Step by Step Guide
Professional coffee tasting is also known as "cupping". It is used to evaluate the quality of one or more coffees. Even at home, a cupping session can offer interesting insights into the aromatic and gustatory complexity of our favorite beverage. In addition, it has a social aspect: Since one usually cups together with several people, there will be a productive interchange of ideas and information.
A few ground rules: Be very careful in your preparations – the preparation of the coffee (amount, granulation, water temperature, brewing time) must be identical for each sample. Please remember, though, that all electric grinders will have a small amount of residual coffee in the sputum, which could easily contaminate the coffee samples if not cleaned properly after each grinding. Clean the Cuppingspoon always in a glass of hot water before you go from one to the next coffee. Concentrate on your own sensorial impressions and don't be distracted or influenced by others. Use a "spit cup" to not end up having a coffein shock.
- coffee grinder
- cupping spoon
- water glasses
- for each coffee use two identical coffee cups with a capacity of about 180 ml
- for each coffee use 18 grams of coffee beans and in addition 5–10 grams in order to clean the mill before grinding the next type of coffee
- suitable water (6–8 degrees dH, pH between 6.5 and 7.5)
For each coffee, twice weigh 9 grams. Grind a small handful of beans of the first sample, in order to clean the mill of possible residues. Grind the weighed beans of the first sample and add the ground coffee into the cups. Mark the cups or add the appropriate coffee sample. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each coffee sample.
Smell the coffee grounds. Which flavors do you perceive?
Boil some water and let it cool down to 94 degrees. Now fill up each cup evenly right to the edge. Start the stopwatch. Pour the remaining hot water in the water glasses and put the Cuppingspoons in the glasses.
Now smell the upper crust. Which flavors do you now perceive? Has the smell changed?
4 minutes after the infusion, take a spoon and break the crust. Herewith you release the aroma layer underneath. Follow the spoon with your nose as you open the crust, in order to perceive the volatile odors. Clean the spoon in the hot water before you go on to the next coffee.
Remove the foam, which still floats on the coffee with one or two spoons. Clean the spoon again in the hot water, before switching coffees.
Once the coffees have reached a temperature of about 60 degrees, they are ready to be slurped. Dip the spoon into the coffee, draw it close to your mouth and suck the fluid quickly into the mouth. It takes some practice to not choke.
What do you taste? How does it feel in your mouth? How distinctive is the reverberation?
Try the coffees not only as they are hot, but also once they are warm and lukewarm. If you cup more than one coffee we recommend you to spit the coffee into a spit cup instead of drinking it.