Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre, Wakefield, NZ

Feb.16 to 22, 2013

Meditation Retreat coffee tastingAt the beginning of a meditation retreat, Jamie van Dam, of the Galiano Coffee Lab  was asked to introduce specialty coffee and the technique of cupping to 11 meditators… For one week we began each day, after breakfast, with a blind cupping/tasting of some of the best coffees of New Zealand and Canada. The retreatants were a delight to share this with. Many of them are experienced meditators so they had open and receptive minds to the blind tasting process. Even the new ones had such good enthusiasm! 
Learning to use cupping coffee spoonsEach day started with the introduction of another aspect of coffee tasting/perceiving as well as a bit of theory on the history of coffee and the business of coffee with special thanks to the Canadian Barista Institute. We also examined the coffee roasting procedure step by step, focusing on the extraction theory, water temperature variables, and dosing versus grind size adjustment. . 
taking coffee notesBefore the start of the cupping everyone was introduced to the basic classifications to be examined during the process.  Using  six blind cups, the activity was completed  in silence.This was followed by a discussion on the  rating and merits of each coffee.  At the end we—simply and wonderfully— enjoyed a cup of espresso using the highest rated beans.  

All in all, it was a lot of fun to have such a large receptive group of people with lots of good questions: some with a bit of coffee experience, others just beginning the giant learning curve. 
espresso shot canadian splitDue to the interest in drinking and exploring specialty coffee, we just purchased a used Gene Cafe Roaster and picked up some green beans from Kush in Nelson, and have some green coming from Steve at Refuel in Queenstown, New Zealand. We have some people who are very keen to learn the art of roasting from Jamie and will keep you posted on how the roasting went…

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