How to make cupping at home?

What does cupping mean?

Coffee tasting, or cupping, is a method of assessing the quality and taste of coffee. It is a standard procedure in the coffee industry used by roasters, buyers, and other professionals to determine the quality and characteristics of coffee before purchase or after roasting. Coffee is evaluated based on its aroma, taste, and aftertaste during cupping. The cupping process is an essential step in the quality control process for coffee roasters because it allows them to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different coffees and make informed decisions about which ones to buy and how to roast them.

Cupping is also used to decide which coffees are to be considered specialty and which are not. The aroma and balanced flavor without defects are evaluated on a point scale. If a coffee scores at least 80 points, it can be considered a specialty. That is, if it also meets the other conditions: socio-economic impact, sustainability, and purchase transparency. This allows us to select coffees with great taste and quality and those with deeper meaning. This could be, for example, organic farming or supporting women’s communities in the coffee industry.

But cupping doesn’t have to be confined to a professional environment; you can easily make it at home. It’s a way to taste different coffees and their processing and compare them with each other, find out what you like more or less, and as a result, make future coffee choices easier.

What do you need for home cupping?

Coffee beans: you can use any kind of coffee bean. We recommend the following options for home cupping:
Try several countries of origin and processing to see what flavors and aromas coffee offers.
Taste coffees from different farms or countries, processed using the same method. It will help you discover the characteristics common to one processing, wherever the coffee comes from.
Try coffees from different locations in the same country. This is because each farm’s coffee matures in slightly different conditions but often retains the flavors characteristic of that country. In the future, it can help you know if you like coffee from a particular country or prefer another.

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Coffee grinder: A quality grinder is essential for consistent and even grinding of coffee. For example, you can try a Timemore C2 hand grinder, but we recommend an electric grinder for more regular cuppings.
Weight: We use scales like the Timemore Basic in roasters and coffee shops because they weigh with a precision of 0.1 g.
Cupping spoons: relatively deep and round so that you can fit enough coffee in them, and siping is comfortable from them. Like the ones with our logo.
Cupping bowls: wide bowls ideal for steeping and then scooping onto spoons. For home use, wider Ikea cups will suffice.
Boiling water: for more on its importance and selection, see How to make a better V60 filter at home.

How to do cupping at home?

  1. Grind 13 grams of each type of coffee to a coarseness slightly finer than V60 and pour into bowls. Pour in 180 ml of water and leave to infuse for 4 minutes.
  2. After 4 minutes, use a spoon to break the crust of coffee grounds that forms on the surface. This releases the coffee aroma. Smell each bowl and note the different scents.
  3. After evaluating the aroma with the spoon, fish out the sediment pieces and discard them. Wait 10-12 minutes for the coffee to cool to a comfortable drinking temperature. Then scoop the coffee with a spoon and sip as vigorously as possible. This will help the coffee reach all the taste buds in your mouth, helping you to appreciate its flavor fully. We notice the different flavors released from the coffee over time and compare them with other coffees. The flavors and aromas can be written down for easier memorization and comparison.

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