To taste coffee, the coffee industry use a method known as “cupping.” The purpose of “cupping” is to reduce the negative impact of the brewing process on the taste of coffee and to ensure a fair comparison of coffee varieties.
Understanding that the act of tasting coffee is divided into two parts: the mouth and the nose, is highly helpful for individuals who are new to coffee tasting. The first component occurs in the mouth cavity, where we experience basic tastes including salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and aromatic. Some flavors, such as strawberries, chocolate, and caramel, may pique our interest while reading a description of coffee flavor. Due to perceptions, these tastes will be detected in the nasal cavity in a similar way to how they would be identified in taste.
For many people, the fragrance and flavor are identical. As a result, distinguishing between nose and mouth sensations is challenging. As a result, it’s easier to concentrate on just one pre-sensation (smell or taste) at a time rather than trying to sense all of the complex sensations at once.
Experts in Coffee Tasting
Roasted coffee will be tasted numerous times throughout its journey before reaching consumers. Experts will strive to locate something new every time you taste.
To begin, roasted coffee is tasted to determine the product’s flaw. Following that, they are sampled by roasters as part of the purchasing process, or by experts at an auction to grade coffee batches from a specific region. Roasters can then taste them again as part of a quality control step to check that the roasting process was completed correctly. Now it’s the café owners’ chance to sample and determine how much coffee they want to keep. Finally, the customer will sample the coffee.
Get Ready to Try Coffee at Home
A specific amount of coffee powder will be measured into each cup, and a fixed amount of water will be poured into the coffee with a certain level of grinding, for example, with 12 grams of coffee, 200ml of water will be poured in. After that, the coffee is soaked in water for around 4 minutes.
The small coating of flour that rises to the surface of the glass will be removed to complete the coffee incubation procedure. The tasting process begins once the temperature has cooled to a drinkable level. The taster will scoop up some coffee with a little spoon and hiss it fiercely into his mouth. This hissing action turns the coffee into a plume of steam that enters the mouth. While this isn’t as critical in tasting as it is in cooking, it will assist a lot and make it easier.
- Sweetness: How sweet coffee is, the sweeter it is, the more preferred it is. So this is one of the favorites in coffee.
- Acidity (acidity): How is coffee acidic? Are these acidic features pleasant? If there is too much unpleasant acidity, coffee will be judged sour. On the contrary, pleasant acidity will help coffee taste elegant and aromatic of fruits.
- Constitution: Is coffee physically pure, soothing like tea or is it bold and heavy? Again, the more doesn’t mean the better. Low-quality coffee is often physically very heavy and comes with low acidity.
- Balance: This is one of the most difficult characteristics to evaluate. A lot of flavors are discovered with a sip full of coffee, but are they in harmony with each other? Does it bring comfort to the taste buds, or will they favor any one.
- Aroma: It is not only about identifying the different flavors and aromas in a cup of coffee, but also assessing how pleasant they are. Many coffee taste novices find this the most annoying test because they can feel many different flavors of coffee but can’t put them into words.
What to Prepare to Taste Coffee at Home?
Any expert has ever been an apprentice, but what has helped them progress so quickly. Certainly not thanks to the instrument, the scoreboard or the origin of the coffee. It is thanks to the opportunity to taste and compare different flavors. In addition, they have the focus and discipline when conducting tastings every day. But you know, these things can also be done at home.
- Buy 2 different types of coffee, ask the coffee roaster or the store you buy for more details about them. The comparison when tasting is extremely important, you will have many criteria to evaluate the difference between the taste and taste of each type.
- Buy 2 cups of cupping or more.
- Let the coffee cool down a little, as it will be easier to recognize the flavors instead of drinking hot.
- Taste one by one before moving on to the next cup.
- Focus on the general feeling first, think about the physicality of the two types of coffee compared to each other. Could one be heavier than the other? Is it sweeter? Is it more acidic? Take note of all of the above ideas.
- Don’t worry about the taste, it’s always the hardest part when asked to taste it. Some producers say that their coffee tastes blueberries or strawberries. However, these people often do not have their own characteristics but based on the feelings of each person. So on the next tasting, if you find any flavor, don’t be afraid to note it down.
- Once you’re done, compare what you’ve found with the information on the packaging. The first time may be a little disappointing, but it will help you a lot because it enriches the amount of vocabulary to describe the taste of coffee. After all, the experts practice hard every day.
Drinking coffee seems to be a ritual in life, a specific part that takes place daily. We can drink coffee in the morning, lunch break, or on a cool evening. But do you find that our attention is only for those around us, an iPad or a newspaper. Few people focus on enjoying the taste of coffee, but if you have the opportunity, try a few cupping sessions to get a new perspective on coffee.