Coffee at Christmas; how to taste the season.

Ah Christmas, cool crisp winter days, a touch of over indulgence and just as importantly food and drink. If there is a time of the year to spoil yourself with a good coffee this is the season to enjoy it. Enjoying finding a great coffee to drink and share over this season.

One thing we tend to think about when we say tasting is wine tasting. But that is now being overshadowed by coffee cupping. Hasbean.co.uk has a great introduction to coffee cupping …

People in the trade will have you believe that coffee cupping is a science, an exact art requiring a lot of expertise. To some extent this can be true, but this should not put off the enthusiast from enjoying it too. It can be very simple (and enjoyable) and there are no right or wrong answers. Your palette may pick up hints of a taste that the most season cupper would not, as each person can find different things in the cup.

What is cupping?

Cupping is a method of evaluating different characteristics of a particular coffee bean. Cupping allows us to compare and contrast coffees against each other, and allows us to get a better understanding of each coffee.

Its important that you so use the same method each time as this can have an effect o­n the results, so if cupping is being used as a comparison / evaluation tool then uniformity is key.

Why cup?

We cup coffees to understand their basic tastes. This can help us understand where different coffees could be slotted into blends not o­nly for this brewing method but all other methods too. It also makes us look at coffee in its basic form and appreciate some of its finer points. As already said it’s a fantastic evaluation tool for something that changes from farm to farm, region to region, country to country and crop to crop.

Pick out a group of coffees to enjoy testing. Look for a blend that has more body and depth than you normally drink. You can temper this with cream and something sweet to smooth it out for people that like a smoother coffee. Many of the blends that are picked for the Christmas period are cut with a hint of citrus, to leave a light taste on the palette.

Now you’ve got a great coffee have a look at some recipe ideas, it’s great to serve to unexpected guests that drop by over the holiday season, making them feel special even if you are out of mince pies. Check out this video for two great ideas for coffee recipes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHxLu88nUCQ