Coffee cupping is just like composing a song, wherein you have to write down all your thoughts before you incorporate a music and melody to it to complete the process. In cupping, you have to evaluate coffees in comparative settings using a reflective and inquisitive approach.
The goal is to build your reference library where you will have a reference library of flavors & taste sensation that you’ll use as a background to examine or distinguish the coffee’s taste. But if you are just new to cupping, you probably don’t know where to begin. If that’s the case, you don’t have to worry for My Demitasse will provide you a step-by-step guide on how to do cupping.
Measure the bean of coffee (whole bean) into glasses or cups, don’t forget to keep track if which is which. To make it easier and to avoid confusion, just post a sticky notes at the bottom of every cup to identify the coffee. As the standard, use 2 cups per coffee for the evaluation, and choose a water ratio for the coffee, which you prefer is suitable for you taste or preference. Don’t be afraid to experiment. But if you want to use a standard volume, you can use 12g of coffee for 6.5 ounce boiled water (if possible, use filtered or fresh water).
Grind cup individually, making sure that you’ll brush out the grinding chamber, thus completely emptying the grinder between the samples. From your tasting cup, place the coffee into the grinder, then grind all coffee. After grinding, pour the coffee back to the tasting cup. Try to grind coffee as fast as possible so that the coffee would not stale.
You can also use the time while boiling the coffee for your evaluation. Many cuppers sniff the ground coffee while boiling it from every sample. Thus making a mental notes of what each coffee smells.
When you are done boiling, remove the kettle from heat and wait till 25 sec before pouring it to your cup. For the professional cuppers, the normal pouring temp. is 202F. Make sure you pour water according to order—the first coffee to grind should get the water first. Pour the water slowly, and also make sure that all grind coffee are saturated and avoid dry clumps on the top of your coffee. If you want to use your desired amount, then do so.
After pouring the coffee, mark the time. Wait from 3 to 4 min. as the grind coffee start to settle.
After 4 minutes, it’s time for you to start the evaluation. After that 4 minutes, the coffee and water have interacted, you’ll subsequently see a thick layer or ‘crust’ of grounds sitting on top of the coffee sample. Take your cupping spoon, then puncture the ‘crust’ while you inhale or smell the aromatics before you taste it.
Start tasting the coffee by taking a spoonful at time, then ‘slurp’ it into your mouth. This is done to allow the liquid sample to coat to the entire tongue. Now you can already evaluate each sample as you enjoy your cupping activity.