Roast, Grind, Smell, Suck, Splurp, Spit

Coffee lovers are judging cafe brews for flavor and aroma at public 'cupping' sessions.

If your Mom ever told you it was rude to slurp, you'll get plenty of permission at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.  It's a coffee lover's answer to wine tasting. Java aficionados will be able to sample several coffees for their aroma and flavor. But there is a ritual and a name to all of this--cupping. Similar to wine tasting ,coffee drinkers will be able to analyze the coffee bean for it's fragrance, body, acidity, balance and finish.  "Newcomers are often surprised by the cacophony of slurping that occurs during group cupping but this is the best, most thorough way to test a coffee," said Charles Patton, owner of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

 To study the flavor of the coffee for example, Patton says "we take a small spoonful of the coffee and quickly suck it into our mouths"  That apparently distributes the coffee evenly over the tongue for the best possible analysis. "As with wine tasting, if you ingest the caffeine, you will feel the effects, good cuppers spit after a few moments," he added.

Even though Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is located just across the street from a Starbucks, the locally owned cafe has become so successful it's expanded its business to include a 'tasting room." Now public cupping sessions are held every Friday at 10:30 a.m. 

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters also attributes its success to the serving of freshly roasted organic and socially responsible coffee and espresso drinks using only organic milk.  Coffees from small micro-farms are also served.

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