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Cupping at Dwelling, Half One

A bearded man leans over a porcelain coffee sup to smell coffee as it brews in the cup for a cupping.

We kick off a collection about cupping by exploring what the tactic is used for and the worth of cupping at dwelling.


Cowl photograph by Tanya Nanetti

Each espresso lover in the end stumbles upon a espresso cupping: Perhaps they’ve simply heard the time period, perhaps they’ve seen it marketed at a roaster and determine to attend, or perhaps one among their barista pals introduces them to it. 

So What Is a Espresso Cupping? 

Espresso cupping is a technique traditionally utilized by espresso professionals to guage a espresso. By cupping, one can decide a espresso’s strengths and weaknesses, examine the standard of the roasting profile, and detect the presence of doable defects. 

Born as a standardized system to assist acknowledge espresso consistency, cupping has existed for the reason that late nineteenth century. Nevertheless it was initially of this millennium that SCA developed a cupping process that has grow to be the business normal for cupping.  

Cupping can assist you establish tasting notes and low high quality.
Picture by Nuno Alexandre.

The principle objective of cupping: to create a straightforward process, which requires solely a espresso grinder, some bowls and spoons, some sizzling water, and low beans, and a typical tasting language that can be utilized by everybody, everywhere in the world. Skilled cupping follows a rigorous process wherein contributors consider the espresso utilizing a kind that scores every attribute of the espresso from six to 10, each for depth and for high quality.

Cupping, Simplified

This methodology might be intimidating for a novice. That’s why, even when espresso retailers or roasters set up public cuppings, they normally don’t use the skilled kind, as an alternative selecting a much less formal method. 

However is there a enjoyable and simple method to familiarize your self with espresso cupping? 

Enter cupping at dwelling! That is the proper method to begin studying extra about espresso, and possibly the easiest way to do it’s to make use of a much less technical and extra enjoyable method.  

With follow, cupping can assist develop your palate. Picture by Nuno Alexandre.

The aim {of professional} cupping is to research the varied options of a espresso (bitterness, acidity, sweetness, and many others.). When cupping at dwelling, you may follow these traits, or deal with discovering the espresso’s tasting notes. 

Furthermore, organizing a house cupping, even only for your self, can assist you learn to brew a greater espresso. 

Due to its repeatability and simple process, cupping is nearly foolproof, and it may be actually useful in highlighting the most effective and worst that each espresso has to supply, offering a greater thought about how that espresso ought to style when brewed. You’ll be able to be taught loads from a easy cupping!

Enhance Your Palate

Let’s say, as an example, that the espresso tasted within the cupping is simply too bitter. That would allow you to determine to brew that very same espresso with colder water, or maybe use a coarser floor, or decrease your ratio of grounds to water. If, alternatively, the espresso is lacking some sweetness or missing depth, you may strive the brew doing precisely the other, and so forth. 

Gases escape the espresso because it brews for cupping. Picture by Nuno Alexandre.

And the most effective half? The extra you cup, the extra you’ll be taught. You’ll quickly have the ability to acknowledge totally different tasting notes and qualities extra simply, getting ready you for the subsequent skilled cupping. 

Keep tuned for half two later this week, the place we’ll talk about cupping procedures to get you began!


Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the espresso machine (or visiting some hidden nook of the world), she’s busy writing for Espresso Rebel, a web site about specialty espresso that she’s creating alongside together with her boyfriend.


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