Thinking outside the Cup

The journey of the coffee bean from crop to cup involves plenty of tasting – the roaster, café owner and others will all have tasted the coffee to check for defects.

This method of tasting is known as cupping.

What is cupping?

Cupping lets you evaluate the characteristics of a particular coffee bean so you can understand its taste and how best to brew it to ensure maximum flavor.

If you’re a beginner, start with two very different coffees so that you can more easily compare and notice flavor variations.

How to cup coffee

Start with an equal amount of each coffee and place into separate bowl or cup. Pour over near boiling water and leave the coffee to steep for approx. 4 minutes.

Once the coffee has steeped, you will need to break the crust – the layer of floating grounds on top – by stirring it gently. Some of the grounds will sink to the bottom of the bowl, but you should skim off any remaining on top before you taste the coffee.

Don’t taste the coffee immediately, as it should be slightly cooler to ensure maximum flavor, but feel free to inhale the aroma to prepare your taste buds.

Now for the slurp.

Slurping is an essential part of tasting coffee, as it helps to aerate it and spread it across your palate.

Bring your spoon of coffee to your mouth and suck the liquid in, drawing the coffee to the rood of your mouth so it falls on your tongue and the back of your mouth. Do not swallow the coffee, but swirl it around in your mouth and focus on the flavors.

Tasting coffee

Remember that it’s not a contest so just go with what you think (and taste). Are the flavors you’re getting floral, berry or caramel? Is the coffee sweet or bitter? And how does it taste different from your second cup?

If you’re struggling, take a look at the Counter Culture Coffee Flavor Wheel for guidance, but try to use your own words.

Once you’ve decided on the flavors, look at the tasting notes on the coffees you used and compare with your own thoughts.

This will also help to extend your coffee-tasting vocabulary and consider other flavors you might not have thought of (e.g. umami, black pepper, nougat and lychee).
Before you start to taste coffee, remember that there’s really no right or wrong answer – everyone’s palate is different and will recognize different flavors and aromas. 

Find out how to taste coffee through cupping.
Related Articles
Lets keep in touch!
Are you a member of the Coffee Industry?

Enter security code:
Security code

2019 - Proudly Sponsored By:
FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 16b0549b-4b5d-49fe-a01d-a5c4cb964819 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: cbf7f7cf-a838-45ff-b30b-a8efea6b2e61 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 67b9a17b-97ea-479c-9b28-be5f4e4747e2 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: b65cf952-a904-4a0a-8baf-52a776608548 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 939ad12b-c7ff-4ab0-8286-6c3dfc3aa791 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 0af249f4-8a96-4ec6-8327-3c38e367c3dd FooterBlackCompanyLogo:
FooterBlackCompanyLogo: d5f84cfb-3511-47e0-b40d-27da99ac8d38
2019 - Latte Art Live:
FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 53b784cf-6d51-4477-bbf9-1af6aec151a9 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 15cbb656-af42-4f88-b715-ecb0774bc7ac FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 5065ac2c-ab45-4243-9661-a91c05e0a800 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 86c44158-7355-4b8d-a23a-83a9711e9f40 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: f3d7197d-1d51-458a-9684-8113f1d3cf3c FooterBlackCompanyLogo: b6ed0d25-93eb-4fee-9ce4-71a771c4a170
2019 - Roast Masters:
FooterBlackCompanyLogo: d46169be-88e7-4d64-9a7d-410847cdfa37 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: e6b45c71-43ef-4cdb-bf5f-045d2c8ab769 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 56f60d01-df2a-476b-b3ab-10a1cd9e0f8d FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 855cfdad-ecda-42c9-ae2c-85abbf407dce
2019 - The Lab:
FooterBlackCompanyLogo: f2745249-a9ae-4e5c-be12-8e04e8c106ed
Media Partners:
FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: e020e465-a502-4d5d-a32a-7010361f18fa FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 9b409c80-f2ae-4f0d-91bb-2d1ce0fbe925 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 04f0ca66-fbf5-456a-8f83-e1dea9e850f0 FooterBlackCompanyLogo: 5418fce0-f5ce-4867-aae7-ccbada8b678f
Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th Street,
New York, NY 10011
Terms & Conditions
Privacy Policy

VAT No. GB303031474 – Group

© Allegra Events Ltd 2020.