Cupping is the term for the method of tasting coffee to measure flavor profile. Cupping is started by grinding beans in a clean grinder, usually a fine espresso grind. Then, after adding boiling water it is set to cool for 2-4 minutes or so. The next step is “breaking the crust”, or agitating the grounds, and skimming back the foam. You then get your nose close to the grounds to smell the aroma and prepare to taste. In the tasting process you are also using your nose to smell the aroma. You want to taste for acidity, complexity, flavor, and body. When tasting, you slurp the coffee hard from the spoon to atomize it, getting the flavor all around your mouth to taste, and then spit it out to help keep the palate clean. Several people repeat this for several rounds to taste the difference between rounds as the taste & body does change.
Posted in: Coffee FAQs