You thought we were done talking about Colombia and Let's Talk Coffee 2012? You were wrong! There's still lots more to share. Like for example, the time we went to a Robusta workshop, hosted by the esteemed Dr. Sunalini Menon of Cofeelab Private Ltd., in Bangalore, India.
Dr. Menon introduced sixty participants to the concept of fine Robusta, starting the session off with an informal lecture on growing, processing, roasting, and cupping fine robusta coffees. For us, and for most of the people in attendance, this was the first time any of us had cupped a large table of robustas selected for their quality. Evaluating Robusta is a trip. An open mind is key! And also a fairly high caffeine tolerance.
Our honest assessment, based on the input of the specialty-forward experts we cupped with, is that most of these robustas were pretty gnar-gnar, with one or two of them being markedly less gnar, and one sample in particular – a high-elevation natural processed Tanzanian – that was actually quite pleasant to drink, cupping out at a crowdsourced 83.
This was an awesome, challenging experience, and we definitely want to thank Dr. Menon, Andrew Hetzel of Cafemakers, Vinko Sandalj of Sandalj Trading, and Sustainable Harvest for giving us an opportunity to cup these robustas at Let's Talk Coffee 2012.