universal points of application, bulleted for easy use

February 28, 2006 – 11:20 pm

the cypriot decides cupping spoons are for the birds. his palate, it turned out, had been fried the night before

as you might have expected from a blog that loathes the personal sort of event rehash common to many other topical haunts, the smackdown d’espresso and general vice offered some sparkly gems of general wisdom. yes, this is like three days after the fact. but such things have to congeal, you know. that’s this blog’s motto: no more real-time insight! the crustier the news, the more you benefit! like a layer of sumatran sludge on a bowl of boiling water! think cupping metaphors!

enough sarcasm-denoting marks of exclamation. what this blog learned from the weekend’s cupping:

* even coffee neophytes can detect the watery poo that is the *$ sumataran product. cupped blind next to the stellar sidamo, the most casual member of the cupping table could joke disparagingly about the sock water.

* the illustrous wet-washed sidamo, i say, has so much going on that no two cuppers could agree on its dominant qualities — and that’s a good thing! i heard honey, tangerine and leg of lamb. indeed, the sidamo as an SO almost had more variety in its profile than the multi-bean puro scuro.

* one’s ability to find said sidamo’s fruitier qualities hinges heavily on whether or not one has smoked a cuban stogie the night before. (actual examples of sarkis’ descriptors: “tobacco.” “salmon — smoked salmon.” “smoked mushrooms.” “smoked blueberry.” “lag of lamb, smoked.”).

* a bonus round of sidamo-only coffees punctuated what was my cursory understanding of various roast methods. a quick-n-dirty popper-roasted batch, my own controlled i-roast batch and the bioluminescent cypriot’s drum-roasted version — all brought to full city or slightly darker — showed dramatic variances. definitely the most complexity and mystery from the drum. definitely more bland one-dimensional attributes with the popper. as for the i-roast, i was mystified. amazing aromas. hard-to-pull tastes. but with time, some of them were there. needed: more research.

* puro scuro: a smoking man’s blend … and, therefore, the only one the cypriot could taste! dark. moody. truffles, the cypriot said. longbottom leaf for sure. spicy dried fruit. all of this we knew already, but after swilling poo and a fruit cocktail, it was all the more a deep, thought-provoking anchor to the more adventurous SO coffees.

* the expansion of a cupper’s descriptive vocabulary — long a perk of group cupping — grows still further when said cupping session segues toward an after-party of complementary oral fixations. the indulgences included cocoa dusted almonds, dried cherries, various and sundry french cheeses (from three-year cave-aged gouda to a creamy cantal), auxiliary, uh, beverages and still more aesthetic pursuits. more descriptors for us! watch for future moldy-gin coffees described here!

cupping grinder ………………………………… jason: “slurping the throwaways is better than charbucks!”…………………………………. oral addenda.