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CUP MASTERS: A New Way to Coffee

Coffee is a special pleasure that can be afforded by most everyone. It is a sensory experience, an activating drug and a daily ritual that unites a large portion of humanity. For those of us that have the privilege to work in coffee, cupping is a skill of sensory analysis and grading that we must employ to determine quality and price value. Cupping is also just a fun way to drink coffee.

This fun part of the job is exactly where the idea for Cup Masters was hatched. Why not bring together the best Cuppers and coffee pros in the world and cup coffee together, and talk about life and coffee and whatever else bubbles up in our caffeinated heads in the moment.

Throughout the year I will be hosting this event with different guests with the most highly attuned sense of taste on earth and chatting them up live on a zoom conference which anyone can join to watch and participate in with questions. Then we will be airing the final episode as part of the Food + Beverage Therapy Podcast, now available on Apple Podcasts and CoffeeTalk Magazine.

For our March event we will be cupping with Elika Liftee of Onyx Coffee Lab and Ted Stachura of Equator Coffees.

Elika leads the coffee education programs at ONYX Coffee Lab, from developing and organizing training for new baristas to crafting the recipes and menu for service to recording brewing guide videos and more. Elika holds the 2020 U.S. Brewers Cup Champion title, and he was the 2021 World Brewers Cup, 3rd place finalist, and the 2022 World Brewers Cup runner-up. Elika first got interested in coffee working as a barista while attending college. Elika's background in teaching and science combined with his love of coffee created the unique coffee pro and competitor we now know. Elika will be sharing more of his story and opinions on cupping during this special event.

Ted Stachura has been involved in the coffee industry for nearly three decades. For the past twelve years as Director of Coffee at Equator Coffees in San Rafael, California, overseeing coffee procurement, roasting and quality assurance. Prior to Equator, Ted was a consultant with Kenneth Davids Consulting, an editor at the online publication Coffee Review, and co-founder of Coffee Informatics, developer of data management system RoastLog. Ted was also Coffee and Tea Training Program Manager at Peet’s Coffee & Tea, among many other roles. Ted’s passion for coffee is expressed through his study of coffee, daily cupping and his efforts to educate the public about quality coffee.

Of course, the most important part of all of this... the coffee! For March our Cup Masters will be enjoying special coffees from the Democratic Republic of Congo supplied by

Mighty Peace Coffee - the foremost supplier of Congolese coffee in the United States.

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