Coffee is all the rage, and it’s a trend that we don’t see dissipating anytime soon. With that in mind, right now is a great time to learn a thing or two about the bean – how to brew it, taste it, smell it and overall enjoy the nuances of a good cup of joe. At least, this is how they feel at Joe Coffee, a New York-based mini chain of superb coffee shops. That’s why they teach what is known as “cupping,” a technique that encompasses all the senses and is a way to really delve into what you are drinking. Basically, it’s like wine tasting for coffee.
What to Expect: No experience is necessary to sign up for this class, and since each gathering is capped off at 12 people, students have the advantage of an intimate setting. At the beginning of the hour-long class, the instructor, chosen from a rotating lineup of coffee professionals from Joe Coffee, gives an overview on coffee, and highlights what factors you, as a brewer, can do to affect the dark stuff. From there, the teacher goes on to discuss what you should look for when tasting coffee — how much body it has, tasting notes, color and overall acidity. Then, each class member gets to sample different coffees, each brewed using various methods, which is what cupping actually refers to. After the students have explored their beverages, the instructor opens up the floor to a discussion about why some methods work while others don’t, as well as tools and techniques on how to make the best cup of java.
When: The next class is Saturday, July 12 from 3 to 4pm, and they also have one on Wednesday, July 23 from 6 to 7pm. Sign up by going to joenewyork.com
Where: Each class is held at Joe Pro Shop at 131 W. 21st St., 212-924-7400
What to Bring: Everything you need is included in the class