Coffee cupping is a mandatory event for all coffee lovers. I went to my first coffee cupping at MadCap Coffee on February 14. A coffee cupping is a wine tasting but for coffee connoisseurs.
I enjoyed coffee from Brazil, Ethiopia, and Guatemala. Three small ramekin-sized bowls sat in front of me. Deep enough to hold a cup of water, I cupped the cream-colored bowl in my hand and tapped it disturbing the grounds to get the smell.
I made notes and then for 3 minutes I waited while the coffee brewed. Coffee grounds and hot water formed a crust at the top with a 1-centimeter thick layer of grounds. I broke the crust with my spoon and absorbed the aroma. A big sniff and I could tell if the grounds were earthy, chocolate-y, or floral. I made more notes.
Then I cleared the top layer of grounds and a layer that looked like an oil slick with my spoon. When given the all clear, I took a big slurp, got the flavor, and then spit it out. And if the taste lingered, I made a note of that or if it dissipated quickly.
Now I know what coffee I like and what I don’t. I know how to become intimately familiar with coffee and I see more coffee cuppings in my future. I can’t just submit my palate to any coffee. 🙂