James Hoffmann hosts another virtual coffee tasting this Saturday at 3 p.m. BST.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
James Hoffmann was into virtual coffee tastings before the pandemic popularized them. Last year, he gathered thousands of coffee nerds across the globe (including us at Barista Magazine) to blind cup several coffees from Square Mile Coffee Roasters at unconventional times to unofficially break a world record. While it wasn’t recorded by Guinness (the team didn’t apply), the livestream from a year ago proved to be entertaining and engaging for many, with nearly 120K views to date.
Since much of the coffee community has shifted to online interactions during COVID-19, it’s no surprise that James Hoffmann’s YouTube account has only skyrocketed in followers since then—and requests to bring back the tasting. After enough viewer demand and a simple desire to connect coffee people, James is hosting another round of The World’s Largest Coffee Tasting this weekend—do you have your kit yet?
“We’ve all had this weird collective experience of isolation, of detachment, of being separate, and it seemed to be a good time of doing something inclusive,” James said in the tasting’s YouTube announcement in August. Despite an overwhelming year of world news, this event proves to come at a time where we could truly use a tasty distraction.
Here’s how it works: Those who preordered the tasting kits will receive five 30-gram unlabeled coffee samples, along with a grind-size sample and Third Wave Water to make sure the coffee tastes as similar to other participants as possible. At 3 p.m. U.K. time on Saturday, a YouTube livestream will be available on James Hoffmann’s channel to taste coffees along with the team. At this stage in the process, participants should have received shipping notifications and can expect these kits to arrive soon!
For those of you who haven’t participated in a cupping, want some tasting/scoring sheets, or plan on safely tasting in a group setting, there is now an official website of resources for the World’s Largest Coffee Tasting here. We’ll be tasting with you all this weekend!