Cupping Notes: Fragrances, Acid, Body, Flavor and Finish
As a follow up to our cupping guide, here's a handy guide for distinguishing between coffee characteristics — which, for the novice cupper, can sometimes seem like five ways to say the same thing.
Here are a few more tips for advancing your cupping skills by sorting out dry grounds from wet, and distinguishing aspects of acidity, body, flavor and finish.
Fragrance of dry coffee grounds
Do they smell fresh? Stale? Over roasted? Under roasted? This is a great place to find out, before water is added to the mix.
It’s a weird word, cupping. Yet all it is is ground coffee and hot water, with no fancy brewing process to affect its flavor. It’s what you’ve got to do to evaluate the characteristics of coffees, to understand their nuances — their basic tastes and defects — and how they compare to other coffees. And it’s something you can share with your customers with weekly or monthly cupping events — perhaps during a slower weekend hour.
Three — or more — coffees is sufficient for a cupping session. Sometimes when you try just one coffee, it can actually be harder to pick out the flavors. But when you...