Acidity, texture, La Primavera, and whiskey at the NBC

Paul gave his third, and yet another wonderful, lecture today. This was sort of a part two to his presentation from yesterday, which was a basic explanation of sensory skills. Today he continued with acidity and texture tasting. The lecture (which you will be able to watch a video of) was followed by a cupping of various tastes and textures, so participants could really understand the points that Paul was making. It was a fantastic workshop, all agreed.

Team Denmark enjoys the cupping.

It was a very busy afternoon. We immediately moved into a special cupping of coffee after this. Here’s the gist of it: originally, the Nordic Roaster competition was supposed to provide the competitors with the same coffee, and the judging would be based on how that one coffee was roasted. But unfortunately, the Colombian coffee ”coming from a farm called La Primavera (check out the story here) ”didn’t make it in time. So the competitors in the Nordic Roaster prepared various other coffees instead.

But when the La Primavera did eventually come in last week, NBC organizers didn’t want it to go to waste, of course, so they asked five different Oslo roasters to roast it, and the NBC participants would do a cupping of the various roasts. What they didn’t know was that the roasts would be judged in the cupping, with the number one winning.

Tim Wendelboe was the winner of the Oslo roaster competition, with 48 votes!
Can you tell what were doing next?

So yes, up next, we had a whiskey and coffee pairing!

A volunteer sets the table for the whiskey and coffee pairing.

Organized by Martin, who was in charge of our fantastic food and beer pairing dinner the other night, the coffee and whiskey pairing was quite interesting. In the first flight, we paired Los Planes Pacamara from El Salvador with a 17 year old Glengoyne, and in the second flight, the pairing was a Kiunyu AA Kenya SL 34 with a 12 year old Glengoyne (which was 57% alcohol ”just smelling it made my hair stand on end).

The pairing was sort of controversial. Some people really enjoyed it, while others felt that the whiskey overwhelmed the coffee. Surely everyone agreed, however, that the tasting and palate challenge was quite interesting. And hey, it was really fun!

Happy ladies!
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Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.