The Roomies are together again for another 6 months in the actual room 409. We’re back at our hotel school and resume our studies. Read More
Last week while traveling around Switzerland I accidentally stumbled upon something very cool and interesting in Bern. It was Saturday morning so me and a friend were just checking out the food market where I saw a guy selling coffee beans. I have to admit, I didn’t pay much attention, but then I saw some serious grinders and an expensive espresso machine and immediately thought there should be a reason for these babies to be there, so I went back a bit to discover Cafethek – Lukas Niederhauser’s passion towards coffee. Read More
It was time for us in the German part of Switzerland to hear something from the French right? And by something I mean some coffee related news. Let me tell you a bit about Boréal, the roastery I had the pleasure to visit while in Geneva. Read More
Coffee is very complex in chemical composition and flavor. More than 400 organic and inorganic chemical compounds are present in the coffee bean and not one can be regarded as the primary component in it’s flavor. And not only that, but then every human palate responds in a unique way to sensations of aroma and taste.
Imagine a coffee competition with many judges. It is a normal practice before an event like this the judges to have a calibration. What they do actually is making sure they evaluate every coffee the same way, but also that every judge is giving the right name to each flavor. Otherwise, as you can imagine, their scoring sheets would be quite different from one another and wouldn’t make sense. This is their way of deciding what tastes like what.
When we speak about life though, there is no calibration. And from there comes the problem, how do you know what are you tasting? Is it sour? Is it bitter? How do you know that what you’re sensing on your palate is the same as what others are sensing? That you’re talking about the same thing?
You don’t. You assume you know.
When you’re younger you tend to mimic your parents, your siblings, you develop your taste, but many of us don’t go very far in that. Yes, there are the so called super tasters and non-tasters and average tasters (some people have more tastebuds than others), but in everyday life it comes to if you like it or not. And that’s it. Taste is rarely discussed. Then you start cupping coffee, you start listening how the experienced cuppers discuss its acidity, sweetness, mouthfeel and you cannot help it but feel dumb. To you coffee it is just bitter and yet you haven’t heard them saying anything about that. But again, do you know what bitter is? That’s how it all starts.
Welcome to Tasting intelligence, the blogpost series where we’ll calibrate together 🙂
The Black&Blaze Coffee Roasting Company is located on the main road of Ebmatingen, a little town not very far from Zurich, very easy t0 get to (take bus 747 from Klusplatz). I was there on Wednesday morning to visit Claude Stahel, the head roaster of the roastery and to see what is he up to. Read More
How to deal with expectations when introducing specialty coffee to the average coffee drinker. Read More
Last night we had a blast at Bar Sattler in Bern where the 14th edition of the Swiss Thursday Night Throwdown Latte Art Competition was held! Awesome weather, awesome people, awesome patterns, a lot of beer and fun!