Never have I taken a Sunday afternoon off just for tasting anything (aside from something red, white, or generally are generally served in a glass or an aluminum bottle). But today I went to the Coffee Lovers Meetup group (http://www.meetup.com/HKCoffeeLovers/) and did just that. It was an afternoon of coffee and Jam Tasting where it was fun and educational.
Obviously I have no knowledge of how coffee should be drunk aside from purchasing the weak-sauce overpriced sensations that are now sold on every corner of all civilized societies. The organizer, Virginia, along with the Director of the Venue BLEND by DANES (http://webdemo.artdigital.com.hk/blend/), Craig, was both very knowledgeable. They answered every query that the noob (me) had. Showing us gadgets after gadgets of the coffee preparation process. I never knew that there was a technique to drinking espresso. Two sips, first about half way through the cup, then the rest while it is still hot. Apparently the water used, generally, should within the range of 90-odd degrees Celsius. Although I found out that my taste palette must have been badly damaged from the endless intake of chemicals in hard liquor and MSG, I definitely have a new found appreciation for the different tastes I came to test today.
After coffee, there was also Jam tasting. We tried jam from a French jam maker, Bridgette. For the life of me, I could not remember the brand that she sold, but you could purchase her jams from the same venue. All her jams were organic. From the story that I understood, she was originally a nurse, and with her expertise, she had carefully observed the mixing of organic fruits with jelly through a microscope until she felt that the jam was thoroughly ready. The jams ranged in a variety of tastes, from Vanilla to Pepper. The Pepper Jam was most interesting; the sweet taste from the jelly would be first left in your mouth while the spiciness of the peppers would stay in your throat as an after taste. Interesting jam sensation indeed. That was definitely my favourite. We tried no less than 15 types of jam and were quite full from the experience.
Needless to say this was a very relaxing and educational Sunday while meeting a lot of other nice people in the group. Will definitely try out the group again when I get a chance!
Please excuse the fact that there are no pictures. We are working on that for this site. Will add the Chinese writeup in a few days.
Check out the photos here: