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Taking it to the Next Level - hosting a cupping session
Some of you may know that I have now taken the leap to host one (or more) cupping sessions for 2009 Cup of Excellence samples here in Washington DC.

The first session will be held tomorrow--here is my announcement of the event. I've hosted some informal sessions, as well as a beginning cupper's session jointly with the owner of Qualia Coffeehouse here in DC.

Some initial thoughts before the event, focused on the logistics as I am checking off my sheet.

Logistics and organization (two things my day job has taught me) make or break everything. I have likely over-organized and labeled everything, but as I grew up, I was taught the seven P's--prior proper planning prevents piss-poor performance.

For this event, we are cupping the top twenty lots, in four flights of five, counting down.
All samples are pre-weighed and labeled in individual bags, based on the known size of the cupping glasses.

We have sufficient hot water for each flight on hand.

We have sufficient glasses to avoid washing in-between flights, unless we get too many late-comers.

We have cupping forms matched for each flight--based on sage advice, I am sticking with the form I have been using for the last year. http://www.bootco...gsheet.pdf

We are cupping in a coffee training center, so we have copies of the coffee taster's wheel and the coffee cuppers handbook on hand.

We have still and sparkling water available for palate cleansing, and opaque cups available for spitting.

I have two cameras for photos, likely supplemented by others.

Samples were all roasted Monday, with all roasts within 3 grams ( 193-196) for mass loss (out of a 230g green sample, scale measuring in whole grams). Though my hottop complained, it performed wonderfully.

More to come post event. For now, rest and anticipation. These El Salvador coffees were wonderfully prepped.
Folks, this is only the tip of the iceberg as to what else he has going on simultaneously. Unreal. Man is a coffee machine.

One time (the last time, as well), I had the Best of Panama samples. 24 of them. Never again. I experience palate fatigue. After about 7-8 samples, I could not distinguish anything.

Well done Chad. Look forward to the blogging and cupping notes. Hope there is a winner or two in there. The Suiza Finca bean we had in '07 was spectacular. Find it again.

Dave Borton
Milwaukee, WI

Good luck today! Wish I could be there!!! Really looking forward to your results. I really don't know how you can cup that many in one day. You're a better man than me!

Some of the best coffee from last year came from this auction. I am looking forward to the availability. I have purposely lowered my stash to make room! Jim
"How we treat our children determines who we are!"
Twas a marathon session, for sure. I'm wiped from the effort, and about to do it all over again tomorrow with a different origin. Nice part of tomorrow is that I have nothing to do but cup.

Trying to manage the cupping and cup is almost too much. Just 6 of us. 120 cups, ground on the spot (thankfully I heeded the advice to measure and bag the beans in the cupping weights ahead of time).

To run something any larger, I would likely need people dedicated to supporting the effort and not participating.

Some outstanding cups, and some quality folks showed--including a 2-time CoE jurist. I'll hit the ones we liked again Saturday, and will roast up the 21-33 samples over the weekend to cup before the auction.

Biggest gaffe of the day-I had bought a six-pack of sparkling water on the way to the training center. Didn't notice that it had cranberry flavoring, so it was pretty much useless. We all had a good laugh at that one.

Is this all part of your coffee kids auction strategy.... distract the competition

Seriously I only cupped 1/2 of the Brazil COE's and my palate was wiped.... you must have special control over you taste buds....

Looking forward to your results


Chad, your training regimen must be relentless! Kudos!

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover


milowebailey wrote:

Is this all part of your coffee kids auction strategy.... distract the competition

Seriously I only cupped 1/2 of the Brazil COE's and my palate was wiped.... you must have special control over you taste buds....

Looking forward to your results


Well, this was just over half of the 33 lots (20). Time for the top 20 Costa Rica lots in about an hour. Time to skedaddle over to Royal.
Not COE but for chad I'm drinking some Finca Alaska from last year today.... great cup still. Here's to Chad ThumbsUp
Edited by milowebailey on 05/29/2009 9:03 AM
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