The art of coffee cupping- a beginner’s guide to K cupping

Originally, designed as a taste testing quality among planters and coffee bean growers, Coffee cupping is now becoming a popular social trend, within various social circles. Coffee cupping can be exciting as not only does it open up opportunities for social gatherings and meeting new people, it’s also a great hobby.

What is the coffee cupping method?

Interestingly, the same scientific principle, such as ensuring the precise amount of water/coffee grain balance is still used. Firstly, you need to gather the following items:

8 glasses that with a volume of between 5-7 ounces

8 large glasses and spoons- the glasses should be filled with water to rinse each cupping spoon between coffees

Hot water boiler and a coffee grinder

A gram scale – for precise measurement of the coffee grounds
Note pads and pens- each individual coffee cupper can record comments of each coffee ground taste experience.

In addition to the above, you will need extra cups as coffee tasting is comparable to wine tasting- but with a twist! In order to be accurate, you need to remember that coffee cupping involves swilling the coffee around your mouth. This improves taste absorption and it is necessary to ‘spit out each coffee afterwards. Therefore, the cups will serve as a ‘spittoon’.

The coffee cupping process- step by step guide:

• The leader starts by examining and presenting each set of coffee grounds and invites the other cuppers to do so.
• Next, brew the coffee, remember that the water/coffee ratio needs to be precise for each coffee ground tasting session
• When brewed, pour the coffee into each coffee cuppers cup and wait a few minutes.
• After a few minutes, the coffee grinds will be settled and this needs to be timed to exactly four minutes
• Breathe in the aroma, try and describe it on the note pad
• Now it is all in the tasting- slurp each mouthful and let it swill around your tongue and mouth
• Repeat the process for each individual set of coffee grounds


Describe and discuss your coffee cup experience

Now it is time to openly debate and discuss among yourselves your different experiences. This is why it is crucial to write as much as you possibly can onto your notepads. What sort of things did you discover regarding taste? You will notice that some of your fellow cuppers may have quite different opinions regarding the acidity, aroma and aftertastes.

As you become more efficient in your coffee cupping process you may find new tastes and even adapt the coffee grounds to make new tastes.

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