Tamper Coffee Espresso Blends: Deconstructed
Our foodie blogger checks out Tamper Coffee’s Espresso Blends: Deconstructed’ workshop.
Sheffield’s coffee scene is well and truly on the up and we’ve recently witnessed a bit of a surge of coffee shops popping up across the city. In fact, if you’re in town, there are so many options for you to try, that I’d like to think that the big chains could be at risk of becoming redundant (although, to be fair, that is probably just a dream of mine).
One thing I am quite sure about is that Sheffield has a lot to thank Tamper Coffee for. Sure, they’re not the only ones who can make good coffee, but they were the first to open the city’s eyes to the flat white (et al). They’re also keen to share their passion and knowledge – have a chat with any of the baristas and you’ll soon see what I mean.
But, if you have a real interest in coffee, you should make your way to one of their workshops. Essentially cupping sessions, these workshops really give you a chance to put your tastebuds to the test and start to learn about the different flavours the blends of coffee out there.
I recently made it down to Sellers Wheel for their ‘Espresso Blends: Deconstructed’ workshop. Presented as a rare opportunity to scrutinise a couple of espresso blends by cupping the individual single origins that make them up, I knew I was in for a bit of a treat. After all, there’s probably no better way to understand coffee blends than trying the individual flavours within it.
Hosted by Tamper’s head barista, Morrell, the workshop took place in the café area of Sellers Wheel. There were probably about ten to fifteen people including a mix of hospitality professionals, self-confessed coffee geeks and intrigued newbies (much like myself). Gathered around a large table with a selection of coffees, spoons and other paraphernalia, we listened as Morrell explained that this was also a rare opportunity for him – that he’d been looking forward to the session as much as we had.
First up, hot water was added to the espresso blends and after sufficient brewing time had passed, we broke the crust of the ground coffee that had formed on top and used a spoon to reach the drink below. It’s at this point that you can get a real blast of the smell of the coffee and Morrell was keen for us all to get in on the experience!
Using spoons, we tasted the blends and an open discussion followed as we compared and contrasted the two and each decided which our favourite was. As taste is incredibly subjective it was good to know that Morrell didn’t think there wasn’t a right or wrong answer. Some people agreed, others disagreed, but it didn’t matter – this was all about our own experience of the coffee.
Moving onto the individual single origins, we tasted each one, then headed back to the blend to get a feel for how they worked in the finished product. Once again, there was much discussion and debate about people’s takes on the flavours of each one and it was interesting to see how one person could absolutely hate a single origin coffee, whilst another loved it.
But, perhaps most interesting of all, was that we were starting to learn which of the single origins suited our individual tastebuds and which we would like to see blended together in our next coffee. This knowledge will help us make an informed decision the next time we need to decide between two blends – as we all know which single origins to look out for.
This alone made the event worthwhile, for me, although the bag of coffee beans thrown in at the end was also appreciated!
Overall I think the workshop worked well. There was just the right number of people there, it was informative, and detailed in some parts, but didn’t start to drag and the discussion was friendly and easy going.
Although there aren’t any upcoming events currently listed, you should regularly check out Tamper’s workshop page for further details.