This past weekend we had the pleasure of joining Fernando of Proyecto Diaz Coffee for a coffee cupping session. The group of veteran and new coffee enthusiasts shared stories and knowledge on all things coffee, all while sipping, slurping, and smelling.
Proyecto Diaz Coffee is a small family-owned business with roots in Oaxaca, Mexico and San Francisco, CA. Fernando grew up constantly hearing of “grandfather’s farm”, yet never grasped what exactly this meant. Later into his adult years, Fernando came to understand just how special this farm was. He decided, then, to establish a coffee company that support the farm directly, as well as sourcing their coffee beans. By doing so, Proyecto Diaz empowers the operations of small-scale farmers and introduces the San Francisco Bay Area to his family’s coffee. Ultimately, Fernando hopes to establish more direct-trade relationships with coffee farmers in the Oaxaca community and beyond.
The rich story behind Proyecto Diaz and their coffee created an intimate space of connection to our daily food and beverage. Each bean is handpicked and dried either naturally with the cherry, or “washed” without the cherry. This begins the process of imparting particular notes and flavors to the beans. These green coffee beans are then roasted, which is where the terms “light”, “medium”, and “dark” roasts apply. Through an extensive aromatic, palette, and tactile test, the beans are chosen to be carried by the roaster or not. It was mind-blowing to discover the differences of each region’s coffee. The differences were more pronounced with the whole, ground, and extracted beans.
Though not usually present in professional cuppings, Fernando provided some edible cues to helps us make taste connections with the various coffees. The cups of berries, dried fruit, nuts, and citrus helped our palettes distinguish the unique characters of each coffee The Bali, for instance, tasted like blueberries and raspberries, while the Yirgacheffe had notes of lime and nuts. This wholesome experience gave each of us new insights into coffee and strengthened our relationship with each other and our food.
Stay tuned for more events in our artisan series!