Free shipping on all orders over $20

Coffee Cupping, what is it really for?

Coffee Cupping, what is it really for?

August 26, 2016

 

If you’ve ever been in our shop in the early morning hours you’ve probably thought to yourself, “…what’s that sound??” And upon seeing several of us standing around the production area slurping like a bunch of toddlers eating soup you’ve probably wondered, “what on earth are they doing??” I’ll explain.

Coffee professionals—especially roasters—use a method of tasting called “cupping” to evaluate different coffees. To be honest, it's not a great way to enjoy coffee. Basically, coffee grounds go straight into a small bowl and boiling water is poured on top. Once enough time has passed, a crust that forms on top (like in a French press) which is "broken" and skimmed off. From that point everyone tastes the coffee with a spoon (a special coffee tasting spoon, of course) and slurps the coffee. The bowls containing coffee stay put on the table the whole time.

So, why is this the preferred ritual for evaluating coffees? The main reason is repeatability. The whole brewing process is stripped down to the simplest possible method so it can be easily replicated every time. This ensures all the coffees are on an even playing field so differences in flavor, body, and acidity are all equally evaluated as traits of the coffee versus differences in the ways they each was brewed. We remove all the song and dance of pour overs, batch brewers, and other manual/filter brew methods create a quick and easy way to brew, taste, and share coffees.

Cupping was originally a way for coffee buyers to taste-test many coffees of a particular region at once. Today its usefulness extends to all types of coffee buyers, roasters, coffee educators, baristas, farmers, and even to coffee enthusiasts who decide to attend a coffee cupping.

If you’re interested in coming to a cupping and seeing what it’s all about you can check our website for dates/times and sign up—we usually do a couple per month. If not at least now you know what we’re slurping about when you have to turn your headphones up.

We also took part in a recent survey with Handground and they put together a really cool comprehensive tip list on making V60 pour overs. Check it out and see if you learn anything new. 

By Doug Stone, Corvus Trainer

 




Also in Corvus Log

Notes from Guatemala
Notes from Guatemala

August 21, 2020

The most micro of lots from Guatemala this year

Read More

COVID - 19 Update
COVID - 19 Update

April 13, 2020

Hold my coffee...

Read More

Notes from Bolivia
Notes from Bolivia

March 27, 2020

Strength of the Incans, and the generations of pre-colombian people, resides in Bolivia

Read More

Access pre-ordering for reserve coffees & follow the stories of coffee farmers throughout the most remote areas of the world