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Beanery, VSU hosts ‘Coffee Lovers’ class

Starbucks move over.

The Beanery and Continuing Education at VSU invites students, faculty and staff to take the Coffee Lovers class on Saturday at 9 a.m.

The event will take place at The Beanery, located on Williams Street where students of the class will take part in many activities based on the fundamentals of specialty coffees.

The class was created in hopes of enlightening individuals on the art of coffee brewing, tasting and overall background.

Ellen Stevens, owner of The Beanery and an economics teacher at VSU, will hold the event inside her business.

“First I will talk about the basics of specialty coffee: how it is grown, which regions of the world grow coffee, a little about the plants, the politics and the economics of the world coffee market,” Stevens said. “Then we will taste three or four different coffees–paying close attention to taste, body, and aftertaste.”

Sue Bailey, program coordinator at VSU’s Continuing Education, admires Steven’s attempt at making the classes unique.

“While we’ve been holding these classes for several years, each time Ellen tries to come up with a unique angle,” she said.

Coffee cupping is another activity that students will take part in during his or her experience at The Beanery. Coffee cupping is similar to sample tasting, and is a way for the student to point out different components of the coffee.

“It is the step-by-step process of tasting and smelling a coffee, focusing the mouth and nose on specific qualities,” Stevens said. “The qualities are aroma, acidity, taste, body, and aftertaste.”

After coffee cupping, Stevens plans to show her students how coffee blending works.

“I thought it would be fun and informative for coffee lovers to play around with blending different coffees,” she said. “Sometimes I am surprised by the chemistry of coffees from two different regions, and how they merge unexpectedly with one another. When blending coffees, I think of them as either “playing well with others” or not.”

Not only do her students get to learn how blending works, they will also learn the secrets of The Beanery’s most sought- after blend: The Holiday Blend.

The Beanery is a newer addition to Williams Street. After experimenting with coffee roasting at their home, Stevens and her husband Tom opened the coffee shop in 2005.

“We learned a lot about the different countries around the world where coffee is grown, and learned to appreciate the interesting differences in the flavor of these different coffee beans.”

The Beanery offers multiple services such as selling roasted coffee to wholesale customers including restaurants, churches, offices and other coffee shops. In addition to selling to wholesale customers, The Beanery sells freshly ground coffee to customers at their shop and at Whisk Organic Market.

Stevens hopes that the coffee lovers will take the information from the class and apply it to their daily life.

“I hope they will learn to savor every sip of coffee, and enjoy the subtle, magical components that combined together, create the flavor of coffee,” she said. “I hope that they will never think about adding sugar to a fine cup of coffee again!”

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