” Mané Alves recommended. “Drive out the moisture, get to the first pop, then work the characteristics of the bean.”

We discussed how different green processing techniques affect cup quality, and we were able to take a close look at some promising new sources.

“The class was great!” said Café Campesino roaster, Lee Harris. “I was thoroughly impressed with Mané, his facility and his staff. I feel that I have a much better understanding of the cupping process and the SCAA form, and a better understanding of how to manipulate the roaster machine to get the coffee roast I want.”

The experience was rich, rewarding and… a whole lot of fun!

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