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For our first Portland stop we headed to Stumptown HQ for a coffee tasting which I then learned was actually a “cupping” session. Not a fan, but exciting, nonetheless.

We learned how the pro coffee bean buyers smell, taste, and experience coffee beans in a blind test. I learned the difference between fragrance and aroma. Fancy. We also had a lesson in direct trade and fair market prices.

After smelling the freshly ground beans and the brewing coffee, we each got a spoon and a spittoon and slurped our way down the tasting line, rinsing our used spoons in warm water between each taste. The whole thing was a germaphobe’s nightmare (and I won’t go into detail), but I participated still since I wanted the full experience. (Totally monitoring myself for potential contagious diseases now.)

But back to the coffee. We tried five kinds of beans which are roasted in house at HQ. Honestly, it was really hard to focus on the fragrance, aroma, and taste when I was trying mostly to get the cupping technique down. So, I don’t really remember what any of the coffees taste like. I just knew if I liked it or not. Heh. At the end of the tasting, the various roasts were revealed.

Aside from daily coffee tastings, you can visit HQ for a fresh cup of coffee, admire old school coffee makers, shop for coffee equipment, or take a photo with a coffee plant!

And if cold brew is more your thing: a fridge of yummies!


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