Cupping teaches you the subtleties of
coffee and it can be an interesting and educational experience. You will
need fresh coffee beans, boiling water, a clean cup or eight-ounce glass,
a soup spoon, and a bowl into which you can spit out the coffee after you
have tasted it.
Grind the coffee you wish to sample and place two tablespoons of it
into your cup. Then add approximately six ounces of near-boiling water.
Let the coffee steep for three or four minutes. Now you're ready to begin.
There will be a crust on top of the coffee. Place your nose close to
the crust, break through it with the spoon and smell the aroma of the brew.
Next, "clean" the cup by skimming the grounds from the surface
of the coffee with the face of your spoon. (Rinse off the spoon!) Then,
slurp some coffee from the spoon while holding it close to your mouth.
(The professionals use the term aspirate.) Inhale and slurp in a
vigorous fashion! Roll the coffee around in your mouth and over the sides
of your tongue. When you have experienced the flavor, body, and acidity
of the coffee, spit it out. Try this a couple of times so you can acquire
a sense of the coffee.
The process of cupping is much more fun and instructive if you sample
and compare two or more coffees at one sitting. Just set up the required
number of cups, grind the coffees--be sure to rinse your spoon between
samples--and have fun.
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