One aspect of our business at DR Wakefield of which we are immensely proud is our meticulous quality control of all of the coffees that come through our door.
Once we have carried out physical checks on the beans concerning moisture, appearance and size, we cup them to assess other vital qualities such as aroma, texture and flavour. This is a procedure known to all in coffee trading spheres as 'cupping', about which people can learn more should they come along to one of our sessions.
In October, DR Wakefield invited people to come along to a cupping session of coffee varieties heralding from the Central American coffee hub that is Costa Rica.
After all, it seemed only appropriate to do so after the Tico Times reported that the country celebrated its National Coffee Day recently on September 20th.
The event took place on Friday October 18th at Canning House, 14-15 Belgrave Square in London.
Costa Rican coffee experts that were presenting at the session were truly second to none, comprising Alexis Alvarado (president) and Carlos Rivera (director) from the Coope Tarrazu, Manrique Carvajal (director) from Coope Vitoria and Sebastien Lafaye (managing director) from STC.
Kicking off at 11:00am, the day's programme commenced with a presentation on Costa Rica as a coffee-producing country. This included a round-up of news concerning trade in the region, including that which affects internal markets as well as external ones. We also took a close look at different regional coffees.
Due to the guest speakers coming along, there was a particular focus on the Coope Vitoria (both the area and its associated cooperative) which is situated in the Central Valley region. We also investigated the Coope Tarrazu in the same way.
That part of the programme lasted for roughly an hour, following which the all-important cupping session commenced, offering attendees the unique opportunity to really get to grips with the nuances of what makes a top-quality Costa Rican coffee, with the chance to slurp, swill, rate and rank some of the country's finest produce.
As any coffee expert will know, cupping is not simply a case of testing and approving one cup, before shipping bags of the variety to our clients. We request advance samples, we scrutinise beans against test samples we have previously been sent, we compare contrasting varieties and we examine numerous cups of the same samples to check that absolutely no anomalies can slip through the net.
Following the Costa Rican cupping session, attendees had built up an appetite and so DR Wakefield invited everyone for drinks and a traditional Costa Rican lunch at 1:00pm before the event came to a close.
Should you be interested in attending a similar session, please get in touch with us for details of the next upcoming event.