Cupping is an intimate act.
Sniffing, slurping, then spitting one’s coffee in a room full of strangers is an easy way to look crazy, unless one is standing at the tasting table at Belleville Brûlerie. Then it is not only acceptable, but encouraged as part of the cupping process.
The table plays a key role. Cupping, the process coffee professionals use to evaluate the quality of coffee beans and analyze flavors and aromas, requires a lot of glasses and therefore, a lot of space.
The slim mustachioed men behind Belleville Brûlerie, David Flynn (formerly co-owner ofTélescope), Thomas Lehoux (Ten Belles) and Anselme Blayney (Ten Belles and Le Bal Café), commissioned their handmade table in Serbia specifically for this purpose. Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, they open up their bare bones production space for cupping sessions with baristas from the various cafés they supply, including (but not limited to) Kooka Boora Café, Holybelly, Le Bal Café, Ten Belles, Fragments, and Fondation Café. Starting November 16th, on Saturdays, they’re cupping with the public, too.
Imagine a wine tasting. Then imagine a wine tasting on crack. Or rather, caffeine. That’s cupping. But unlike a wine tasting, where the product is ready for consumption and merely needs to be poured into a glass, coffee tasting requires preparation and scientific attention to detail. The beans are thus freshly ground and brewed with scientific precision in front of your eyes in a lengthy but rewarding process. One that requires a lot of cups.
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