I went to a coffee and chocolate tasting morning with my mom at the new Urban Grind Coffee Roasters in Parkhurst.

It was a morning hosted by the SA Culinary Club and sponsored by Russell Hobbs.

What a fascinating morning!

While coffee was being roasted in the industrial roasters, we learnt about how coffee is made, and the differences between various coffees (Ethiopian, Guatemalan, Rwandan and a blend). Each coffee was paired with different chocolates to teach us about how it affected the taste.

All the coffee we tasted was made as a filter coffee, and we had it without milk or sugar. It was incredible though to taste the difference in the blend once we paired that one with milk chocolate… that blend would have been used as a cappuccino coffee as the milk brought out the flavour of the bean! So interesting.

A few tips that I came away with:

  • Coffee shouldn’t be too fresh or too old. It’s ideal to use coffee beans 10-14 days after being roasted, and they should be stored in a bag with a one way valve on them.
  • One should really buy roasted coffee beans and grind them at home.
  • Don’t store coffee in the fridge. For one thing, the condensation adds back water content to the coffee, which will change the flavour. And most importantly, coffee absorbs smells, so it would start absorbing the garlic or cheese etc smells and change the flavour.
  • The most important thing that affects the taste of your coffee is the quality of water that you use (and not the machine). It’s ideal to use filtered water.
  • Coffee needs minerals to bring out the taste. When we tasted the Guatemala coffee with the Lindt Sea Salt chocolate, it was amazing what a difference that made… the chocolate lost the saltiness, and the coffee was smoother. In fact, it was the only time I’ve really enjoyed the salt chocolate!
  • Not all coffees or their roasts are the same. You should buy a roast specifically roasted for the type of coffee you’re going to make… so a filter roast for filter coffee, and a espresso roast for espressos.

Urban Grind Coffee Roasters is on 6th Street in Parkhurst, and will open in 2 weeks time. The owners were saying they were going to roast on premise (for small as well as commercial quantities), have a training area for anyone really to learn more about how to use coffee machines and learn about brewing (incl for restaurant and coffee shop staff). There’ll also be a coffee shop. I cannot wait for them to open properly, their coffee was amazing! I’ll definitely be going back to try them out.

If you’re interested in attending something like this, join the SA Coffee Club on their website. They mentioned that they’ll be hosting more mornings like this… it’s an awesome way to learn more about coffee and how to brew the perfect pot.

And of course, some photos 🙂

This place will be fabulous once it’s finished… not all the signage is up yet.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t asked to blog about this event.