The practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee, performed informally by anyone or by professionals knowns as “Q Graders”. Cupping allows for a full evaluation of the flavour profile of a coffee, including the identification of the coffee bean origin.
Baristas, just like a sommelier with a glass of wine, can judge coffee by the specific parameters of acidity and aftertaste. When cupping coffee, it is important to ensure that the temperature remains both warm and just above room temperature to gain positive characteristics at both ranges of temperature.
The Process:1. Brewing the coffee
Coffee grounds are expensive and delicate, meaning even the water used to brew coffee is judiciously deliberated. The boiled water is poured carefully into the cup in a circular motion.
2. Removing the crema
After the water has been poured into the cup, the grounds are left for around 10 minutes to ensure the sediments settle to the bottom, allowing for the crema to float on top. Using two spoons the crema is then carefully removed.
3. Smell the aroma
The first step to understanding the art of good coffee is through the scent of the basic aroma, picked up through your nose. The nose is considered a powerful tasting tool in the process, able to observe the aromatic compounds present in the coffee.
4. Slurp the coffee
The action of slurping the coffee to aspirate it over the entire tongue combined with the interaction with your nose aids the coffee taster in measuring aspects of the coffees taste, specifically the texture, sweetness, acidity, flavour, and aftertaste.
It is important as a grower, to understand the notes and grading of your coffee beans. This is why this year, through our partnership with Sustainable Harvest, we are building a cupping lab for the female farmers of Twogere Umusaruro in Rwanda. This will allow them to understand the flavour notes of their coffee, how it will be consumed and allow them to grow a more consistent crop. By purchasing any of our St Remio products, you are helping us to achieve this goal for them. You are having a positive impact at the source and for this we say THANK YOU!