Cupping coffee is a fine art, but not one that is limited to professionals. A sensitive palate is developed through experience and experimentation.
What is Coffee Cupping?
Coffee cupping is the process of analyzing and determining the flavor, aroma, and quality in a coffee selection, which is similar to the process of wine tasting. It's part of our strict quality control process where we select only the best, high quality coffee beans for you.
Analyzing the Cup
There are some things to observe while you are conducting the process. The elements of a coffee are usually a combination of two categories:
- Acidity: this descriptor determines how bright and lively the coffee tastes
- This is basically your first impression. It's not a reference to sourness or bitterness, both of which are bad qualities.
- Body: this descriptor refers to the fullness or richness of a coffee
- It's the secondary impression, often called the finish. A heavy-bodied coffee will taste full, thick and syrupy, even chewy on the tongue, and the impression will be lasting.
How to Cup Coffee
You can't cup coffee if you don't have brewed coffee. The right temperature to brew coffee for cupping is around 195° to 205°F. Ideally, 200°F is best.
Let it sit for 4 minutes. Why not listen to a song while you wait?
Smell it. What are the first impressions from the smells?
Grab your spoon and break apart the floating grounds. Turn the spoon over while hovering the cup, now smell. Do you notice a difference from your first aroma test?
Using your spoon, slurp up some coffee. You may even want to chew it a bit and let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds before you swallow.
Describe what you're tasting. Does the coffee taste sweet, tangy or mild? Do you taste small hints of chocolate, vanilla, smoke, or cinnamon? The possibilities are endless.