In recent years, there has been a growing interest among coffee enthusiasts in coffee tasting and cupping. People are actively participating in these sessions to explore the diverse flavor profiles offered by different varieties of coffee.
What is Coffee Cupping?
Coffee cupping is a way of describing the flavour profile and quality of different varieties of coffee. It is specially done for coffee roasters and importers who wish to know more about the batch of coffee they are about to invest in. The flavour profile of coffee is determined by the origin, density & moisture of coffee beans, sugar content, method of coffee processing and roasting technique used.
Coffee Cupping and Tasting: What’s the Difference?
Well, coffee cupping and coffee tasting are not the same thing. Coffee cupping is a standardised coffee evaluation system based on a specific protocol. Coffee tasting, on the other hand, does not follow any particular protocol. It provides you complete freedom to evaluate different coffee flavours in your preferred way.
Both coffee tasting and coffee cupping come with their own sets of benefits. Coffee cupping allows professionals to perform a comparative study on different types of coffee. It helps them identify the potential of the coffee beans as well as look for any inconsistencies. Coffee tasting is a more enjoyable approach where you get to identify the unique flavours of coffee in your preferred way.
coffee tasting and coffee cupping have certain similarities as well. Both these methods involve sensory evaluation of coffee and understanding its aroma, flavour, and taste. It also allows individuals to discuss coffee and share their personal experiences.
Tips for Enhancing Your Coffee Tasting and Cupping Skills
Developing a vocabulary for describing coffee flavours: One of the most effective ways to enhance your coffee tasting and cupping skills is to develop a vocabulary for describing your coffee. This will help you broaden your sensory perception and enhance your experience.
Practising sensory exercises and palate training: Try practicing different types of sensory exercises and palate training to articulate your senses better. This will also help you develop your own coffee-tasting method through and coffee analysis.
Experiment with different brewing methods and origins: Learn more about the different brewing methods and origins of specialty coffee. This will provide you with a clear idea of how a particular brewing method can impact the flavour and aroma of coffee. You can also try out different coffee lots from various origins to understand each flavour.
Engaging with the coffee community and learning from experts: Engaging with the coffee community through workshops, online platforms, etc., will help you to know more about coffee tasting. You can get involved in different discussions about coffee and buying coffee beans online. You can also learn from coffee experts and share your experiences with them.
How to Cup Coffee at Home?
Well, you can easily cup coffee at home by following a few simple and basic steps.
Coffee Cupping Steps
Step 1 – Set out and organise all your equipment: First, you need to arrange and organise your equipment in a definite space so that the coffee analysis process becomes smooth and convenient.
Step 2 – Weigh out your coffee: You need to weigh your coffee accurately and consistently across all the samples. This has again got a big role to play in impacting the flavour of your coffee.
Step 3 – Grind: Grinder your coffee beans with a high quality grinder. How you grind your coffee will determine how your coffee will taste at the end.
Step 4 – Observe the dry fragrance: Observe the fragrance of the dry coffee grounds and try to describe it. This is going to broaden your sensory perception and will help you understand the aroma.
Step 5 – Brew: Pour hot water over the freshly ground coffee. Allow the coffee to brew for around 4-5 minutes.
Step 6- Break the crust: Break the crust that forms on the surface of the coffee and observe the wet aroma. This will help you to understand the aroma distinctly.
Step 7 – Remove the foam: Remove the foam from the surface of the coffee. This will help you enjoy the beverage’s clarity while testing it.
Step 8 – Taste: Slurp the coffee to fully experience the aroma. Pay attention to each of the flavours and note down your observations. You can spit out the coffee slurped to avoid getting over-caffeinated!
The Practice of Coffee Cupping
The practice of coffee cupping started years ago to assess the sensory attributes of coffee. It is a tool for coffee enthusiasts to compare different varieties of coffee. During these coffee cupping sessions, coffee analysis takes place, and the coffee is scored and rated based on multiple attributes.
To host a coffee cupping session, you must get some equipment, including coffee beans, water, a kettle, a grinder, cups, towels, etc. You would also need to have a dedicated aroma-free room where you can conduct the entire process without any kind of distraction.
And that’s all about coffee tasting and coffee cupping. If you are a coffee enthusiast and love trying different coffee flavors, it is high time to explore and appreciate the world of coffee tasting and cupping. We assure you that you will love every bit of the experience.
1. What are the essential items you need to host cupping?
To host cupping, you would need items like coffee beans, cups, kettles, grinders, spoons, etc.
2. What are the things you shouldn't do in a coffee cupping?
Refrain from making use of unclean equipment for coffee cupping. Avoid wearing strong fragrances to the coffee cupping session. Also, don’t rush the process; it will mess up the assessment.
3. How does temperature affect the taste of coffee?
The temperature can affect the coffee’s flavour, taste, aroma and acidity. So, it is always better to prepare your coffee at optimal temperatures of 94 – 96 Celsius.
4. What happens at coffee cupping?
At a coffee cupping session, the coffee is evaluated based on the various protocols. The coffee is also rated based on various attributes like taste, flavour, and aroma.
5. Is cupping the same as brewing coffee?
No coffee cupping and brewing are not the same. While coffee brewing refers to preparing coffee for regular consumption, coffee cupping evaluates coffee based on various factors.