Be a Coffee Cupper

Making coffee is a true art. There is some masterly about the perfect cup, but the perfect cup could mean something different to each person. ?Cuppers? are coffee tasters that help assist buyers, judge contests and write reviews. It is their job to help describe the coffee so that you can figure out if you would like it.

What a Cupper Does and How You Can Do It Too

When a cupper is working they look at different aspects of the coffee they are tasting. They look for these main attributes ? aroma, flavor, acidity, finish and subtle attributes. If you are interested in trying your skills out and being a cupper then you can recreate this scenario at home. It starts with having the supplies you need. You should use filtered water, so that there is nothing from the water that will influence the taste of the coffee. In other words, good water means you will truly be tasting the coffee, not the water. Any fresh bottled drinking water will work well. You will need a tray that can hold about a dozen small glasses. You will need a container for spitting the samples into once you have tasted them. You will also need some tools to scoop and measure the coffee and, of course, the coffee blends you are tasting ? use whole beans that you will grind yourself.

After assembling what you need, it is time to prepare the coffee. You want to boil the water and grind the beans. You should use a grinder with different settings so you can get different blends for each trial. You are going to be testing each type for different grinding settings. Brew the coffee, filter it and prepare a small cup of each sample. To do the actual sampling you start by smelling first. Be sure to note the aroma and any special characteristics. When you taste the coffee you should let it run over your tongue and hold it in your mouth for second or two. Then, as with any tasting, you spit it out. During the tasting you should note some aspects of the coffee. You will be building a profile of the coffee which will explain every detail of its character.

Things to consider include:

Acidity ? This is the tartness of the blend, basically, how dry the coffee tastes. Aging plays a big role in the acid content and is more noticeable in Mexican Sumatra brew.

Aroma ? This is the smell. It can have a range of smells form fruity to herb to floral.

Bitter ? Bitterness can be found by swishing it back and forth on the tongue. You should be able to pick up how much or how little bitterness the blend has.

Body ? Body describes the thickness of the feel on the tongue. A light roast will likely have less body then a dark roast.

Nuttiness ? As the name suggests, some coffees give off a roasted nut like flavor. Nuttiness is actually a flavor sensation that is not preferred and characteristic of a poor blend.

Sharpness ? This is the pronounced flavor of the blend. It is caused by the mixing of salt and acids.

Choosing Blends

You should try to get a nice variety of blends to test. Get them from different countries, vary the roasts form light to dark and experiment with the grinds. You will see a huge difference the more variety you have. Even with one bean you can see difference with just different grinds. Also experiment with the amount of coffee you use and the strength of the brew. Start out with a good average of two tablespoons to each six ounces of water. Also water temperature should be worked with stating from an average of 200F.

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About The Author, Petermason