Freelance writer, food blogger and Etsy store owner.
Published April 3rd 2011
Science Meets Coffee on a Coffee Tasting Flight...
On a rainy Sunday morning we're welcomed into Bean Drinking by the friendly baristas. Bean Drinking, located in Crows Nest, is no ordinary coffee shop. Whilst you can order your usual style of coffee (latte, cappuccino, etcetera), Bean Drinking also houses the aptly named "Coffee Lab".
The Coffee Lab, reminiscent of a science lab, is filled with various contraptions used to make coffee. In fact everything about the processes that take place in the Coffee Lab is scientific. We're told that it's a lot of trial and error and can take years to perfect. Everything is weighed, measured and timed precisely.
The Coffee Lab features four different types of experimental coffee extraction methods being Syphon, Pour Over, Cold Drip and Slayer Espresso.
We start with the Syphon method. The Syphon is a originally a Dutch invention now highly popular in Japan. The coffee is extracted through a glass contraption sitting above a halogen lamp which it uses as a heat source. It glows bright red creating a spectacular visual, as well as tasting, experience.
The exact same coffee, a Cup of Excellence bean sourced from Nicaragua, is then extracted via a different method known as "Pour Over". Here the coffee is filtered through filter paper in a porcelain cup. We are reminded of our high school science days and are more than impressed at how different the exact same coffee tastes when extracted in a different method.
We next get to try the Cold Drip Coffee which is a process that takes five hours to prepare just 300mL. The mixture keeps for up to two days and the crema is reactivated by simply shaking the bottle. This coffee is tasted cold and consists of a rich, chocolatey flavour.
Consistent with the science theme, Bean Drinking have been experimenting with the effects of carbonation on coffee so we try Cold Drip poured over sparkling mineral water. Again we are impressed with how different the coffee tastes when altered slightly.
Our last coffee is the strongest, an espresso shot extracted through a Slayer machine. This very expensive machine allows the barista to vary the pressure while extracting the shot, giving it a far more complex taste than a normal espresso. The process takes around 45 to 50 seconds, nearly twice as long as the espresso extracted by a normal machine.
Each of these different extraction methods can be purchased individually or for $12.50 you can try three on a "coffee tasting flight". Throughout this experience you'll not only get to taste the coffee but you'll also learn about the different methods as well as the origin and details of the coffee. Somewhat like a wine tasting session, you'll realise by the end that coffee is incredibly complex and even the tiniest details can make the greatest difference to the taste and texture of the coffee. Bean Drinking's vision is to change the way people think about coffee - to savour and enjoy it rather than rush through to-go orders.
Bookings aren't necessary, regardless of the size of your party. We're told that Bean Drinking once had a thirteen person stag-do turn up for an impromptu coffee flight.
Coffee expertise also isn't necessary - casual coffee drinkers and coffee connoisseurs alike will thoroughly enjoy the overall experience.