As evidence of Melbourne’s love for quality coffee, a number of specialty establishments across the city now offer coffee tasting – or ‘cupping’ – sessions in which fans of this noble brew can sip and sniff their way across a number of beans and blends.
According to aficionados, coffee should be held in the same esteem as wine, which is why these cupping sessions have been modelled on the concept of wine tasting where comparisons can be made between varieties, coffee sampled at different stages of the brewing process, and aromas and after-tastes analysed.
Coffee cupping coincides with a growing trend for using coffee as an unconventional ingredient in dishes (such as Vue de Monde’s kangaroo with coffee and chocolate crumble), as well as the ‘pairing’ of coffee to complement different foods (which takes place at special events at cafes such as St Ali), just like wine/food pairing.
Market Lane Coffee (Prahran)
These cupping sessions take participants through the process of creating coffee – from the smell of the coffee in its dry state through to its wet state, the smell of the crust during brewing, the breaking of the crust to reveal the full-body of the aroma and, finally, the end result after the coffee has cooled.
Thursday to Sunday, 10am, free
Seven Seeds (Carlton)
Whatever happens at Seven Seeds that week gets reflected in the cupping sessions, whether that means sampling the arrival of new coffees or roast profiles or even tasting coffee ‘mistakes’. As well as broadening coffee palates, these sessions provide a great insight into the coffee business.
Thursdays, 10am, donations for charity
Growers Espresso (North Fitzroy)
Once the café has closed for the day, groups of six or more people are encouraged to book cupping sessions to “discover the language of coffee” at Growers Espresso. While they specialise in Australian-grown coffees, cupping can be tailored to each group’s special interests or requirements.
Bookings essential, sessions 3pm onwards, phone (03) 9486 1886
For more information: www.visitvictoria.com
Media Contact: Elizabeth Ee, Tourism Victoria, (03) 9653 9716