This little press pot couldn't be much happier at the moment: I'm sitting next to a prefect batch of Costa Rican "El Conquistador" (ole!) coffee from our BFFs at Barrington Coffee Roasting Company -- the roasters we use at Joe and the fine folks for whom my colleague and good buddy Amanda worked, when she was living in the Berkshires. She & I drove up to Massachusetts and back this past Thursday just to get the opportunity to bum around in the lovely new roastery space and talk about coffee with the people who know it best.
That's Amanda, reading a map!
There are a bazillion things I'd love to go on about regarding this trip, from what I learned about roasting to what I learned about cupping to what I learned about loving the company of coffee people, but in the meantime, here's a highlight reel:
- First, the 100% delightful Christina enlightened me a little on the art of roasting by talking me through a small batch of the El Conquistador, part of which is the bag that came home with me.
"Here is the coffee we just roasted," she said, handing me the bag. Man, beat that!
- Then we had burritos. I don't have any pictures of that, which, let's face it, is a shame.
- After lunch, we were treated to a cup of the roastery's new Berkshire Blend, which is a really wonderfully balanced combo of dark and light roasted coffees.
- Our final coffee adventure was a two-region cupping with BCRC co-owner (and one of my new favorite people) Barth! It was my first cupping experience, and I was totally geeked out and excited about it!
Learning about the whole process was a total blast, even though I was suffering from a minor case of the shy-Meisters. Barth & Amanda were incredibly helpful and patient with me, showing me the ropes, and I got to explore a side of tasting that I'd really been wanting to get first hand.
We used coffees from Guatemala (baker's chocolate!) and Kenya (black currant!), and the differences between them were so dynamic and finally made so much sense to me that I secretly got a little verklempt. Don't tell anybody, though! I've got an image to maintain.
- We said our goodbyes to the roastery folks, but before skipping town, we zipped over to Lenox Coffee -- the cozy little shop owned & operated by BCRC's other totally rad owner, Gregg. I don't have any pictures of that, either, and I'm sorry about that. I told you, I get shy sometimes!
So anyway, that was our trip to the roastery, in ten images or less (here is a link to the complete photo set, courtesy of Flickr)!
Also, miraculously, Amanda & I only got lost twice going up, and in the meantime we listened to an awful lot of pretty bitchin' classic rock, so I think it's safe to say the entire day was a success.
Thanks, BCRC! You guys are the best!