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Coffee City

Melissa Allison follows the world's biggest coffee-shop chain and other Seattle caffeine purveyors.

January 28, 2010 at 11:05 AM

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Learn to "cup" coffee today at downtown Starbucks -- and a list of other free tastings

Posted by Melissa Allison

"Cup" is coffee speak for "taste," and it involves sniffing, slurping and comparing a range of coffees. It's the way coffee pros choose beans, and there are other fun terms, like "breaking the crust," which is the layer of coffee grounds that forms at the top of each cup during preparation.

The video below captures it well, but the first-hand experience can't be beat, and Matt Banbury of Starbucks is giving a 30-minute lesson in "cupping" at the Starbucks at 1524 7th Ave. (at Pike) at 1 p.m. today. Maybe an after-lunch pick-me-up?

Here are several Seattle coffeehouses that hold free public cuppings every week:

Victrola Roastery & Cafe, 310 E. Pike Street: Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters, (in the basement of) 1115 12th Avenue: Daily at 3 p.m.
Roy Street Coffee & Tea, 700 Broadway East: Daily at 10 a.m.
Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting, (behind the roasters and upstairs at) 1005 E. Pike Street: Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.
15th Avenue Coffee & Tea, 328 15th Avenue E.: Daily at 11 a.m.

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