THE ART OF COFFEE CUPPING

Cupping Equipment
: · Identical cups for each coffee to be tasted.
: · The coffee samples and a coffee measure.
: · An empty cup.
: · A spoon about the size and shape of a soup spoon.
: · A glass of water in which to rinse the spoon between coffees.
: · A glass of room temperature water for clearing the palate.
: · A jug or spittoon.
: · A kettle of very hot water, just under boiling hot.

Cupping preparation:
: · Plan to taste at least two coffees, as a frame of reference.
: · The grind should be medium/filter.
: · If the coffees are ground in succession in the same grinder, start with a clean grinder and wipe out the grinder between samples.
: · Measure out the same amount of dry coffee into each cup, about 10-14 grams (1 heaped tbsp) to 150ml of water.
: · Sniff the dry coffees and write down any noteworthy observation about the dry smell. Pour water just off the boil to the same level in each cup. Do not stir.
: · Wait a couple of minutes, then bend over each cup and smell the surface, which is a mass of floating grounds.
: · Break the crust (the grounds floating on the surface of the cup), by inserting the tasting spoon through the surface flotsam, again while bending over the cup and inhaling the aroma at very close range. You could spoon up and smell some of the grounds and liquid from the bottom of the cup ­ this action will probably help to settle the grounds as much as anything.
: · With the spoon, lightly skim any remaining grounds off the coffee's surface, and sling them into the extra empty cup.
: · Get a medium-full spoonful of coffee, place it against your lips and virtually inhale it, with plenty of air and into your mouth, slurping noisily, attempting to get some of it all the way to the back of your mouth immediately.
: · Swish it around your mouth, and after a few seconds, spit the liquid out. Make some notes for later comparison, rinse the spoon and your mouth, and go on to the next coffee.
: · Try to taste all the coffees at the same temperature and in close conjunction with each other. As the coffees cool, go back and taste them again, as the flavours may change slightly.