Basically the goal is to drink the coffee slowly until you’ve sipped all of the liquid and only the coffee grounds remain. I thought since I took a sensory analysis class that it would be great to put it to use and see if I could identify any aromas since coffee has so many sensory properties. I honestly still can’t identify a lot of characteristics but it’s nice to have the knowledge to be able to speak about it to others. It in turn evokes conversation about one’s own sensory abilities. I managed to identify nuttiness and burnt butter. On the first sip, of course, my face puckered up since no sugar is allowed and if you must (and that is a must!) have sugar you’re allowed to dip a sugar cube in the coffee and suck on it. While you’re dipping it in the coffee notice how quickly the liquid shoots up the sugar cube. Normally I need sugar and milk but surprisingly when the coffee began to cool the flavor softened and it was easier to drink. When the liquid was gone, the cup was then turned over on the plate and allowed to drain out.
There really is no purpose to it but it’s simply used as a conversational piece and you talk about what you think has meaning in the coffee grounds images. You’re not allowed to read your own cup the first time around though. It was interesting and funny to hear the type of images you can find in coffee grounds left in a cup. It was anywhere from bee hives, ghost mountains, elephants, a perfect square, legs, a groundhog and a piercing eye. Your mind is supposed to run free. It’s like looking up into the sky and finding little animals shapes in the fluffy clouds.
Culture is so diverse and communication at the table is always left for interpretation especially when different cultures are involved. Everyone places meaning on food, good or bad, but coffee represents such a broader social web. It can be found in not only homes but almost everywhere you go and can be consumed at any time of the day. In turn the coffee grounds have a gardening benefit and so Feed Denver uses it as a compost component and nothing goes to waste. Finally sharing an experience with others is a way to understand their heritage and a good way to get ideas flowing.