★ Cupping.

Last night, I went to Caffenation in Antwerp to attend my very first cupping session. I can hear you thinking: "Cupping?"
Let me refer to Wikipedia for this one:
Coffee cupping, or coffee tasting, is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee.

Rob over at Caffenation had posted on Twitter that he still had some places left for the cupping course and Davy called me to check if I wanted to go. I happily accepted.

On sunday evening, Davy, Lieve and I met up in Antwerp for dinner and after that we went to Caffenation for the course. I had done some searching on Foursquare and picked out Lunchbox as a dinner-location, which turned out to be a success: nice location, decent food and good atmosphere.

Around 19h we arrived at Caffenation and the other 7 people attending the course. Rob started off with a short introduction on how the next 2 hours would be filled and then walked us through the cupping sheet in front of us. We were going to score 4 coffees on the following attributes:
- Aroma (both dry and wet)
- Acidity
- Flavor
- Mouthfeel
- Aftertaste

To be very honest, the first few times smelling and tasting, I didn't notice much difference at all and it was really hard to point out a specific flavor. But as the coffee got a bit colder, it released much more flavors and sent. After about an hour of slurping and tasting each coffee several times, we all sat down and went over our thoughts and scores for each one of them. It was really cool/funny to see what the more experienced people tasted in some of the coffees (ie: I wrote down 'sweet' where someone else wrote down 'lime, orange, nutty').

After that, Rob talked about how the coffee beans are roasted and which stages are important in this process, and about "slow coffee" and the equipment that can be used for that. (I've been using an Aeropress for a couple of months now and I absolutely love it. Plus I've tried some French Press as well and I'm considering getting one of those too.)
All in all, an interesting evening.