THE DEPARTMENT OF COFFEE BLOGGING EVENT
A few weeks ago I was invited by the lovely people who run The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs & The Roastery Department -the coffee school part of Dept of Coffee- (lots of words there!) to attend their blogging event which allowed us bloggers into the world of green coffee sourcing, coffee cupping and some coffee cocktails! Lucky me eh?!
Myself being a mostly a foodie with the odd bar blog I didn't know a lot about coffee, just that I love drinking it and probably is my favourite hobby is getting takeaway coffee. In there we met the team and a guy called Bertie, who is from Schluter Coffee and he sources all the beans from Africa. What I learnt was that if you source 'Green Coffee' it means that you are getting the highest quality of beans as well as the trade being fair on the farmers. It also means that your coffee is fully traceable meaning that you know exactly where it has come from, unlike a lot of commercial coffee shops which do not have this. Cool stuff huh.
Once we had a chat about the history of the company we were then introduced to 'cupping'. I had no idea what this was and it's basically where you:
- Smell the coffee dry
- Add water to the coffee, leave for 4 minutes, smell again
- Remove the 'crust' stir it 3 times, smell again
- Slurp some coffee!
The trick is, the more air you get in your mouth when slurrping it oxidises the flavours and aromas in your mouth allowing you to have access to all the goodness in the cup. After being on a little coffee high, we were then introduced to some excellent coffee cocktails, one rum & one vodka based. Very yummy indeed.
What's really great about The Department of Coffee, the 'Social Affairs' bit is about members of their teams being active volunteers and board members of multiple charities in Africa. This is done by selling 'Thirsty Planet Water' which donates to Pump Aid. With the current 9 stores that The Department have, it's incredible how they sustain an amazing service and high quality of coffee.
As a food blogger it was really insightful for me, mostly being a consumer, to finding out about coffee and how it gets to me. It also makes you think about where you buy your coffee from and making a small change can make an impact to someone else.
For more information:
Website - The Department of Coffee: http://departmentofcoffee.com/?#home
Information on their charity work: http://departmentofcoffee.com/social-affairs/
6 Lamb Street
Website for Schluter Coffee: http://www.schlutercoffee.co.uk/