Sipping Seminar

Gloria Jean’s can help you hone your coffee palate

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Scott and Shirley Rogers with their precious product
Scott and Shirley Rogers with their precious product

Back in the old days, when Midwestern coffee was often indistinguishable from dishwater, everyday coffee drinkers weren’t too picky. The prevailing attitude, as coffee connoisseur Scott Rogers explains it, was “Just give me something brown with caffeine in it so I can wake up.” That’s certainly changed in the past few decades, as coffee shops have proliferated, grocery stores have begun to sell a broad variety of beans, and consumers’ tastes have matured. “In the last 20 or 30 years, people have realized really good coffee tastes a lot better,” Rogers says. “It’s an affordable luxury.” In addition to owning and operating Gloria Jean’s Coffees in Oakwood Mall, Rogers and his wife, Shirley, are coffee evangelists, holding periodic seminars to educate coffee drinkers about how to appreciate their beverage of choice and the magic beans used to create it. If you’re eager to learn more, pull up a mug for the couple’s next tasting seminar on Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Volume One Gallery. Attendees will learn the basics of what makes coffee great (or not so great), beginning with where the beans are grown and the complex process that brings them from equatorial mountainsides to your favorite cup. The Rogerses will also fill you in on the five characteristics of coffee: aroma, flavor, brightness (acidity), body, and finish. “One of the really big factors is the brightness or the acidity, which is that zing or tingle,” Rogers says. For example, seminar participants often sample Kenyan coffee (very bright) alongside Columbian brew (much less so) to learn how that tingle on the tongue makes a difference. (Coffee drinkers’ preferences are usually split 50-50, Rogers notes.)  Ultimately, attending the seminar can give you a richer understanding of where coffee comes from as well as the knowledge to make a richer cup that suits you best. Getting a free quarter pound of Gloria Jean’s beans just for attending is a nice treat, too.

Gloria Jean’s Coffee Tasting Seminar presented by Scott and Shirley Rogers • Thursday, Nov. 14, 6-7:45pm • The Volume One Gallery, 205 N. Dewey St. • FREE • registration required: call (715) 833-0040 or visit to register 

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