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My First Cupping Event

So, I actually did something fun this weekend. I attended my very first coffee cupping event at a local coffee roaster! It was a class for beginners, so they explained all of the proper procedures used in professional cupping events and gave us information as to why coffee cupping is used.

Coffee cupping has been around since the late 19th century and was refined by 3 men who believed they needed a better way to test the quality of the coffee they were purchasing for resale. Coffee cupping is always done as “blind tasting” which means that the people tasting the coffee don’t know which coffee they are tasting, in order to maintain a non-biased opinion.

Here’s how it works;

  • Ground coffee goes straight into the cup

  • Slowly pour hot water of the correct temperature (about 200 degrees) over the ground coffee, making sure to saturate all of the ground coffee

  • After pouring water in, let sit for 4 minutes, being careful not to move the cup.

  • After 4 minutes take a cupping spoon and break the crust that forms on top of the coffee

    • Breaking the crust is done very carefully and strategically by using 3 motions of a forward to backward movement as to push the crust to the back of the cup.

  • all the aromatics of the coffee are released when the crust is broken. You slowly move your nose down towards the cup to smell all the aromas the coffee offers, you then record these on the tasting form.

  • After the crust is broken and you have recorded the perceived aromas you then must remove the crust from the coffee by taking both spoons simultaneously and skimming the crust off the top, being careful not to swish around the grounds that have settled to the bottom.

  • let the coffee cool for an additional 8 minutes before tasting

  • Proper tasting is done by submerging the spoon at a slight angle just below the surface of the coffee and then quickly slurping the coffee into your mouth. This can be done several times before you are ready to score the rest of your sheet.

That’s it! It is such a fun thing to do with fellow coffee enthusiasts, and I highly recommend it because you get to taste different specialty coffees all while refining your palate. If you have participated in a cupping event please let me know how your experience went in the comments below. Good luck, and stay caffeinated my friends!

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