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Coffee Cupping or Tasting

Similar to wine tasting, coffee cupping offers a great way to gain an immersive understanding of coffee's complex aromas and flavors without needing to drink lots and lots of coffee and get a caffeine buzz. 

Cupping in Nicaragua

When cupping, the most important thing is experience the coffee, and at the same time describe the different smells and tastes that you encounter. This is accomplished by taking the coffee through five stages: 

First, we start with unground coffee beans, or whole beans. Describe the different aromas, and also take notice of the appearance and roast of the bean. 

Sample coffee from Ethiopia

Second, we grind the coffee with a coarse grind. See how the aromas are evolving as we break open the coffee bean's shell and expose it to the air. The coarse grind is important to the next stage, adding hot water to the grounds. 

In this third step, we use water fresh off the boil, which generally ends up between 205° and 195° Fahrenheit. As we add the water to the beans, the coarse ground coffee will form a crust at the top, similar to the one formed when making a French Press. During this stage, we will continue to describe how the coffee's aroma is changing and which scents become more prominent with the addition of water. 

The fourth step is to break the crust of the coffee with a spoon after allowing it to properly steep. While doing this, we usually will take some of the grounds and deposit them into a nearby cup or container. 

And finally, we take a spoonful of coffee and slurp it like hot soup. Ordinarily, this is considered rude, but when coffee cupping, it accomplishes two things. It helps to cool down the coffee so you don't burn your tongue, but it also aerates it while spreading it evenly across all the different taste buds in your mouth, ensuring that you are experiencing all the different tastes present in the coffee. We continue to describe the coffee, now using different words to describe the flavors and how they compare to the aromas we observed earlier. We will also rate the coffee based on acidity, full body, aftertaste, and other factors.

Coffee cupping is a wonderful experience for anyone looking to foster a deeper appreciation for coffee. Whether you are a coffee novice or a long time coffee drinker, there's always something new to discover and share. We offer cupping events to the public every second Friday of the month at noon. If you happen to stop by the shop while we are cupping, you will be invited to join us. Or if you would like to schedule a private cupping event, shoot us an email. We will send you details. Cupping sessions are $30 per person 2 people minimum.