Coffee cupping is the best way for all of us that love the drink to learn more about the different types of beans.
You may have wondered already what are people doing once their beans are roasted. How do they know the product the coffee turns out to be exactly as expected? Well, this is the process where all this work is done and that allows observe and taste the different aromas. Every time you see on the coffee you buy that the beans have fruity aromas, chocolate hints and so on. You will be able to define this information through this process.
Now, we don’t want to get lost in all the historical and theoretical here. As we are going to go through how to do the cupping and what information you can get through it.
What information comes through the cupping?
The body describes the pysical properties of the bean, heaviness or mouthfulness. You can use a lot of information to define the body but professionals segment the following three categories: light body, medium body and heavy body (or full body). Several aspects affect the body such as the initial processing that are then defined by:
From there, let’s go through how to do this at home, so that every one of you can have fun and learn more about the coffee during your free time!
What do you need?
There are several steps to follow in order to do cupping, so make sure not to get lost in the prcess and to prepare the following.
– 20/25g of 3 different types of coffee.
– 6 cups that can hold at least 150 ml of water.
– 2 spoons.
– A grinder.
– A scale.
– A bowl to collect the wet grounds.
– Tall glass to hold spoons.
How to perform coffee cupping
- Place a cup on the scale, tare and fill it with 150 ml of water
- Prime the grinder by grinding 2g of the first coffee and discard it. It may seem like you are wasting it but by doing so you will clean the grinder from any previous coffee you have used, ensuring you will only taste the coffee you are cupping.
- Grind 9g of the coffee with a medium coarse grind and then put it in the first cup.
- From here, you can take a moment to smell the dry grounds and start taking notes on anything you are smelling.
- Repeat the same action 2 to 5 times and group the same coffees together.
- Once you have set every cup for every set of coffee, pour 150 ml of hot water (temperature should be around 94°C) into each cup. Start your timer.
- Fill a glass with the remaining hot water, this will be used to clean your spoon.
- After about 4 minutes, break the crust that is formed on the top of the cups, releasing all the gases in the cup. While doing so, inhale and take notes on the flavors you will grasp. Clean your spoon and repeat with the remaining cups.
- Remove any remaining crust by using two spoons or by doing a circular motion, ideally taking off as much as possible.
- After about 15 minutes from the first pour, you can start tasting the cups by taking a spoonful of each. Make sure to keep on taking notes on any aroma.
- Once you finish the first round of tasting, do it again to grasp aromas that you may have missed the first time.
You didn’t really manage well the first time?
One of the best references for the flavors is the Specialty Coffee Association of America Flavor Wheel. It gives a great visual representation. If you are interested, you can check their website here.
And that’s the process, it’s not that hard isn’t it? But it does take a lot of practice to make sure you are able to grasp the flavors and aromas of the beans you are working with. So make sure to keep on practicing with different types of coffees and hone your senses! As a result, you will get more and more used to the aromas!
Did you like this article? Have you managed to do your own first coffee cupping? Let us know how it went!