What do you do when you have a cup of coffee in your hands? Do you think about where the beans came from? Do you gulp it down, hoping you’ll wake up and get with the program?
Believe it or not, some people treat a cup of coffee like a glass of wine. It’s called coffee cupping, and it’s a bit like wine tasting.
Tasters usually focus on things such as flavor, acidity (tanginess), aftertaste, and sweetness. As they go from cup to cup, these lucky guys sniff, slurp, spit (no swallowing allowed), and take notes on their findings. Certain setups and patterns must be followed.
How does it work? Usually done by professionals, coffee cupping helps single out poor quality coffee. It’s also useful for learning how to distinguish one kind of coffee from another.
You might think coffee cupping is nothing but sitting around and smelling coffee, but there’s more to it than that. .
It can be frustrating and confusing for beginners, but with practice anybody can turn their kitchen into a little laboratory.
Aroma is one of the most important parts of coffee cupping. Without coffee aroma, you can’t get a feel for the overall flavor. When you have a cold, for example, and you try to eat something, how does it taste? Probably bland, right? Chances are you can’t finish it, either. Without your sense of smell, it’s hard to enjoy food (or coffee).
There are so many aromas! Fruity, Chocolaty, you name it, it likely exists. Each one tells a story, each one sends a message to your senses. Coffee cupping rewards only the very best.
The next time you brew yourself a steamy mug in the morning, think about the work that went into making sure you won’t regret it.