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Published July 21st 2012
Coffee cupping Market Lane tourism.vic.gov.au
You've probably heard of planking. Or perhaps even lamping where you cover your head and face, and position yourself in an unusual place.
Doubtless you have scoffed at someone mooning or even enjoyed some spooning. But have you by any chance done any cupping?
Now before your mind starts racing it has nothing to do with bras or crotches. Far from it.
Rather it is about Melburnians love affair with their coffee. It is all about smelling, swilling, and savouring that liquid brown to judge its taste, texture, aroma and origin.
Melanie Lynn has done a great job of describing the experience here when she paid for a cupping session at Campos.
But this article is about free cupping sessions in Melbourne. So you can develop your coffee palate while keeping your money for your caffeine addiction.
This great coffee place sets about 6-8 coffee samples on the table. Then you taste them blind (which means that no one is going to tell you which coffee is which until the very end). The session starts with an assessment of the aroma, and then the snobby fun bit: the slurping and spitting just like a wine connoisseur. You are then guided through the coffee evaluation, and given an explanation as to what to look for in the cup and how to assess and score the coffee samples with marking sheets at hand. What you will learn about your beloved addiction will astound you.
These public cupping sessions are every Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 11am. Sessions are free. No need to book - just turn up. To avoid disappointment you need to arrive 10 minutes beforehand and let the staff know you are interested in cupping that day. These cupping sessions are limited to six people so if you have a big group of people (more than 2) it is recommended you drop them an email to organise a private cupping. firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop 13, Prahran Market/163 Commercial Road South Yarra
There is a similar process at Seven Seeds. But the samples are based on what has been happening there during the week, whether that means sampling the arrival of new coffees or roast profiles or even tasting coffee they consider 'mistakes'. It is all part of your education. As well as broadening coffee palates, these sessions provide a great insight into the coffee business. So great if you are thinking of starting up your own coffee shop as great coffee can make or break you.
106 - 114 Berkeley Street Carlton
Die Clieu (Collingwood) cuppings are quite relaxed but still educational. One of their expert roasters takes you through a tasting of single origin coffees (sounds like scotch doesn't it?) from various parts of the world. They also lead you through different processing methods and coffee varieties which produce different flavours. No bookings required, but it is helpful to arrive 15 minutes beforehand so they can fit everybody in.
187 Gertrude Street Fitzroy (03) 9416 4661
For a calendar of the sessions at Seven Seeds and Die Clieu click here.