Sean set up a really great little workshop at the roastery...I love learning new stuff! Drawing on his CQI Q grader training, he set out tasting samples of Citric, Malic, Lactic and Tartaric acid.

We had 3 different levels of citric acid to taste, from relatively pleasant to lemon suckingly sour! Then there were the four different solutions to slurp, then we mixed some low acidity Brazil in with a few of the different acids, and had to pair them up...reallly hard!

For me it was fascinating to slurp on the different acids, then find taste memories of various coffees and origins come flooding back! For example, the malic acid, tasted of sour green apples, then a sense memory coming through of tasting coffees from El Salvador or Nicaragua. The sharp citric acidity of course brought to mind lemons, and that sort of clean lemon taste Ive found with some great Kenyan coffees. Tartaric was tricky and the dryness of it was hard to pin to a coffee, but the cranberry/rasberry quality finally dug its way through my brain to remind me of Guatemalan!

The really interesting one was the lactic acid, which seemed very flat compared to the others, but Sean mentioned it in reference to a good Brazilian...and then it made sense! There was much more of a texture, a mouthfeel to the lactic acid, which did have sense of coating the roof of the mouth, like a yummy buttery Brazilain, or other coffee with pronounced viscosity...

Anyhoo...just a few refections on a really interesting exercise, and one I am sure we shall be running more of!

James