Learn the art and science of coffee cupping

Have you ever wondered how coffee roasters test their beans to make sure the flavors are just right?

There’s so much that happens with coffee before it reaches your cup! Charles Billings, one half of Dr. Beans Coffee and Tea in Memphis, gave us a little education on the process of coffee cupping. Roasters use to test the flavors of their beans and make sure that all of the flavor notes the bean is supposed to have are standing out. If you try coffee cupping at home, you’ll be able to explore the flavors of your coffee, and you may pick up some flavors you never noticed before! Get your nose, and your taste buds ready!

The process is pretty simple:

1. Smell your coffee beans
2. Compare that to the smell of the ground beans
3. Pour hot water on your grounds in a small cup (you’re basically brewing your coffee at this point, unfiltered), and give that a smell as it blooms
4. A crust will form on the top of the coffee.  Scrape that aside with a spoon, and give that a smell. Notice all the new flavor’s notes!
5. Clear the grounds from the top of the coffee with your spoon
6. Slurp your coffee from a clean spoon.  Slurping will really help you smell and taste the coffee’s flavors at the same time.

As time passes, and the coffee begins to cool, the flavors begin to change.  You’ll notice different tastes and different smells throughout each stage of the process. Science is crazy!

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