The Art of Cupping: How Professionals Evaluate Coffee

coffee cupping

Hey coffee enthusiasts! Ready to dive into the world of coffee cupping? At Henry’s Coffee and Events, we’re all about unlocking the secrets of that perfect brew. Let’s take a trip through the art of cupping! In this article, we’ll introduce you to the process, guiding you step-by-step and giving you some last tips to master this art.

Everything You Need to Know About Coffee Cupping

What’s Coffee Cupping, Anyway?

Coffee cupping is a method of carefully tasting and appreciating the quality of a coffee batch, paying attention to every nuance. It allows you to fully enjoy coffee attributes such as cleanliness, sweetness, acidity, mouthfeel, and aftertaste as well as understanding how they harmonise.

The Cupping Ritual

For us, cupping is not just an industry standard; it’s our way of discovering and communicating the nature of a coffee. And the good news is that cupping isn’t just for the pros! It’s the heartbeat of our coffee culture, connecting green coffee buyers, roasters, quality control specialists, baristas, and enthusiasts. It’s our shared language, and way of diving into the soul of coffee.

Finding Coffee Flavours

Beyond quality checks, cupping introduces us to the diverse world of coffee flavours. We start with basics like nutty or chocolaty and graduate to pinpointing berry or fruit notes.

Influence of Flavour Factors

Just like a fine wine, our coffee’s flavour is influenced by several factors – weather, altitude, soil, cultivar, and the entire journey from picking to brewing.

A Coffee Lover’s Guide to Cupping Magic

At Henry’s Coffee and Events, cupping is a ritual and we’re about to reveal it to you!

How to Cup Coffee, Henry’s Style

To get started, you will need the following elements:

  • Coffees (20 grams each)
  • Grinder
  • Scale
  • Timer
  • Cupping bowls (160 ml – 200 ml)
  • Rinse cups with hot water
  • Cupping spoons
  • Kettle
  • Vessel (for used coffee grounds)
  • Mug or glass (for cupping spoons)

1. Prime the Grinder: Start with 2 grams to prepare the grinder, followed by the main grind-coarse sea salt perfection.

2. Bowl Magic: Add 9 grams of each coffee into designated cupping bowls. Two bowls per sample, ensuring no defect goes unnoticed.

3. Aromas: Heat water to 200°F, kickstarting the aroma assessment.

4. Pouring: Start the timer, and pour 150 grams of water into each bowl – watch the coffee bloom!

5. Crust Breaks: At 4 minutes, break the crust using a spoon to push the ground around to reveal hidden aromas.

6. Cleanse and Savour: Use two spoons to remove grounds and foam, allowing the coffee to cool down. At 13-15 minutes, the magic happens – tasting time!

7. Slurp: Slurp the coffee, and let it glide along your tongue, unveiling a spectrum of flavours. And remember, no double dipping – rinse those spoons!

We recommend taking notes on dry aromatics, wet aromatics, crust breaking, and during the tasting journey. Each palate is unique – discover your coffee spectrum.

Improving Your Cupping Skills

It’s alright if you don’t get it the first time! We’ve all been there, but if there’s one piece of advice we can give you is to practise, practise, practise – bonus points if you do it with other coffee lovers. Not only will it help you gain insights from others, but improve your overall learning process too. 

Invite your friends or family to join you! As you explore this sensory adventure, observe their techniques, and exchange sensory perceptions. Cupping takes much more dedication than one can imagine; it combines the mental and physical, which is why it’s important to be calm and keep an open mind throughout. 

Also, don’t get lost in the finer details at first. Instead, exercise your palate by focusing on the big picture elements – sweetness, acidity, viscosity, and aftertaste. If you need an extra push, you can develop your tasting skills by exploring different types of chocolate, and fruits side by side. Pay special attention to the distinctive flavours, as each presents an opportunity to fine-tune your craft. 

Mastering the Art

The cupping process may seem complex and a bit intimidating, but no one expects you to know everything. Immerse yourself in the journey, savour each discovery, and let every cupping session unfold as a chapter in your personal coffee journey. Are you ready to master the craft of cupping?

Start your sensory experience with Henry’s Coffee and Events, where we explore the world of coffee. Our commitment to excellence goes beyond the final brew, and we take pride in unravelling the layers of flavours, aromas, and textures through this detailed process. The art of cupping reflects our dedication to quality, from selecting the finest beans to going through every aspect of the brewing journey. Hopefully, this article has not only given you more clarity into the art of cupping, but has also sparked a new appreciation for the differences that make each cup of coffee a unique experience.

Whether you’re a professional or an eager beginner, let us be your ally on this enriching journey. Take your coffee moments to new heights with our expertise, and get in touch with us for tailored coffee experiences.