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G&B Coffee offers weekly cuppings -- taste several coffees at a time

Buying a new bag of coffee beans isn't exactly a tiny investment. A 12-ounce bag from a roaster of high-quality coffee might cost as much as $20 or more. And there is a lot of coffee out there that you probably haven't tried. Sure, that Caturra varietal from a 2 1/2-acre coffee farm in Costa Rica sounds great, but wouldn't it be great to taste it before committing to the bag?

At G&B Coffee, the Grand Central Market coffee bar from Intelligentsia alumni Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski, weekly cuppings offer a taste of several coffees at a time. Each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., G&B holds a cupping event at which guests get to try five single-origin roasts chosen by Glanville and Babinski. Baristas will lead attendees through a comparison of the flavor profiles and subtleties of each coffee.

G&B orders a variety of coffee beans, such as from Heart Roasters in Portland, Ore.; Ritual in San Francisco; Chicago-based Intelligentsia; espressos from 49thParallel in Vancouver, Canada; as well as other coffees from across the U.S., Australia and Norway.

G&B tastes hundreds of coffees over several months to decide which to carry. "We procure samples, cup roasts and make our [buying] decision based on that," Glanville said in a Times article about the coffee bar's opening. Why shouldn't you?

The cost is $25 per person and includes one bag of coffee. Space is limited to eight tasters per session. Sign up in advance at the G&B counter.

317 Broadway St., No. C19, Los Angeles, www.gandbcoffee.com.

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