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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Phoenix Coffee asks: Do you “coffee cup”?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 3:11 PM

This Friday, Phoenix Coffee will hold a free “coffee cupping.” Sort of like the coffee version of wine tasting, coffee cuppings delve into the fine art of mocha appreciation, with experts leading the discussion and experience of different brews’ and beans’ acidity, “balance,” and “mouthfeel.” I know what you’re thinking—Why the hell are you telling me about a coffee cupping? (If that’s not what you’re thinking, and you’re actually already sold, skip to the end.) ... Until last weekend, I would have agreed with you — but an experience at the Coventry Phoenix changed me. I ordered a single espresso, and the guy behind the counter—ahem, the barista — told me that they only serve doubles. I asked why, and he launched into a (literally) 10-minute explanation of how serving singles really messes with the taste — something about how a higher ratio of espresso syrup gets stuck on the walls of the thing that they put into the other thing, and it comes out watery. Or something like that. This would be just an amusing/annoying diversion, if when I tried my double espresso, it hadn’t tasted as if it were brewed by God himself. It was strong, flavorful, and it’s mouthfeel was, like, insane. While I’ll never know if it really was just an amazing espresso, or my new knowledge and sparked attention to detail just made me appreciate it more, the point is … look, it’s free, alright? Just go. This Friday's cupping is at Phoenix’s roastery (1728 St. Clair Ave., 216-522-9744) at 2 p.m. The next Friday, February 29, cuppings will be held at 5 p.m. at the other five locations. -- Gus Garcia-Roberts

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