We quite often need to refill our coffee supplies. This time the visit to our favourite local roastery had something special prepared for us. As we looked around and tried to decide on the coffee beans, we somehow got engaged into a conversion between the barista, our friend Maniek and his client Nate.
It turned out that Nate is a blogger coffee blogger. He tries to help small and local coffee shops to tell their stories and be acknowledged outside of Ireland. His current mission is to introduce SOMA coffee beans to Polish speciality coffee shops. As a part of it he invited us to a cupping session.
So what exactly is cupping?
You can actually determine it with the name itself. ”Cup” comes from the use of cups in the process of tasting coffee beans.
As you can guess inside of every cup are different types of coffee. So talking about the definition. Cupping is the way of tasting and observing the aromas and flavours of various kinds of coffee beans. Similar to wine, you can judge a coffee by defined parameters like aroma, acidity and aftertaste.
We actually couldn’t believe how many different flavours can evolve from a coffee bean. Simply take a look on the flavour wheel developed by world coffee research. For example skunky, medicinal, maple syrup, raspberry, coconut and isovaleric acid just to name a few.
How does coffee cupping work?
It all begins with the preparation of an estimate 8,25 g medium grounded coffee per cup. You then smell the dry grounds and get the first impression of the flavours. After you’re done with each coffee. You start a timer and pour 150ml of heated water (approx 94° C ) into each cup. The leftover water you put into a seperate cup. The spoons can heat up which you’ll need in the next steps.
After 4 minutes you take the spoons and remove a crust from the top of the cups. Breaking the crust release a lot of flavors, so be sure to get your nose in there!
Approximately 15 minutes after the first pour you take a spoon and slurp the coffee quickly. Slurping makes you taste more flavour and aroma, as it aerates the coffee and makes it coat your plates. Between every slurp you rinse your spoon in the spare cup.
Ready for more cupping
As we love to prepare different products in the kitchen. We have the awareness of how raw ingredients taste and how their flavor changes after the appropriate preparation. There are many ways to prepare food. Likewise there are so many ways to brew coffee. Just like with various kinds of drinks or food you learn to taste the difference when sampling small amounts.
Cupping was a whole new experience which brought us into the world of appreciating great coffee even more we did before. We can’t wait to explore more flavours!
More information about cupping
If you wish to get more information about coffee and it’s different brewing or tasting methods. Feel free to visit the website of the Specialty Coffee Association.