Cupping – The Nordic Approach

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I recently caught up with the directors Morten Wennersgaard and Andreas Hertzberg of Nordic Approach, a coffee importer based in Norway, for an intimate coffee cupping session in London’s Timberyard Soho coffee shop. For those who don’t know, Cupping is an important process for coffee farmers, suppliers and roasters alike to test, grade and compare coffees to help buyers and consumers pick out coffees that most appeal to them.

Nordic Approach has been a big player on the coffee scene since 2011 sourcing a great selection of high quality green beans with a focus on transparency and boy they didn’t disappoint! The Nordic Approach team pulled together a selection of 24 speciality coffees split over 3 tables sharing insights into the beans, farms, methods and sustainability in every region. Commence the round up…

Table 1 – Costa Rica, Columbia, El Salvador, Brazil

I was slightly biased to this table as unless a coffee is phenomenal in flavour my taste buds are geared to Central and South American coffees, so I found this table to be quite the pleaser. Classics like Nut, Chocolate and Caramel are a few of the notes I loved about these coffees but one thing’s for sure, Colombia seems to be an origin to look out for this season so keep your eyes peeled folks!

Table 2 – Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Indonesia

This table was more varied in flavour with a focus on African coffee and the addition of Indonesia. One of the great things about Nordic Approach was their passion to find new and interesting ventures like Indonesian coffee, which like the rest of south and far east Asia get stereotyped for bland and earthy coffee. Out of these coffees the heavy hitters included the Rwandan samples which blended delicate sweet and fruity notes.

Table 3 – Ethiopia and Kenya

This table was saved ’til last and may as well have been called the “All Star” table including coffees from Kenya and Ethiopia, which have and will continue to produce some of the best coffee in the world. The Kenyan coffee samples were clean and balanced on the palette highlighting the floral notes you’d expect from the region and the Ethiopian samples showcased an array of fruity, rich and wine flavours I may as well have been getting drunk from.

To round up my experience I was definitely enlightened to say the least and I’d recommend cupping to anyone who wants to discover new and exciting coffees or even to find what region of beans you like in general. Finding a supplier like Nordic Approach to cup with was only a bonus and can only mean good things so shout out to Morten and Andreas!

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