First, you inhale the fragrance. Then, you sip the liquid for brightness and body. No, it’s not a wine tasting. It’s a coffee cupping—one of the latest food trends to hit the Baltimore area. At a recent cupping, Allie Caran, a barista at Woodberry Kitchen, led a group of mostly novices through the intricacies of sampling various kinds of coffee. But this was no gulp and run. Participants sampled the brew at various stages—from sniffing the grounds to “breaking the crust” to slurping the coffee with spoons. “We really felt the need to do this,” says Caran, who leads cuppings at 10 a.m. on Fridays at the restaurant (woodberrykitchen.com) to share her expertise with the public. “We have the space, tools, and knowledge to effect change.” Caffe Pronto (caffepronto.com), a high-end roastery in Annapolis, also holds cuppings on Fridays at 2 p.m. “For customers who have an appreciation of coffee and other libations, it’s a great way to educate the palate,” says Vincent Iatesta, the company’s president. The cuppings at both locations are free.
Cuppings dip into the nuances of roasts and blends.
Issue date: January, 2011