Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or not, the most effective way of figuring out which blend of coffee is best for you is through the process of cupping. This is where people take a spoon full of coffee and slurp is very loudly to determine the coffee’s quality. Of course, it is more complicated than that. The purpose of cupping coffee is very scientific, and is an excellent way to determine the quality of coffee and help you create your own blends.
The best way to learn how to cup is by attending cupping sessions given by roasters and coffee brokers. However, you can also teach yourself to cup.
First, place 2 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee into a 6-ounce mug. Don’t add water yet; instead, breathe deeply and inhale the aroma of the fresh grounds (called the “dry aroma”). Note your impressions.
Add boiling water to the coffee, then wait 3 minutes. A crust of coffee grounds will form at the top of the cup. Using a clean spoon, break the crust and stir the coffee. Skim the foam off the top of the cup and throw it away.
Wait until the coffee has cooled enough to taste it and all of the grounds have sunk to the bottom of the cup. Then, with your spoon (which you should rinse after skimming the foam), take a small sip of coffee and slurp it into your mouth. Slurping the coffee will spray it evenly across the inside of your mouth, rather than having it make contact with only one point. Swish the coffee around inside your mouth and think about how you would describe the coffee’s quality.
Pay attention to these attributes:
• Acidity: Is the coffee dry or tart? Does it taste winey or citrusy?
• Body: Does it feel “heavy,” like cream, or “light,” like skim milk?
• Aroma: Does it smell rich or weak?
• Flavor: What words describe the overall taste of the coffee? Sour? Sharp? Burned? Woody?
You can use cupping to compare different types of coffee at the same time. Just follow the steps above, but use a different cup for each type of coffee and make sure you rinse the spoon between each step.
Try coffee cupping today with all of our blends and find the perfect fit for you!