Many roasters and coffee companies hold coffee cuppings that are open to the public, mainly because they want to show off some new coffees they just got in and get their customer’s opinion. Cuppings are also held for buyers so they can try the coffee before they purchase any lots. Big companies, such as Starbucks, will hold coffee cuppings within their company so experts can give their opinion on new coffee’s they’ve blended or lots they’ve purchased before they slap a label on it and sell it. Everyone wants only the best when it comes to coffee!
You can also cup your own coffees at home. This will help you with a couple of things:
– Determine what type of coffee you prefer.
– Make better selections when purchasing coffee.
Follow these easy steps to do your own coffee cupping at home. Tip: Buy 2 or 3 new varieties of coffee, with different roasts and don’t add cream or sugar.
– Brew your coffees. Preferably using the French press or coffee plunger brewing methods so you can experience a fuller flavor.
-Pour your coffee into several cups. First consider the aroma of each one and ask yourself these questions: What are the aroma characteristics like? Does it remind you of smoke, nuts, chocolate, caramel, spices, or earth?
-Take a sip of each coffee individually, and when you do, hold that sip in your mouth (much like you do for wine tasting) while you consider these questions:
- What is the flavor like? Do you taste any sweetness to it, or is it more tangy or tart? Do you detect spices? Do you detect a good amount of acid (nippy taste) or is it a more neutral or mild taste (mellow)?
- What does the body of the coffee feel like? Full bodied or medium? Is it dense like tap water or lighter like sparkling water?
- Swallow the coffee. Was there an aftertaste? Does it linger or disappear? If there is an aftertaste, was it smooth or harsh?
If you do this regularly with the coffee you buy, over time you will know exactly what you prefer and what you don’t. You can even host a coffee cupping party and invite your friends to learn more about the coffee they drink!