Coffe Tasting @ TAP Coffee, London

4.01.2015

I love going to tasting events. Whether it is wine tasting, whisky tasting, cheese tasting and etc. I will always learn something new. Even more so, I will start finding a new love for it. Not until recently I attended a sake tasting, I never thought I would have such interest into sake. Now expanding my repertoire, I went to a coffee "cupping" (in another word, tasting) event for fun. If you don't know already, I'm a tea drinker. I could go without a cup of coffee for months and years, I do still drink it occasionally but it's hard to find a good cup. Ah yes I'm pointing at the high street coffee chains, I would not consider them for a quality coffee as it is ghastly. So really, my coffee education began here.

Surrounded by major coffee chains just off Oxford Street on Wardour Street, TAP Coffee comes pretty edgy in comparison. With a minimalistic décor filled with wooden tables/benches and low-hanging metal lights. It's a destination for coffee snobs who know their flat white to ristretto to afogato to V60. Feeling slightly inadequate and ignorant, I headed downstairs of the shop for the coffee cupping event.

Coffee Tasting

Like all tastings, noticeably for liquid consumptions always involve sniffing first. Then loudly slurping the drink so it spreads to the back of the tongue (and if food is involved, take another slurp after the food). Lastly we evaluate the drink's taste, specifically the body, sweetness, acidity, flavour and aftertaste. This allows us to understand the minor differences between growing regions as it can varies in taste greatly.

To prepare the coffee samples, 2 tablespoons of freshly roasted and coarsely ground coffee in a 200ml glass. Hot water, just off the boil is added to to each glass. In the four mintues the coffee and water have interacted, a thick "crust" of grounds will be sitting on the top of the sample. With a cupping spoon, puncture the ground crust and drag it to the back portion of the glass. This will release a burst of aroma (we watched only, so never got to soak up the aroma). Once the breaking of the crust is done, the remaining top grounds are skimmed off. It's now ready for tasting. Each taster gets a spoon to slurp a spoonful of coffee and we rinsed our spoon in the water filled glass to avoid cross contamination. Moving back and forth around the table tasting each glass several times as the coffee cools down to room temperature, this allows us to see how the coffee fare at different stages in their cooling down.

Columbia, La Casiana

Rwanda, Nyamasheke Nyungwe

Rwanda, Karengera

Papua New Guinea, Atuawauka

Tanzania, Tweega Aa

Colombia, Inza Cauca

We tasted 6 coffees from Colombia to Rwanda to Tanzania to the unusual of Papua New Guinea. I'm not going to talk much about the taste as it's very personal and I'm still learning about coffee. TAP Coffee do source the highest quality coffee beans from around the world and they roast their own beans. Roasting coffee beans is another technical lesson for another day for another blog post.

Filter Coffee Menu



Afterwards, we had two cups of our favourite coffee beans from the cupping event - Columbia La Casiana and Rwanda Nyamasheke Nyungwe Peaberry made by v60. The filtered coffee came served in a small metal jug with a white cup, we get to pour the coffee into our cup. It's strong but not bitter and not overly acidic. Beside coffee, sandwiches, salad and the usual baked goods are also served here. The baristas seems very knowledgeable about coffee, at least able to answer all our queries which is rare. 

I know where to go when I need a coffee fixture, but it's nowhere near my work place so I need to find another coffee fixture near work unless I learn how to brew a cup. Hopefully in the near future, I can attend the coffee brewing class but before that I need to buy a coffee grinder.

Score Rating: 4/5
Price: ~£3/coffee

The coffee cupping is a free event and can be signed up online.

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