How do we ensure our coffee is fresh and flavorful every time? It all comes down to quality and consistency — and part of our quality control process is cupping! From bean to brew, every batch of coffee goes through a cupping process to make sure it meets specialty standards.
Here’s what our roasting partner, Colin Seeley, shared about the process.
Thanks for helping us learn more about the cupping process, Colin! Let’s start with the basics: What is coffee cupping?
No problem! Coffee cupping is a fast and uniform method of tasting many coffees so that people all along the supply chain can easily determine the quality and flavor profile of a coffee. There’s a standard cupping method that has been set by the Specialty Coffee Association to ensure everyone is speaking the same language.
Why is it important to cup coffee?
Coffee is cupped several times along its journey from crop to cup. It’s a way for buyers to set a price for a certain coffee and it’s an important tool for roasters to ensure consistency from batch to batch.
How do you cup coffee?
Cupping is essentially making a coffee “tea”. Boiling water is poured directly over coffee grounds in a special cup and steeped for four minutes. A crust will form that is scraped off with a “cupping spoon”. Once the coffee cools, it is slurped loudly and salubriously from the spoon. Notes are taken on the various flavors, aromas, etc.
Has your experience with cupping changed over the years?
Cupping as a tool for roasters is a bit different than cupping to make purchasing decisions. Over the years, I’ve developed a slightly faster method to assess batch quality in a production setting.
Do you have a favorite Our Gorongosa coffee blend?
I’d have to say that Speak for the Trees has become my favorite. I don’t always like darker roasts, but this one is full-bodied, syrupy smooth, and has a perfect blend of sweet and smoky notes. It’s everything you wish a delicious-smelling cigar would actually taste like.
When tasting coffee, there are several things to consider:
Ready to put your coffee cupping to the test? Follow these steps to practice cupping from the comfort of your own home (using your favorite Our Gorongosa coffee blend(s), of course!):
You will need:
Step 1: Smell Dry Coffee
Step 2: Smell Wet Coffee
Step 3: Sip Brewed Coffee
We’d love to hear about your experience cupping coffee! Head over to our Instagram page to share with us.