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Cupping Coffee at Home

Supplies Needed:

    • Coffees (20 grams of each coffee)
    • Grinder
    • Scale (for measuring coffee weight)
    • Timer
    • Cupping Bowls (measuring capacity should be 160ml-200ml)
    • Rinse cups filled with hot water
    • Cupping spoons
    • Hot water element 
    • Vessel (to collect used coffee grounds)
    • Mug or glass (to hold cupping spoons)

Step One:

Grind out 2 grams of the first coffee to prime the grinder, then follow with grinding the remaining 18 grams of coffee. Follow with this step for each coffee, starting out with 2 grams to ensure no other coffees inside the grinder will impede any flavors. Grind each coffee to a coarse setting, and it should look similar to coarse sea salt.

Step Two:

Put each coffee sample of 9 grams into designated cupping bowls, using two cupping bowls per sample. Be sure to use two for each sample because you never know if a defect sneaks into a bowl. Assess the dry aroma of each coffee.

Step Three:

Heat your water up to 200degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Four:

Start the timer, and begin pouring 150 grams of water into each bowl. Assess the wet aroma of the coffee.

Step Five:

At 4 minutes, begin breaking the crust. To do this, use the spoon to push the coffee grounds to the back of the bowl. Be sure to rinse the spoon after breaking the crust in each bowl.

Step Six:

Using two spoons, remove the remaining coffee grounds and foam and dump into the spent coffee grounds bowl.

Step Seven:

Using two spoons, remove the remaining coffee grounds and foam and dump into the spent coffee grounds bowl.

Step Eight:

Allow the coffee to cool, and at 13-15 minutes, you can begin tasting the coffees. Slurp the coffee in order to allow the coffee to spread along your tongue to taste the full range of flavors. As the coffee cools, you’ll be able to taste different and a larger range in flavor.

Taking notes of aromatics, flavor, and other various components of the coffee is a great method to expand your palate, understand the different senses you experience in each coffee, and immerse yourself at the cupping table. Areas to take notes in include dry aromatics, wet aromatics, breaking of the crust, and during the time you taste. Because everyone’s palate varies, you may pick up different characteristics of a coffee than the person next to you. For instance, if a coffee has nutty and chocolate like qualities, it’s probable that your partner picks up notes of caramel, while you may detect flavors of toffee; ranging on a similar spectrum, but tasting different components within that spectrum.

Happy Cupping….! 

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