Drinking Coffee 101

GENERIC coffee
(This program originally aired Nov. 20, 2005)

At McHenry County College outside Chicago, professor Ted Ersky teaches coffee appreciation. Yes, a whole course devoted to the study of a single bean.

"I've never had anybody fall asleep in this course so that's a positive thing," Ersky quips to CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman.

He says we need to start appreciating coffee the way we do wine.

But isn't coffee, well, just coffee?

"Coffee is never just plain coffee, absolutely not," replies Ersky. "It's very different according to the beans, according to how it was roasted."

As Ersky teaches his students to taste the difference between coffees, you first need to know how to taste. And that lesson begins with something called cupping.

"To cup properly, you don't actually drink the coffee. You take a spoon and you slurp," Ersky explains.

Demonstrating for Hartman, Ersky says, "You spray it across your tongue. You spray it across the roof of your mouth. And that way you get the full flavor sensation."

Over the next hour, Ersky dissected five different coffees from around the world.