You might have seen posters at coffee venues near you advertising their 'Coffee Cupping', or the term might be completely new to you. Either way, coffee cupping is a key activity for coffee roasters, and is gradually becoming a more social event for coffee companies to help coffee addicts find their community and taste different coffee. So what is it? Well the first give away was the word 'taste'.
What is it?
Most wineries offer wine tastings, where you can try small portions of the winery's sample bottles of their wine and help guide your purchasing decision. This makes sense with wine, as some can become very expensive and have complex new tastes that you might be a little suspicious of. Now imagine this, but for coffee!
The Cupping Experience
Simply put, coffee cupping is about tasting the coffee. Now this can be hard to achieve when it's not poured straight out of the bottle like wine. So what happens at cuppings is baristas/cafe owners prepare a cupping sample of the coffees they want their customers/team to try. This is done by simply adding the different coffees they wish to try into a cup, and pouring water over to create an UNFILTERED coffee.
"What about the grounds?" you ask. Well, I agree that would taste quite nasty to actually consume the grounds. So each taster in the coffee cupping session will take a cupping spoon (think of a spoon with a much deeper cavity) and scoop up the liquid from the brewed coffee on the top.
So, to set the scene, there's multiple pots of brewed unfiltered coffee on the table and we've all got our cupping spoons. Now, all we need to do is simply scoop up the liquid a'top of each cup to try the coffee and see how we like the taste. Simple?
Yes! But you'll notice some strange noises. That's because when trying the coffee, it's said that you can taste the full flavour of the coffee by doing a large slurp to make sure the coffee hits the back of your mouth and also get the most from the spoon.
And that's it, you'll work around the table trying and *slurping* all of the different (unfiltered) coffees and seeing which one is your favourite.
How Do Coffee Companies Use Cuppings?
Cuppings can be done for fun, to encourage coffee lovers to try new coffees and notice how different the flavour can be. But coffee cuppings are also essential for coffee roasting companies to decide on which green coffee to buy before roasting. They are also used to decide how the company will roast their beans, as we know that different roast types affect the outcome taste of the coffee.
So that's it! Stay tuned for our very own coffee cuppings, where you can cosplay as a coffee roaster here at Rosso coffee and decide which bean is your favourite!