The other night I was in my car and heard an interesting piece on All Things Considered (NPR )— about how all across America—coffee is becoming the ‘new wine.’ In Seattle and other cities around Puget Sound, where many of us pride ourselves on being coffee connoisseurs and lots of us are indeed jaded, including me — ‘cupping’ has become a trendy way to savor the brew. A single cup of coffee is prepared by pouring hot water ever-so-gently over grounds inside of a cone-shaped filter. I have been ‘brewing’ my own coffee this way for years and didn’t realize just how trendy it was. It’s just the easiest way for me to get caffeinated in the morning— boil some water and pour— no muss / no fuss. When I travel, I even bring my little Melita cone and some ground coffee with me.
But coffee discernment goes beyond cupping. There are many brewing methods (slow and not so slow)
which showcase the special characteristics of the bean. Just like grapes grown for wine, coffee beans come from many countries and are grown in a variety of conditions to achieve specific qualities.
What I discovered while researching “Eclectic Coffee Spots in Puget Sound” is that the total enjoyment of sipping and savoring has a great deal to do with the place where we imbibe.
And, just like in wine tasting, our responses have a lot to do with where we are and who we’re with.