How to Cup Coffee Like You Know What You're Doing.

For the uninitiated, cupping is a method for field testing various lots of coffee at origin. The gist is, you roast different coffees to perceptibly similar levels of roast color/development, grind them as uniformly as possible, and pour hot water over them in bowls. The coffee extracts by steeping, similar to how a French Press extracts coffee. After a few minutes, you break the crust of coffee grounds that form at the top of the bowl, scrape out any excess grounds from the top, and, as the coffee cools, begin slurping spoonfuls of coffee.

True Level. More than just a Rick and Morty Reference.

True Level is our effort at the familiar, the easy, the comfortable; but done under the core Sump coffee philosophy. True is a Sump medium roast.  There are many paths between point A and B. It is those path choices that change and determine the cup. 

Decaf: Specialty Coffee’s Black Sheep

Our decaf offering is a Colombia Sugar Cane E.A. process. As is the case with all our coffees, we source high quality, high scoring coffees. We selected this coffee primarily because the Sugar Cane E.A. process derives from more natural sources as opposed to the more common solvent, methylene chloride.

The ethanol used in this process is naturally occurring, derived from the fermentation of sugar cane rather than the synthesis of unnatural chemicals.

What results is a harmonious balance of just the right amount of both sweet and savory elements for a cup of coffee you may soon forget is decaf.

Savory Flavors in Coffee

Savory notes in coffee? It happens more than one might reflexively think. And not just with tomato-y leaning coffees from Kenya. What we grind and extract to make delicious beverages is a seed, from a fruit. We in coffee tend to make a big deal about this, some leaning hard into this fact as a major branding point or naming convention. But a quick Google search reveals beans are also edible seeds. So everyone’s right, then. What follows is largely sense experience findings and not from peer reviewed food science journals.

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So what’s distinct about a cup of Kenya coffee and what is Sump selling and how can you buy it? Coffees (or at least the ones we look to bring into the roastery) from Kenya unfold as follows. Right from go, an unfurling of dried cranberry (not cranraisins or dried sweet cranberries from Whole Foods) -dried, red and unsweetened; maybe even slightly suggestive of a Rooibos tea; full facings of (or sometimes minor hints) grapefruit, sometimes inching toward pith; and always lurking around every facet of the cup is something savory -some cups tip to full Campbell's tomato soup impressions, others playfully tease softer savory notes, like heirloom grape tomatoes or savory tropical fruits, like a jackfruit; and rounding out the finish is typically a big syrupy mouthfeel, with big sweetness (typical of dark sugars; burnt/caramelized sugar, molasses, browns)  with a lingering aftertaste of dried fruit, like raisins, figs or dates. Often there exists small pockets of impressions of black tea and minor savory spices/fruits, like tamarind.

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Random Walk Through Some Current Green Coffees

We at Sump spend a bunch of time suggesting (I like to call it knowing) how 'snowflake-like' (pejorative? none intended here. unique or singular preferred.) the coffees we curate and present to you can taste. You might have even heard someone (totally the guy with the beard) say, this is why we don't do a blend or emphasizing (with hooked on phonics like pronouncement) 'single origin'. I personally wrestle with this idea of uniqueness or specialness in coffee regularly. I mean, not really, I see it clearly and plainly; but what about the experience beyond the 'me'? The other, the not me. 

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What to expect when ordering online; for the un-Sump initiated.

One thing that I don’t think we’ve done very well is convey from afar what it is we do. I mean from a duh level, it’s pretty clear -coffee. But what kind or style of coffee do we make or aspire to make? Or what can you expect if you order a coffee online? Fair questions.

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Sump Coffee - Nashville (finally!)

We have officially opened the Nashville shop. The opening was exactly one year later than we forecast when we initially announced. We said September/October 2016, but what it turns out we meant was September/October 2017. First, let us apologize for teasing that announcement and being so far off the mark. But we are officially open. If you’re in Nashville -please drop by and check us out. We are at 8 City Blvd in an area we’re calling Midtown. It’s not exactly midtown, but it is west (to contrast with the east side). It is right off of Charlotte Ave at 28th, and right off of 28th before it turns into the 31st interconnect (from Charlotte Ave and heads toward the Parthenon and beyond). We’re on the back side of the building at 8 City. There is both free street and garage parking and lots and lots of outdoor seating (as well as indoor seating). So what can we tell you about the new spot?

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