The Art of Coffee Cupping: A Sensory Adventure for Coffee Connoisseurs

What is Cupping?

In the context of coffee tasting, “cupping” refers to a standardised method used by professionals to evaluate and assess the sensory qualities of coffee. It is a process that involves observing and analyzing the aroma, taste, and overall flavor profile of coffee beans.

The Cupping Process

The cupping process typically follows these steps:

  1. Coffee Selection: High-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans are carefully selected for the cupping session.
  2. Grinding: The coffee beans are ground to a specific particle size, typically medium-coarse, to ensure consistent extraction during brewing.
  3. Aroma Evaluation: The fragrance of the freshly ground coffee is evaluated by smelling the dry grounds in a cup or bowl.
  4. Brewing: Hot water is poured over the coffee grounds in a standardized ratio and allowed to steep for a set amount of time.
  5. Breaking the Crust: After steeping, a gentle agitation is performed by breaking the crust that forms on the surface, releasing the aromatic compounds.
  6. Aroma Assessment: The aroma is evaluated again, this time focusing on the released aromas from the crust.
  7. Tasting: Using specially designed spoons, participants slurp the coffee from the cup, aspirating it to aerate and distribute it across the palate. This allows for a thorough assessment of the flavors, acidity, body, sweetness, and other characteristics.
  8. Scoring and Recording: The participants score and record their observations on a cupping scoresheet, noting specific attributes and overall impressions.

Percolate Your Senses

Cupping is widely recognised as a valuable method for evaluating coffee quality, identifying flavour characteristics, detecting defects, comparing different coffees, and ensuring consistency in the coffee industry. It provides a standardised approach to sensory analysis and enables professionals to communicate and discuss coffee flavour profiles using a common language.

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