Tony’s Coffees is opening an informal tasting room in Ballard on the corner of NW 70th and 3rd Ave NW. The space is typically used for training and tasting for employees, but they are opening it up to the public for something they call “cupping,” or coffee tasting.
David Yake with Tony’s says they’ll be open on a very informal basis. Nothing will be for sale, and the tastings are free. Yake says when they get new beans, they roast them lightly, then “cup” in order to get a feel for it. “This will be much less formal,” he says, “more just an opportunity to taste coffee.”
Yake says a cupping works like this: they’ll set out about thirty cups of ground beans and allow participants to smell each one for fragrance. Then, they pour boiling water over each one and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, Yake says the tasting process starts. “We encourage people to stick around, as the flavor changes as it sits,” he explains.
“Our lead roaster, Andrew Bowman, will be coming down from Bellingham to join us,” Yake writes. “He has a wealth of coffee knowledge and is always happy to talk coffee with people. This first cupping will feature coffees from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Honduras, El Salvador – and possibly even a special guest coffee from Panama.”
The tastings will happen every Friday afternoon, starting around noon. This Friday, May 4 will be their first tasting.
Photos courtesy David Yake