Entertainment on a Fiver - Coffee Tasting

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I have discovered that living in London is expensive...

(Shock! Horror! You don't say!? Why doesn't anyone tell you this!)

However, there are also a lot of entertaining things to do for pretty cheap. I've given myself about 5 pounds a week to do something entertaining/cultural.

This week's activity was a coffee tasting at Milk in Balham.

Despite coming late to the coffee drinking game (I managed university without it, but regular work was my downfall), I actually know a bit about coffee due to my father's coffee obsession. A few years ago my father decided that grinding his own coffee wasn't enough and moved to roasting his own coffee so I've witnessed a fair bit of the process. So when I was a brunch last weekend and saw a coffee tasting organized I figured hey why not.

How a Coffee Tasting Works (based on my limited experience)
  1. Coffee grounds are put in glass cups for you to smell
  2. Hot water is poured over the grounds and you smell it again
  3. At a very precisely timed moment the staff skim off the coffee
  4. You slurp a spoonful of coffee, swish it around in you mouth and (no joke) spit it out into a paper cup
  5. Repeat slurping at various intervals as the coffee cools
In conclusion, coffee tasting, interesting thing but perhaps requires an interpreter for the less coffee knowledge. What I have taken away from this experience is:
  1. I know very very very little about coffee growing, processing and buying
  2. Coffee for tasting is not remotely brewed like you would for drinking which I find confusing
  3. Picked the 'most unusual' coffee as my favourite, but not the 'best one'... meaning I better at finding unique than quality? (a bit hipster of me?)


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