Cupping Techniques – Cupping Basics – SCA: Coffee Cupping, or Coffee Tasting, is the process of tasting coffee to assess its quality of coffee. This is a professional practice by expert tasters “ Q Graders ” or anyone ( Cupper ) as long as you have an understanding of basic Cupping techniques and a love of discovering coffee flavors.
Since the tasting process is a completely individualized sensory evaluation, the coffee cupping process must follow a system dictated by many factors, from instrumentation, sample preparation, sample evaluation, manipulation, scoring… To achieve the most objective results for coffee quality. So it can be said, Cupping is not difficult at all, but it is not easy to properly cup.
Robusta coffee grown in Uganda is no substitute for Robusta coffee grown in Indonesia. As a result, roasters are always looking for ways to categorize coffee to determine price, the best use of the flavor potential of each bean, or, in the case of specialty coffees, to discover the type of coffee. which is of high enough quality to be sold under the label “single-origin” or “Specialty Coffee”.
Traditionally, coffee after roasting is weighed separately into small cups before grinding, then pouring boiling water over and waiting for 4 to 5 minutes. Tasers use a large spoon to scoop the coffee into their mouths – This entire early tasting process is believed to have originated in Hills Bros, the established coffee house in San Francisco. It has since become a necessary practice for coffee roasters.
On the other hand, a coffee bean has a good appearance on the outside, i.e. color, the most uniform size, the surface is free of defects, etc. but inside, it can contain negative flavors, variation due to processing, storage o,r transportation from farm to roaster warehouse. The only way to know – is to taste the coffee. This is why everyone in the coffee supply chain, from roasters, importers in consuming countries, and exporters in producing countries, cups their coffee.
Since when are we Cupping?
Previously, the only people in the supply chain not cupping their coffee were smallholder farmers. Today, modern and accessible cupping protocols are available for both Arabica and Robusta coffees. Cupping training is provided not only by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) but also by organizations, associations, coffee shop roasters, etc. in producing and consuming countries.
As a result, small coffee farmers are now able to initiate the necessary steps to cupping to improve the quality of their products and to better understand the changing market requirements over time cease.
For over 400 years, coffee cupping has been an informal art, passed down by word of mouth for generations, and considered an advanced, specialized skill, available only to roasters & importers & exporters. great. Until 1984, there was no official printed text on Cupping, other than some general descriptions noted by William H. Ukers in his classic, All About Coffee, published in 1922. It was not until 1984. , the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has just released the first edition of The Coffee Cuppers’ Handbook.
- You can send a request to Fanpage to receive an ebook copy of Coffee Cuppers’ Handbook of SCA.
Cupping is an art or technique
The SCAA’s Arabica cupping standard evolved from a specialty coffee promotion program of toffee International (CQI) that began in 1999. Although the five countries are participating program, the standard The cupping standard was originally developed for Arabica coffee from Brazil – where the cupping coffee is selected before being auctioned.
To conduct a cupping contest, a standardized tasting format is required as well as a standard format for roasting and brewing coffee.
Through much trial and error, over 5 years, the SCA Cupping standard has evolved into a system of 10 quality attributes, each of which is given 10 points, hence the assessment of coffee. Specialties will be based on a 100-point scale.
The 100-point scale was determined to be the easiest to understand for people both inside and outside the coffee industry. The most recent version of the cupping technique documented in the Coffee Cuppers’ Handbook includes 10 quality attributes: (1) fragrance/aroma; (2) flavors; (3) aftertaste; (4) acidity; (5) body; (6) uniformity; (7) balance; (8) clean cup; (9) sweetness; and (10) overall.
The first five quality attributes are based on the chemical and physical properties of the coffee flavor. Uniformity, Clean Cup, and Sweetness are added because they represent the quality of the processing during the harvesting and processing of the beans.
Why do we call Cupping a technique?
The SCA Coffee Cupping Handbook has helped transform the traditional purely handmade Cupping into a “Cupping Technique” based on experience and practice. Chemistry & physics have formed the framework and scientific basis of coffee flavor properties, so the “art of cupping” will not fully represent its properties.
- The purpose of Cupping is not just to enjoy coffee because you can choose from many manual ways to enjoy coffee such as Pour Over V60, French Press, or a little sophisticated like Siphon, Espresso… While Cupping is used for commercial purposes, to assess the quality of purchased coffee. So to some extent, Cupping is a job that requires accuracy, consistency, and many elements of expertise,
- Secondly, Cupping requires very high technique this is almost in the category of the science of sensory evaluation. With a lot of specific standards and calculations.
- Each operation needs to be correct and sufficient, from preparation to grinding seeds to pouring water, to tasting, to scoring… are carefully regulated to achieve the most objective results. Professional Cuppers, well-trained in SCA’s coffee tasting skills and certified by SCA/Q-Graders. So even though it’s fun and purely sensory, Cupping is a technique, not an art.
The basics of Cupping
With the set of technical standards for coffee tasting given by the Technical Standards Committee of SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association – Specialty Coffee Association of America), we will learn all through the main sections in turn. The following:
- The Basics of Cupping Technique
- Cupping- SCA. Equipment, Instruments, and Sample Preparation Methods
- Sample assessment and scoring in Cupping – SCA
To become a Cupping expert
This problem is very simple, Just read all the articles about Cupping and work hard at Cupping!
- First, stay humble and learn.
If you are a Barista (barista), or a Roaster (coffee roaster) you will like to work independently, but these people also need to exchange experiences with friends and colleagues, so Cupper Emphasizesg the team role, the best cuppers are humble and eager to learn more. It sounds “exaggerated” when someone Cupping some coffee by themselves and claims that they know the taste of coffee.
- Second, don’t be intimidated by people trying to impress with abstract depictions on a coffee mug.
Coffee tasting is not the same as a cooking contest so there will be no out-of-the-ordinary things, fluency in words is not a sign of good cupping skills.
On the other hand, the description of the coffee cup should not be too dry and stiff with the definitions in the Coffee taster’s flavor wheel because if you love coffee you will find it contains a lot of interesting things.
In short, the secret to becoming a good Cupper is simple: Believe in yourself by practicing regularly and be humble enough to keep learning from others.