I’ll pass over to Charlie the wholesale manager to describe the details of cupping.
“Cupping is a quick and consistent way of tasting coffee. Its also when you can taste coffee for what it really is (instead of adding pressure to it-like an espresso machine).
Its also a universal way of tasting coffee, which means that everyones tastings notes (wherever they come from) should be similar (if roasted the same way and the coffee is the same-which is whats used for green importers-this is how Guy would first try the coffee).
Unlike wine tasting you actually swallow coffee when trying it, this is because when you swallow you actually heat the coffee back up in your throat which then creates other flavour notes.
Cupping is simply done, by using 8g-10g of coffee to every 150ml of (off the boil) water. We start a timer and then pour the water in a circular motion, making sure all the coffee grounds have been saturated, after a set amount of time we “break the crust” which means pushing a spoon to the back of the coffee which then releases vapours that we then smell and assess. We then stir 3 times and let it sit until it is an appropriate temperature to taste. Before we can taste the coffee we need to scoop off the grounds that float on the top, and throw them away. It is then after this (about 13minutes in) that we can start to “Cup” the coffee. “