Coffee is a complex beverage with a wide range of flavors and aromas. Cupping is a process that allows coffee professionals to evaluate the taste, aroma, and quality of coffee. It involves evaluating coffee samples by comparing them side by side, and it’s an essential part of the coffee industry. In this blog post, we will cover the art of cupping, including how to taste and evaluate coffee. Also, we will explain how to order coffee online and what should be taken into account.
Tools and Materials Needed for Cupping
To perform a cupping, you will need a few tools and materials, including:
- Coffee beans
- Hot water
- A scale
- A cupping spoon
- A cupping bowl
- A timer
- A notepad and pen
Each tool has a specific function that contributes to the cupping process. For example, the cupping spoon is specially designed to help you taste coffee without burning your tongue, and the cupping bowl has a wide rim to enhance the coffee’s aroma.
The Cupping Process
The cupping process involves several steps:
- Grind the coffee beans and weigh them.
- Pour hot water over the grounds and let them steep for four minutes.
- Break the crust that forms on top of the coffee with the cupping spoon, and take a whiff of the aroma.
- Use the cupping spoon to slurp the coffee, so it spreads across your tongue and palate, and evaluate its taste and aroma.
- Repeat this process with each sample of coffee, comparing and contrasting their characteristics.
Tasting and Evaluating Coffee
To taste and evaluate coffee during cupping, you will need to focus on four key characteristics: aroma, flavor, acidity, and body. Here’s what to look for:
Aroma: The aroma of coffee is an essential part of its overall flavor. That’s why coffee selection is a very important process, and when you decide to buy coffee online, make sure you choose the best option. The Kanubo Coffee shop recommends taking a whiff of the coffee before and after breaking the crust to evaluate its aroma.
Flavor: The flavor of coffee is affected by several factors, including the coffee beans’ origin, roasting process, and brewing method. Take a sip of the coffee and let it spread across your tongue, and focus on the different flavor notes.
Acidity: Acidity refers to the brightness or sharpness of the coffee’s taste. A coffee with high acidity will taste tangy or citrusy, while a coffee with low acidity will taste more mellow.
Body: The body of coffee refers to its thickness or heaviness. A coffee with a full body will have a thicker mouthfeel, while a coffee with a light body will feel lighter on the tongue.
Common Cupping Mistakes
There are several common mistakes that people make during cupping, including:
- Not letting the coffee steep long enough
- Over-extracting the coffee by letting it steep too long
- Not breaking the crust properly
- Not slurping the coffee loudly enough
To avoid these mistakes, be sure to follow the cupping process closely and practice until you feel confident in your abilities.
How to Choose Online Coffee Shops
Choosing an online coffee shop can be challenging, especially with so many options available. Here are some factors to consider when choosing an online coffee shop:
- Quality of coffee: Look for online coffee shops that use high-quality, fresh beans from reputable sources. Make sure they offer a wide variety of roast levels, flavors, and origins to suit your preferences.
- Customer service: Choose an online coffee shop that has a friendly and responsive customer service team. This will ensure that any issues you have with your order are resolved quickly and efficiently.
- Shipping options: Try to buy coffee in the online shops that offer fast and reliable shipping options. Check their shipping rates, delivery times, and policies to make sure they meet your needs.
- Price: Compare prices between different shops to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal. Keep in mind that high-quality, specialty coffee is often more expensive than mass-produced coffee.
- Reviews and ratings: Check online reviews and ratings from other customers to get an idea of their experiences with the coffee shop. Look for patterns in the reviews to see if there are any recurring issues or concerns.
Cupping is an essential part of the coffee industry, allowing coffee professionals to evaluate the quality and taste of coffee. By following the cupping process and focusing on the aroma, flavor, acidity, and body of each coffee sample, you can improve your coffee-tasting skills and gain a deeper appreciation for this complex beverage. Remember to practice, take notes, and have fun exploring the world of coffee!