Cupping at Mindanao Bob’s

Yours truly doing the inverted Aeropress. Mindanao Bob behind me.

Yours truly doing the inverted Aeropress. Mindanao Bob behind me.

So I went to Davao last week for a short meeting on Friday the 13th, then for coffee adventures.

Morning we went to SM to help Bob Martin to select kitchen items for roasting coffee. We got the simplest and cheapest of them all — a small aluminum rice pot, and a colander.

But we started the evening by “cupping” six different kinds of coffees — 5 from the Cordillera area up north in Luzon island, and the Red Sea blend, a mix of beans from Yemen and Ethiopia. Cupping is in quotation marks, coz it’s not the true cupping coffee professionals do. Our method is just to brew it the way we want it (Aeropress & French press), and drink it the way we want it, black or with sugar, or anything.

It’s the first time I did blind cupping myself. I’ve hosted “cupping” sessions at my place before, but I was the one brewing the coffee, so I know which coffee I’m preparing, and so I’d be biased in my scoring if I knew which coffee I’m trying. But this time, since the beans are all in the same black gusseted foil bags, I asked Feyma, Bob’s wife, to cover the labels and put letters instead.

Feyma removing the labels for blind cupping.

Feyma removing the labels for blind cupping.

Haha! Now I know how amateur my taste buds are. I scored Sagada Kilong better than the Red Sea blend. But yeah, I do really like the Kilong. Of the four new coffees from the Cordillera, I scored Bobok highest, then a tie between Shilan and Yaygan, and La Trinidad last.

As it turned out, I was correct in my prediction in my previous post, that either Bobok or Shilan would score the highest. Bobok was the best-looking of the batch. Shilan was pretty, but it had broken beans. Good-looking beans may mean the farmer took more care in growing, harvesting and processing his coffee. But that does not always hold true, coz some bad-looking beans taste great, like my Yemen favorites.

Aside from my sangay and myself, other “cuppers” are Roger (who’s not in the picture coz he was the one shooting), Louie the fireman by weekday and coffee grower by weekend, Lucky the German who’s Bob’s classmate in learning the Bisaya dialect, and their teacher Bebe. But Bob’s young son Jared couldn’t help but try each and every coffee, too. I wonder if he got a good night’s sleep after that.

Enjoy the pictures!

Louie deep in thought how to score the coffees.

Louie deep in thought how to score the coffees.

Sharing the scores.

Sharing the scores.

Mindanao Bob and his French press. Dang, gotta explore plungers again coz I like Bob's brew.

Mindanao Bob and his French press. Dang, gotta explore plungers again coz I like Bob's brew.

I demoed roasting using nothing but a rice pot.

I demoed roasting using nothing but a rice pot.

Watch out for my next post — trekking into coffeeland at the foot of Mt. Apo!


6 Responses to “Cupping at Mindanao Bob’s”

  1. Mindanao Bob on March 18th, 2009 4:34 pm

    We had a great time during your visit, Sangay. As you know, I bought 5 Kg of Bobok yesterday – arrived today, and I’ve already been roasting. My first attempt at roasting – not good. Second attempt may actually be drinkable! I’ll see tomorrow.

  2. Bobby on March 18th, 2009 6:27 pm

    Hey, ‘Ngay! Rediscovering French press brewing. I should do French press henceforth for the next few days, so I could compare. I have the right grinder… Tried the Red Sea at 3mins and almost coarsest grind on my Bodum Antigua, bold coffee. I still have some fine grinds at the bottom of the cup, though, but it’s also there in my Aeropress. Maybe until I get the right filter for the inverted Aero method …

  3. Mindanao Bob on March 19th, 2009 2:15 pm

    The sludge from the french press doesn’t bother me, in fact I kind of like it. It’s only a minimal amount anyway.

    I’m enjoying a cup of Bobok right now, from my first attempt at roasting yesterday (2nd Roast from my first roasting session). It’s my second cup of Bobok today, and I like it. Still have to perfect my roasting technique, though. :lol:

  4. Martin on March 19th, 2009 2:40 pm

    Hi Bob!

    What a great way to share coffee with friends! Everyone has different taste buds, so by having a cupping session like the one you had, you’re able to learn more about why people like different types of coffees and roast profiles. I’m sure it was both fun and informative. Great post!

  5. louie on March 24th, 2009 4:55 pm

    to be with the main man on coffee, bobby timonera, is a great experience. while i have been drinking coffee all my life. this is the first time i ever participated in cupping. in that case, 6 kinds of coffee. of all those coffee during the cupping, the red sea is the best. and expensive too.

  6. Bobby on March 24th, 2009 6:30 pm

    haha! i’m not THE MAN on coffee. just a hobbyist, newbie, in fact, compared to the coffee professionals out there. and that’s not the official way to cup coffee. maulaw ta masakpan nila we’re subverting the tradition. i really have to learn cupping the proper way.

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