Friday, July 08, 2005


da power o' da slurp

"he expels a deep breath and then performs the telltale act of a truly refined coffee connoisseur: he slurps so hard he shrieks. . .in the realm of high-end coffee, the pitch of a taster's slurp is a badge of honor. . .

the slurp is the tool of connoisseur's trade, although [ken] davids said he has toned down his own and accomplished the same effect by breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose. grant, the mavis bank coffee processor and producer of the brand jablum, is unashamed of his flamboyant slurp, which sounds a bit like an air-wrench removing a lug nut."

i found this article amusing more for its examination of the folkways of the pro coffee cupper than for its discussion of jamaican blue mountain coffee.

i will say from my own experience cupping with pros that the article is largely spot on, however i wouldn't describe the sound a "shriek." rather, a deep thunderclap slurp is the hallmark of the pros.

in fact the most authoritative, dare i say macho, slurps i have witnessed belong to exchange cuppers steve colten (a former prez of the scaa, whose slurp could wake the dead, and when he's in full cupping mode is executed with the rapidity of a machine gun); john stefenson (of the green coffee association); and of course juan valdez' petite and charming mary petitt herself (now 2nd vp of scaa).

long-time bccy pal oren of oren's, himself a renowned cupper, notes that the barrage reflects the effort to get an even coating of coffee across the tongue:

"it isn't the sound, it is the coverage. the idea is to 'atomize' the liquid and spray it all over the palate & the aromatics up the nasal passage -- takes some force."

ken d. is a rather soft and quiet guy, so i imagine he is perhaps attempting to moderate his slurp to fit his personality?

posted by fortune | 8:18 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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