At Hood River Coffee Roasters we are continuously cupping coffee in order to determine what our seasons choices will be and to make sure that our current offerings are of the same excellent and consistent quality as when we first contracted them.
Cupping is a method of systematically evaluating the aroma and taste of coffee beans. It is often used by growers, buyers and roasters to assess the quality of a particular coffee sample. Proper cupping requires the adherence to an exacting set of brewing standards and a formal step-by-step evaluation process. A trained cupper generally looks at six characteristics:
- Fragrance – the smell of beans after grinding
- Aroma – the smell of ground-up beans after being steeped in water
- Taste – the flavor of the coffee
- Nose – the vapors released by the coffee in the mouth
- Aftertaste – the vapors and flavors that remain after swallowing
- Body – the feel of the coffee in the mouth
The location of the 5 basic taste sensations are Sweet, Salt ,Sour, Bitter, and Savory. Within each of these basic sensations are other more complex primary and secondary sensations. It is through many years of experience and repeated cuppings that a cupper is able to properly evaluate a coffees subtle characteristics.
Information above excerpted from the Specialty Coffee Association of America website at http://www.scaa.org/