A Guide to Coffee Cupping: How to Evaluate and Appreciate Coffee Like a Pro

Welcome to the world of coffee cupping! If you're new to coffee cupping, don't worry. It's not as intimidating as it might sound. Coffee cupping is simply a process of evaluating and appreciating coffee based on its aroma, flavor, and body. It's a fun and informative way to discover new coffee varieties and hone your taste buds.

Here's a step-by-step guide to coffee cupping:

Step 1: Choose Your Coffee

First things first, you need to choose the coffee you want to cup. It's best to choose coffee beans from a reputable roaster or specialty coffee shop. Look for beans that are freshly roasted and labeled with the coffee's origin and roast level.

Step 2: Grind the Coffee

Grind the coffee beans just before cupping to ensure maximum freshness. Grind the beans coarsely, similar to the consistency of kosher salt.

Step 3: Smell the Coffee

Now it's time to smell the coffee. Take a deep whiff of the coffee's aroma. What do you smell? Take note of any scents that stand out to you.

Step 4: Add Hot Water

Add hot water to the coffee grounds in your cupping bowl. The ideal water temperature is around 200°F (93°C). The ratio of coffee to water is generally 8.25 grams of coffee to 150 milliliters of water.

Step 5: Let it Sit

Let the coffee steep for four minutes. While you wait, take another sniff of the coffee's aroma. What has changed?

Step 6: Break the Crust

After four minutes, take a spoon and break the crust that has formed on the surface of the coffee. This will release more of the coffee's aroma.

Step 7: Taste the Coffee

Now it's time to taste the coffee. Use a spoon to take a small amount of coffee and slurp it into your mouth. The slurping helps distribute the coffee evenly across your palate. Take note of the coffee's flavor and body. Does it have any acidity or sweetness? Is it light or full-bodied?

Step 8: Score the Coffee

Finally, score the coffee based on its aroma, flavor, and body. Use a cupping form to keep track of your scores. This will help you compare different coffees and keep track of your preferences.

Congratulations, you've completed a coffee cupping! With a little practice, you'll become a pro at evaluating and appreciating coffee. Who knows, you might even discover a new favorite coffee!

( Photo by Caleb Minear on Unsplash )

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