I am totally digging the #OrlandoMade initiative over at Yelp* Orlando. Being relatively new to Orlando living, I am constantly looking for new local businesses to support and places to explore. I previously visited the East End Market with Meghan a few months back, and I’ve kept promising myself that I would go back and properly explore it. Sadly, my days off as of late barely left me with enough energy to get to the market for food, let alone make a trip up to “the Big City.” I cannot tell you how stoked I was to be able to experience a more in depth process of something I’ve been mainlining since university: coffee.
Yelp*, I’ve been mugged!
The Cupping was hosted on the second floor event space, Audubon Park Exchange (APEX) in the test kitchen! Roughly twenty of my close Yelp Elite buddies and I gathered around the kitchen’s bar for our cozy seminar on the cupping process used by the Folks at Lineage Roasting when they pick their beans! We had the pleasure of cupping four different coffees ranging from a lightly roasted Kenyan, medium roasts of their Ethopian and Modern American, to the signature, dark Northern Italian.
Ryan breaks down the Cupping Process!
Showing How the Pros Do It!
We had the pleasure of learning how the pros sample their coffee. Akin to a wine tasting, there is the opportunity to preliminary observe to coffee, but in a cupping we start with coffee in its dry, ground format. You can sample the fragrance (what it smells like while dry). This part is always hard for me as my seasonal allergies often prevent my ability to suss out the subtle scents. The next part we activate the aroma by pouring hot water over the grounds. I have always used fragrance and aroma interchangeably, but now I’ve learned that there is a subtle difference between the two! (“The More You Know!” Picture Katy Perry at the Super Bowl)
As the hot water soaks the grounds and fills the glass, the brewing process begins! Using drinking glasses, we saw the development of a floating crust and the coffee beneath it. As the hot H2O did it’s thing, I definitely felt like a child in a science class, practically pressing my nose against the countertop waiting for “something totally cool and science-y” to happen. I learned the lightest roasts truly reveal the potential of the coffee as you can taste more of it’s flavoring without the masking of the roasting process. Additionally, the flavor profile of the coffee can be varied by the method in which the beans are processed (either dry or wet).
The best part was the sampling process because every old school Miss Manners would have cringed beyond belief! Why you may ask? We got to slurp our spoonfuls coffee, and I am not talking the simply elegant, we’re having a posh, multi-course sit down affair either. I am talking full on Japanese salarymen-in-a-roadside-noodle shop, sucking the ever-loving-life out of a plastic freezer bag LOUD slurping. As the majority of the group kept their slurps rather dainty and refined, I held back. Admittedly, I rejoiced when Jarrett came over and showed us all how it was done!
Seeing the scandalized looked on my friends’ faces made it totally worth it!
Aroma Activation: Loading…
Concepts Over Cocktails
After we relocated to the store front on the first floor, our gracious hosts talked in greater depth about their mission statement with regard to bringing Orlando truly meaningful conversation over incredibly good cups of coffee. I applaud their desire to maintain a select menu, focusing on the perfection of one group of beverages before expanding to others. In the fast paced world of to go cups, self-serve coffee stations, and drive through caffeine, the art of conversation between patron and shopkeep is dying rapidly.
Talking with Ryan and Jarrett, I was reminded of my two favorite Japanese cafes: Cafe KAKO (Nagoya) and Cafe SOURCE (Tottori City). While I enjoyed KAKO for six months, SOURCE was part of my weekly routine during my five years in Japan. Numerous girls’ evenings out, engagement and wedding parties, post-work parties, and countless solo visits all took place in Cafe SOURCE. On the rare occasions I go back and visit my friends in west Japan, we always make a stop. I bring this up because this experience at Lineage is the first time I’ve felt I’ve found a coffee shop experience akin to my time in Japan since moving back to the US in 2009. I never thought it would have taken five years to discover the perfect coffee match.
Orlando’s Coffee All-Stars!
Full Disclosure: When I visited EEM, I was so overwhelmed by all the specialty shops, that I simply breezed past Lineage. I remember the counter being packed and I had zero patience to wait for a the line to move. Little did I know that I was missing out on quite possibly the best cup of coffee in my entire life. I’m talking FBI Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks “You-are-going-to-wait-while-I-finish-this-entire-cup-before-speaking-to-me” level of life changing cup of Joe: The “Damn Fine Cup of Coffee.” I hope next time I visit the gang at Lineage, the reference will not be lost upon them.
My kind of night school!
Barista Confidential: Lineage “Off Duty” – Lineage’s Cold-Brew Black, a simple syrup made with locally sourced honey, organic milk (or non-dairy of choice), and a shot of Bulleit Bourbon! While the measurements were kept under wraps, I am sure with enough discussion over a slow pour, the numbers may surface.
Could this be the coming of a new kitchen experiment? With summer– well– already here in Florida, this iced cold treat is just like my man: sweet, strong and Southern! 😉 While I tend to favor Woodford Reserve and Early Times as my bourbons of choice, I am certain Maker’s Mark, or even my Jameson Select Reserve (aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels) would more than do the trick. The only way I’ll know for sure it to try them out!
Some of my favorite Foodies!
While Lineage does not have a full cafe, there are rumors that some of Orlando’s finest local hot spots do carry Lineage Roasting Coffees! I need to make a list for those times I need “writing productivity days,” and I can’t nab a place at the Lineage counter.
Some dramatically step away from a situation with a Mic Drop. Lineage left me want for nothing and utterly spent in coffee bliss. They’re getting an official Spoon Drop from this girl!
I’m out… out of coffee…
I’d better get back on over there!