Professional Coffee Cupping Procedure

December 27, 2011

When “coffee cupping”, one of the first thing to look for is flaws – off flavours caused by spoiled beans, poor storage or poor roasting. When coffee is “flawed” you should notice the sour flavour or papery/burlap, etc. flavour at once. If the coffee is not flawed, then there are two basic positive elements to how a coffee cups (tastes): acidity and body.

Acidity is the descriptor of how bright and lively the coffee tastes to you — basically your first impression. It is a good quality, not a reference to sourness or bitterness, both of which are bad qualities.

Body refers to the fullness or richness of a coffee. It is the secondary impression, often called the “finish.” A heavy-bodied coffee will taste full, thick and syrupy, even “chewy” on the tongue, and the impression will be lasting.

The elements of a coffee are usually a combination of these two categories. The first evaluation is usually “light”, “medium” and “heavy”. Therefore, you will commonly hear a coffee being referred to as “heavy bodied, with medium acidity”, “light bodied, with good acidity”, etc.

Finally there is the flavour descriptor. Do you taste hints of chocolate, vanilla, smoke, or cinnamon? The possibilities are endless. Of course if you want more powerful flavor, then can you order flavored coffees. But these are not the same as a coffee that displays hints of such flavours.

Article Source: Rogers Estate Coffees: http://www.rogersestatecoffees.co.uk/how-to-cup-coffee.html

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