The Roasters Pack

How to Cup Coffee At Home

04/07/2022

What do green coffee buyers, roasters, quality control specialists, baristas, and coffee nerds have in common? They all cup coffee!

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If you're looking for a comprehensive guide on how to cup coffee at home, we've got you covered! Below, you'll find some helpful tips on grind size, cupping ratio, and how to properly slurp the coffee for maximum tasting experience. 

Get your grinder and cupping bowls ready, because it's time to learn how to cup coffee at home!

What is the purpose of cupping coffee

Cupping helps you taste a wide array of coffees all at once without having to brew a huge batch (imagine trying to make ten Chemex's at the same time!).

Different people at different ends of the supply chain cup for different reasons; green buyers cup coffee to figure out which green coffee beans to source. Roasters cup coffee to dial in a specific roast profile, baristas cup coffee to ensure the right quality of coffee is being served every day. And coffee nerds cup coffee just for the fun of it!

If you fall into the latter category (hello, fellow coffee nerds!), let us show you how to cup coffee and get the most out of a cupping session. But first, let's go through a few tips.

Coffee Cupping Grind Size

Not sure what grind size to use for coffee cupping? If you have a sea salt grinder handy, this will come in useful. The best grind size for coffee cupping is roughly the same size as coarsely ground salt which will allow for optimal coffee extraction for cupping. 

Coffee Cupping Ratio

The best coffee to water ratio for cupping is approximately 12g per 210ml of water. You can also adjust this depending on the size of your cups. 

Coffee Cupping Set

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In order to cup coffee, you're going to need some bowls, ideally ones that hold between 200ml-250ml of liquid. You can technically use any bowl around the house to do a cupping, but if you're coffee nerds like us, it never hurts to invest in a good cupping bowl set.

That's why we found our favourite cupping bowl set, perfect for tasting six different coffees at once, (plus they look sharp and stack easily too!).

Coffee Cupping Recipe

Alright, you've got your coffee cupping bowls, you've got your coffee cupping ratios, now let's get to the actual cupping!

What You'll Need

  • • Coffee 
  • • Grinder
  • • Scale
  • • Timer
  • • Cupping bowls
  • • Cupping spoons
  • • Water at approximately 200º F

How to cup:

1. Grind your coffee accordingly.

2. Pour the coffee grinds into the individual cupping bowls. If you want to do it like a true pro, you can double up on the dry coffee dosage and split it between two bowls to see if any defects occur between coffees.

3. Assess the dry aroma of coffee. Inhale. Mmmmm, doesn't coffee smell simply amazing?

4. Start your timer, then pour the hot water into each cup.

5. Smell the wet aroma of the coffee.

6. After four minutes, use your cupping spoon to break the crust that has formed in each cupping bowl. Push the coffee grounds towards the back of the bowl. Here’s where you'll notice more of the volatile compounds show up in the aroma.

7. Using two spoons, remove the remaining coffee grounds and foam and discard.

8. Allow the coffee to cool, and after the 13-15 minute mark, you can begin to taste the coffee!

9. Now it's time for the fun part! Use your cupping spoon to scoop up some brew and then slurp up the liquid really fast. While it might feel silly and sounds quite obnoxious, it's the best way to taste the coffee. The liquid will spread across your palate and will aspirate allowing you to retronasally perceive the coffee as well!

And that's it! Congratulations, you can now enter the ranks of esteemed coffee professionals worldwide!

 

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