So history was made over the weekend when James Hoffmann and Square Mile Coffee simultaneously cupped with thousands of people from around the world. They provided 5 coffees, a sample grind size, a sachet of Third Wave Water and some instructions to guide everyone with the setup. So what did we learn throughout this experience?
1. Coffee enthusiasts are highly engaged individuals - seeing everyone who tuned in to James' livestream to cup and share their thoughts was a remarkable sight. In a typical public cupping session, it may be difficult for some to share their thoughts as it may be their first time cupping. The livestream was the exact opposite and the chat room was full of activity showcasing the engagement of James' community, which he has continued to build for many years.
2. Consistency is extremely challenging with coffee - we applaud the effort by the Square Mile Coffee team to provide all the necessary tools to give everyone around the world almost identical experiences. Despite their efforts, it was still a huge challenge to replicate the exact parameters all over as grinders, bowls, and capabilities differed. In our case, we noticed that our Third Wave Water sachet was cut open, which we attribute to an inspection done by local customs. Some experienced no 'crust' on the coffees, while it was perfectly fine for us.
3. There is no such thing as the 'best' coffee on the table - this was a great exercise as it pointed out the fact that coffee is very much a personal choice. Specialty coffee professionals might have instantly singled out the Africans on the table, but from what we saw during the livestream, everyone really had their own favourites. Our picks on the table were the Guatemalan (B) and Ethiopian (C) coffees!
Like everyone else out there, we can't wait for the next one! Thanks to creating an event that was both inclusive and enriching at the same time. Kudos to James and team!