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Coffee Cupping Tools

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COFFEE CUPPING, EXPERT OR NOT.

What is cupping? Simply put, it is the process coffee roasters and growers use to judge coffees next to each other without bias. For coffee drinkers who love to try new blends or origins, then the next step to build on your knowledge becomes cupping.

Cupping at home is actually a fairly easy process and can be set up with minimal coffee cupping supplies. Like wine tasting, it is all about comparing flavours, notes and acidity levels in a range of origins and blends in the one sitting. It’s as easy as grabbing a few of your favourite coffee beans from your local coffee shops or roasters, boiling some hot water and dosing a few cups!! It’s an exciting process that I think every coffee enthusiast should try!

In specialty coffee and roasteries, gooseneck kettles and cupping bowls are generally around or long table each with a cupping spoon, ready to be tasted. Digital coffee scales are used to ensure each cup has equal amounts of ground coffee and water for both consistency and accurate brew ratios. Electric variable temperature controlled kettles are also used to control the temperature of water used accurately. There is always a spittoon nearby, just like in a winery, where they can delicately dispose of each mouthful.

Various cups of coffee are prepared and labelled, ready to be examined by a group of avid tasters. As coffees are very complex, their essences include aromas that range from floral to fruity to smokey. The tastes fall on the spectrum from sweet to sour, and from salty to bitter.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America’s SCAA Flavor Wheel is a great reference for referencing flavours. It’s a great visual prompt for identifying flavour and aroma: work from the inside out to get more specific if you can.

This is one of the best ways to learn more about flavour, aroma, and to share that with other people. Most coffee roasters cup every batch of coffee that they roast to make sure it meets their quality standards. Many people who often fall in love with coffees around the table have a preferred cupping coffee brewing method like full immersion brewing a lot. Often that means the french press is a common sight in a cupping room.

What are you waiting for? Grab your favourite cupping bowl and best coffee cupping spoon, let's get tasting!

Make sure you've got yourself a home coffee grinders or manual hand grinders to have the best cupping experience! Our favourite home brew grinders are stocked within our range of Baratza and Eureka automatic grinders. Some of our personal favourite hand grinders include the Comandante, Porlex, Rhinoware and Timemore range!

What is a cupping spoon for?

A coffee cupping spoon is used for cupping (tasting) coffee. The purpose of the spoon is to assist in removing any of the coffee grounds that have created a crust on the surface of the coffee throughout the ‘blooming’ phase. The spoon helps to scoop and dispose of the crust before tasting. The spoon allows you to slurp the coffee when tasting, which seems gross but is commonly practiced to help identify all flavours! There are many cupping spoons out there, from Hario, Tiamo and Rhinoware coffee gear!

Is a cupping bowl actually needed?

Well technically no, however if you’re sampling a few different brews it's nice to have all samples brewed at the same ratios in identical cups. More variables may alter the tasting process! If you don't have cupping bowls you can easily use several cups or mugs, just ensure you weigh your does and keep all measurements identical!

What’s an easy way to cup coffee?

Establish what coffees you’d like to taste, I would recommend 3 to 5 different roasts. Use your Scales to add 12 grams of coffee to 200ml of hot water at roughly 92 degrees from your kettle. Allow the coffee to sit and bloom for 4 minutes. Once bloomed, use the spoons to remove the crust, begin your tasting by using the spoon to sip the coffee. Be sure to wash your spoons between each coffee!