I suppose everyone has participated in one or two or many wine tasting events, but I participated in a coffee tasting. It was a first for me.
The place was an establishment called E&D Cafes in Bogotá, and, of course, the highlighted coffees were Colombian.
For starters, our host tested our taste buds, or at least, I presume that is what he was doing. We were to sip from four cups of water and identify which was acidic, bitter, salty or sweet.
He said coffees have 36 aromas. I don’t know how anyone puts fences around aromas and then comes to agreement with others on the matter.
Our group (nine journalists) was then presented with tastings of commercial (blended) coffees followed by three samples of unblended Colombian coffees from different regions.
Our host said Colombia has 500,000 coffee growers on 860,000 acres; in other words, most holdings are very small, and there is a head-spinning amount of variety.
The tasting progressed like this: For each cup, we sniffed the brew, then we were instructed to “break it up” by pushing the bowl of a spoon up and down in the surface, sniffing along the way.
Third, our host instructed us to “clean” the coffee, meaning skim the bubbles and whatever off the top, then taste it by sucking the liquid into our mouths.
As to the three Colombian coffees, one was called sweet, another was “acidic, citric,” and the third was called “chocolate, earthy.”
One of the E&D staffers said it costs about $25 per person for a tasting, and the shop will schedule the event for individuals or small groups. The price includes 100 grams of one of the Colombian coffees. Our nine pretty much hit the maximum capacity for a single session.
Our tastings setup also included individual spittoons for those who did not want to drink the coffee. I spat.
I don’t like coffee and have never drunk a full cup of the brew. So, to me, although the event was educational and fun, all brews smelled like coffee and all tasted bitter.
Wine is another matter.
— Nadine Godwin