28 November 2010

Campos Coffee: The Cupping Room, Newtown (27 Nov 2010)

193 Missenden Road, Newtown NSW 2042

Coffee aroma-therapy

Campos Specialty Coffee have launched Sydney’s very first Cupping Room at their flagship store in Newtown. ‘Cupping’ is the term which describes the ‘evaluation’ process that happens when coffee beans are bought and sold direct from growers around the world, a concept which is explained in each session.

Thanks to Caroline Bligh from Cav Con who organised a cupping session
for me
with managing director Will Young of Campos Coffee to see what it's all about. For only $8.80 per person, groups of 2-8 people are talked through the process over 45 minutes which includes tasting up to 5 different coffee beans. We learnt Campos personally source their coffee beans from around the world
which are then used to make their own blend of coffee. They focus on buying from only sustainable coffee plantations which are both environmental and fair to the community that's producing the coffee beans.

Personally I'm not a huge coffee drinker but I found the session very educational and it gave me a much better insight into the philosophy of Campos and the process involved in acquiring coffee beans. After the session I tried an Affogato ($5) in the downstairs cafe. I noticed it's made with plenty of Serendity Belgian White Chocolate ice cream. To save time the ice cream is prescooped into glasses and kept frozen in the freezer. Because the ice cream sits firmly on the bottom of the glass I found it didn't mix as easily with the coffee like the one at Cafe Sopra which I still prefer. The Macchiato ($3) had a robust depth of flavour but I thought it also had a slightly bitter aftertaste — perhaps the sudden afternoon rush affected the quality? I'll have to return to try a flat white, cappuccino and mocha to compare to other places.

Here's a video I found on youtube which basically goes through the process of cupping to give you a good idea of what we did in the session — except none of us really did the spitting.

Other food blog reviews:

PROS: A better appreciation of how coffee is selected and its origins, Intimate group, Informative and interesting class, Efficient cafe service, Coffee specialists
CONS: Standing only in the cupping session, Limited seating in the downstairs cafe when busy, Can get overly crowded and noisy at peak times in the cafe
MUST TRY: More coffee to compare to other places

Managing director Will Young takes the coffee cupping class on a journey of origins and appreciation

Examine the coffee beans

Samples of coffee beans to smell (left to right): Ethiopian Lekempti, PNG Marawaka, Indian Monsoon, Kenyan Tembo, Basic IGA supermarket packaged coffee

Add hot water to infuse the coffee beans

Inhale the aromatics

Break the surface crust with a spoon and inhale aromatics

Scrap away the surface scum

Taste by slurping quickly

The Cupping Room sessions and info

Affogato ($5)

Macchiato ($3)

Campos Superior coffee blend

Service counter when not busy

Service counter when really busy — gets a bit chaotic

Limited seating at the back of cafe


Jim said...

Great post. I discovered this coffee shop a few years ago and instantly loved their coffee. There is always a queue there. I'm so glad that Campos is available in many other good cafes around the city these days and not just Newtown.

msihua said...

This actually looks like great fun!! I must tell my Sydney peeps about this!!

thang @ noodlies said...

looks fun.. i have to be careful with coffee.. won't be able to stop!

Nugmeg said...

Love the cupping session!

Nugmeg said...

Simon, I just booked a session today ^^

Simon Leong said...

hi j bar, you have to remember it's not just the beans but the barista that makes the difference in having a good coffee.

hi msihua, for such a reasonable price it's a pretty fun experience.

hi thang, you don't really drink that much of the coffee, it's more for taste but if you wanted too you could drink all 5 cups. but it's just with hot water and not like an espresso.

hi nugmeg, it's like another world. hope you enjoy the session. looking forward to reading about your experience.

Nugmeg said...

Simon, I love the session :D The barista (I forgot his name), the one who pouring hot water in y'r picture, told me that he's very impress w y'r blog.

Simon Leong said...

hi nugmeg, that's great you enjoyed it. that's cool to hear the barista has looked at my blog and liked it, thanks for letting me know :-)

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