food for thought

by michelle

coffee cupping

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coffee-stickerinnovachrome1I once had a sticker like this. I’m still addicted and love to make coffee with my Ascaso Dream. Recently I attended a coffee cupping session at Campos Coffee which brought a whole new meaning to the art of coffee. I had no idea what went into choosing coffee beans. Cupping consists of first smelling the ground coffee dry, then again after steeping in water which should ideally be 92℃ (197.5℉). Finally the coffee is tasted by drawing the coffee from a spoon into your mouth as fast as possible (the noisy part). After tasting you can either swallow or spit. The coffee is judged for its mouth-feel and aftertaste (thick, thin, oily, dry), taste (acidity, sweetness, bitterness, sourness, and saltiness) and flavour. Because flavour is really aroma this is the part of the tasting which provides the most interesting descriptors. As in wine tasting coffee can be described in so many ways – chocolate, caramel, medicinal, fermented, smoky, earthy, floral, citrus, nutty, grassy, spicy, rubber-like, woody, malty and the list goes on. We tasted 6 single origin coffees from Burundi, Columbia, Panama, Kenya, Papua New Guinea and Rwanda where altitude, growing and drying methods vary. It’s hard to believe that professional Master Tasters can taste hundreds of coffees in one cupping session.



Written by michelle picker

March 11, 2013 at 10:16 am

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