It’s all about the cupping …

Posted on May 20, 2013

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97b39391ccdad513324d511c69f16d5dWhilst coffee has no direct correlation with fitness or running, health or wellness, it does play a pretty major role in fuelling me every morning and in particular, up mammoth mountains, over super long distances and often at crazy altitude. In fact, before I’ve had a good injection of the black stuff every morning, I’m probably not a particularly nice person to be around … I’m sure H1 would support this (!) … and besides, it’s no secret amongst many of the world’s greatest endurance athletes that caffeine assists in performance. A quick google search brings no shortage of studies to support this claim.

As luck would have it, I spent an ab fab morning today at the Coffee Planet roastery in Jebel Ali, Dubai. One word: FANTASTIC. Not only because it involved a tasting from the hottest roast master you could imagine, nor just because it involved tucking into dark chocolate (all in the name of learning about taste profiles) or even because, like a child going on a school trip, a half day away from my mac, on a Monday no less, seemed a very exciting prospect indeed … but because I left totally buzzing (sorry!) with an entirely new vocab, a whole host of coffee trivia and a solid understanding of the humble and quite romantic journey of a coffee bean from seed to cup.

  • Did you know that our ability to detect different tastes is determined by what our mums ate when carrying us?
  • Did you know that the process of coffee tasting is called cupping?
  • Did you know that the whole tasting process is much like wine tasting with its identification of aromas and taste profiles to determine the type and even country of origin? In fact, according to a very important man aka the Coffee Planet Big Boss, whilst wine has 846 different aromas, coffee has 847 …
  • Did you know that every country produces quite distinctive beans and when you learn to taste, it becomes quite easy to detect weird and wonderful flavours from garden peas to ginger, citrus to cucumber? But having said that, the taste of the final coffee is also largely determined by how the roast master creates it and the barista makes it. As such, it becomes easy I guess for different brands to adopt a really unique taste and character …
  • Did you know there’s a huge variety of brewing methods … involving some very odd-looking contraptions which took me back to days gone by in the chemistry lab at school (when not skiving off that is)? From the Japanese V60 to the German Chemex to the US Clever Dripper … the options are extensive!
  • Did you know that the most minor defects in individual beans are detected during the roasting process resulting in them being totally discarded because of the effect they will have on the flavour and quality of the resulting coffee? The quality control element is fascinating not least because I have an unquenchable passion for perfection.

In a nutshell, coffee is a wonderful element of our lives, in many cases a lifeline! And when it comes to Coffee Planet, from the coffee you find in their vending machines to the coffee they supply to many of our leading hotels, it rocks. It just rocks! If further afield, jump at any opportunity to visit a roastery – you will learn so much – and if here in the land of sand, read up, keep your eyes peeled … and the next time you’re sipping on a godshot Coffee Planet cuppa, feel blessed that it is indeed a Coffee Planet cuppa!

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