My name is Eric and I am a coffee addict (to which you reply: “Hi Eric.”). I have been drinking coffee since I was little and my Mom would make me her own version of Coffee Milk. Her version was simply a little coffee, a little sugar and a lot of milk, nowhere near the authentic New England Coffee Milk.
I am by no means a coffee “aficionado” or “snob”. I’m at the Gold Star level at Starbucks and buy some of the cheapest coffee at the supermarket for my daily home brewing. My Beverage Management instructor, Chef Bogart, can’t stop talking about Cuvee Coffee, a local roaster served at Houndstooth Coffee.
I decided to check out Houndstooth’s website and noticed that every Monday and Thursday Houndstooth Coffee offers a free public cupping class so last Thursday I decided to check it out.
My girlfriend and I arrived early so we decided to get some drinks while we waited. I got a latte and she got an unsweetened black iced coffee. In both cases the coffee was super smooth. No bitterness or overly smokey flavor like you would get at Starbucks. It’s by far the best coffee I have had in Austin. Come to think of it, it was the best coffee I have had anywhere.
The only downside to the whole event was seating. The coffeehouse is relatively small with less than 20 seats inside since the large table was reserved for the upcoming cupping class. With lots of people camped out with their MacBooks, we sat outside in the blinding sun. Once a small table inside opened up we moved there but the bar-stool height chairs were very uncomfortable for a large person like myself. Eventually someone else at the smaller tables left and those were much more enjoyable.
The class involves lessons on how to sample coffee and actual samples of three coffees not usually offered. The mustachioed gent who hosted it (and who’s name I can not recall) set everything up and not only walked us through the process but also explained why we were doing everything.
There are many steps involved in cupping, including 6 steps of either smelling or tasting. I will leave the play-by-play for you to learn about when you take the class yourself but it is a delicate ballet that amazed me.
Thankfully Houndstooth Coffee provided a sheet to keep track of your impressions of each coffee at each step. We rated each coffee on various factors such as fragrance, flavor, body, and balance. At the end everyone rates the coffees overall.
While there was only one other person at the cupping with us it was interesting to hear others impressions on the coffee. At one time he talked about a vegetable taste to one of the coffees that I didn’t get until several steps later.
The cupping class was informative and a great experience for a coffee loving foodie. On top of that you get to try three coffees you might not otherwise get the chance to try.
The coffee we got was nothing short of exquisite. I will be back. In fact, as I am writing this I am less than a ten minute drive from Houndstooth Coffee. I think I will be stopping in there once I post this.
4200 North Lamar Boulevard, Suite 120
Austin, TX 78756
512 531 9417