Art of Coffee Cupping: The Method Behind the Mugs

Art of Coffee Cupping: The Method Behind the Mugs

Art of Coffee Cupping: The Method Behind the Mugs

Understanding Coffee cupping–also known as coffee tasting–is essential to appreciate the intricate details that contribute to your favorite cup of coffee. Let's delve deep into coffee cupping to enrich our knowledge and heighten our sensory perceptions of this beloved beverage.

What is Coffee Cupping?

Coffee cupping or coffee is a professional method used to critically evaluate the aroma and taste of coffee. This practice checks the quality of coffee in terms of flavor, aroma, and sensory aspects–the texture of the coffee and its impact on the palate and tongue. Usually, more than one type of coffee is tasted to compare attributes. A cupping scorecard assists in rating and categorizing the various aspects of coffee by using a-scale.

The Broad Strokes of a Cupping Session

To kick off a cupping session, the first step involves sniffing freshly ground coffee, grading its dry aroma. The coffee is then steeped in hot water and left for approximately four minutes. During this time, a crust forms on the surface, which is broken using a cupping spoon–a large, deep tablespoon. Breaking the crust releases the aromas trapped beneath it. The closer one's nose is to the cup while breaking the crust, the better the wet aroma of the coffee is appreciated.

Following this, floating surface coffee grounds are skimmed off. After allowing the coffee to cool slightly, samplers taste it using the cupping spoon. It's important to draw a robust sip allowing the coffee to spread across the entire mouth for better tasting of the aroma.

Who Participates in Coffee Cupping?

While anyone can perform coffee cupping, it is predominantly practiced in the coffee industry. Raw coffee buyers, for example, perform coffee cupping to rate the coffee and subsequently price it accordingly. Roasters conduct cupping to determine the roast profile that best suits the coffee. Some cafes conduct cupping for customers, offering them opportunity to compare varying coffees.

Things to Keep in Mind During Coffee Cupping

One of the essential aspects of coffee cupping is ensuring all tasted coffees are prepared under similar conditions. This means the same grind size for coffee powder and maintaining the same ratio of water to coffee during brewing. Two batches of coffee from the same beans should ideally be brewed to rule out any adverse impact from an individual defective bean.

A crucial piece of advice: avoid consuming certain foods like basil, garlic, or chilli before a cupping session as they can alter your sense of taste and smell.

Going through a coffee cupping session, whether as a professional or an enthusiast, can indeed be an enlightening experience. It's an ode to the rich and intricate process of brewing that perfect cup of coffee## Additional Context: Diving Deeper into Coffee Cupping

Does the word 'demitasse' ring a bell? It's a term used to describe a small coffee cup used for stronger dosed coffee beverages like espresso. Its role in coffee cupping can be interesting to explore.

Also, have you considered why coffee has 'finish'? How does it relate to bitterness? And why does coffee have acidity? How does one counter-balance bitterness with sourness in coffee? All these also play a significant role in the final evaluations in a cupping session.


The exploration of coffee cupping promises a meditative experience focusing on brewing methods, tasting profiles, and sensory nuances. Comprehensive insights reveal new flavors and aromas, ensuring every brew is better than the last. Here's to the pursuit of the perfect cup!

There we have it, an immersive view into the world of coffee cupping. The next time we sip our coffee, let's remember the journey it embarked on to reach our mugs. A journey that's as rich and as nuanced as the coffee itself.

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The Cup of Excellence: A Grail for Specialty Coffee
Mastering the Craft of Cappuccino: A Guide to Creating the Perfect Cup

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