STUB hosts virtual coffee tasting masterclass

Perris Larson, Staff Reporter

Students got the chance to learn about the origin of the coffee during the masterclass. (Sharli Mishra)

Smell, slurp, locate, and describe.

These are the four steps to tasting coffee that were taught to students on April 15 in a virtual Coffee Masterclass hosted by STUB (Student Union Board).

Outside of Eaton Hall, 14 attendees were able to get a hands on experience in coffee tasting with a cup of Starbucks coffee, a bag of ground coffee, and a bag of cookies prior to the event.

Aly Cotte, third year business administration management major, was the chair for the event, and is also a Starbucks barista.

“I think based in Seattle, learning about coffee is relevant to students’ lives,” said Cotte. “We figured college kids love coffee, and we have connections.”

Focusing on the kind of coffee that Starbucks specializes in, the event started off with Cotte giving an informative lesson in where coffee grows, how it is processed, and the differences between blonde, medium, and dark roasts.

According to Cotte, blonde roasts are light roasts and have more caffeine, medium roasts have smooth and rich flavors, and dark roasts are the most bold. The type of coffee that was highlighted however, and the coffee that was tasted during the event was Caffe Verona: a bold, sweet dark roast.

There are certain characteristics to look for in coffee when tasting.

“First, the smell, the acidity (what you feel on the tip of your tongue), body weight (how heavy the coffee feels), and finally flavor,” Cotte explained.

Students hold up their coffee cups during the coffee masterclass where they learned about coffee tasting. (Sharli Mishra)

Participants tasting the coffee were encouraged to notice the characteristics and take a bite of their chocolate chip cookies with the coffee. When it comes to tasting dark roast coffee, chocolate chip cookies are a recommended addition that strengthens the chocolatey flavor.

The facial expressions on many participants, including STUB programmer and business administration major Victoria Thornton, resembled pure satisfaction after only one sip of the Caffe Verona.

“I really loved how enthusiastic people were, and how much they wanted to learn. Aly had great stuff to share,” said Thornton.

To also highlight the abundance and variety of coffee shops in Seattle, Cotte promoted a few coffee shops in the area: Storyville, Anchorhead and Caffe Ladro. After the tasting was concluded, each participant was entered into a raffle where three winners would receive a bag of coffee as their prize.

Second year Kayla Ketchum was one of the winners.

“I totally loved it, because I love coffee,” Ketchum said. “I truly liked to learn about everything they taught.”

The turnout for the event was overall a success; it was interactive, entertaining, and educational all at once.

“Cameras were on, everyone stayed for the whole time, which really speaks volumes especially in a virtual environment,” said Thornton.

“Personally not a huge fan of coffee, but going through the process of tasting is really fun,” Cotte said.

While the caffeine is sometimes necessary for college students, it’s not the only benefit. When needing a pick-me-up on a bad day, a dark roast might be just the thing.