Cupping Coffee in Portland

Follow along with Portland Phoenix food columnist Kate McCarty on her visits to four local shops to learn more about coffee processing and coffee tasting.

While sipping the four samples, my thoughts went like this: “Hmm, tastes like coffee… also tastes like coffee… yup, coffee again… Woah!” The fourth coffee tasted radically different due to the processing method. The Ethiopian coffee from Slate was naturally processed, meaning the fruits of the coffee plant, called “cherries” (inside of which you’ll find the “bean” or seed), are dried in the sun rather than mechanically pulped and then dried. The resulting coffee frequently is full of berry flavors; this one tasted like someone had infused it with blueberry syrup.