The Ultimate Guide to Coffee Cupping at Home

The Ultimate Guide to Coffee Cupping at Home

Hidden Grounds Coffee Cupping

Coffee cupping is a standardized process used by professionals and enthusiasts alike to taste, assess, and compare different coffee beans' flavors and aromas. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started with coffee cupping at home.

You'll need:

  • High-quality coffee beans
  • Burr grinder
  • Digital scale
  • Cupping bowls (or similar cups or mugs)
  • Cupping spoons (or deep spoons)
  • Kettle
  • Fresh, clean water
  • Timer
  • Pen and paper or a cupping form (available on Barista Hustle's website)

Step 1: Measure and Grind Your Coffee Weigh out an equal amount of each coffee you plan to cup. A general rule of thumb is 8.25 grams of coffee per 150ml of water. Once weighed, grind the coffee at a coarseness similar to sea salt.

Step 2: Prepare Your Cupping Table Arrange your cupping bowls in a logical order if you're testing multiple coffees. You could order them by origin, processing method, or roast level. Label each cup, so you know which coffee is in which bowl.

Step 3: Assess the Dry Aroma Smell the grounds in each bowl. Jot down any notes about the fragrance of the dry grounds on your cupping form.

Step 4: Boil Your Water Heat your water to around 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit (93-96 degrees Celsius).

Step 5: Pour the Water Start your timer and pour the hot water into each cupping bowl, ensuring all the coffee is saturated. Fill the bowl to the top and let it sit.

Step 6: The Break After four minutes, break the crust that has formed on top of each bowl with your spoon while leaning over the bowl to inhale the aroma. This is the "break," and it's when the coffee's aroma is most potent.

Step 7: Clean the Surface After the break, wait for the coffee to settle and then use your spoons to remove any remaining grounds or foam from the top of the bowl.

Step 8: The Tasting Once the coffee has cooled to a suitable temperature (usually around 12-15 minutes), you can start tasting. Take a spoonful of coffee, slurp it (to aerate and spread it across your palate), and assess the flavor. Use the flavor wheel provided by Barista Hustle to help identify the tastes and aromas.

Step 9: Record Your Impressions Write down your thoughts about each coffee's flavor, body, acidity, and aftertaste on your cupping form.

Remember, coffee cupping is as much an art as it is a science. It's about honing your taste buds over time and enjoying the process. So don't worry if you're not picking up all the subtle notes at first – keep cupping, and you'll get there! Happy cupping!

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