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  • How do you cup your coffee poll

    Im curious to know how and if CSers cup their coffee.  

    Care to take part in the poll?

  • #2
    Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

    Kinda depends what Im drinking. Usually Traditional style though. If its a blend, usually for espresso, cupped as espresso.

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    • #3
      Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

      I tried to find this out a while ago without much sucess:

      http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1228279080

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      • #4
        Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

        Im trying to relearn to cup, given that I have discovered, courtesy of Mr Lingle, that I was using a lot of descriptors incorrectly. (For example, soft - I was using it as delicate).

        But then I had to put Lingle away cos Im now three weeks behind on uni : For some reason cupping was just so much more interesting to me than botany. ;D

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        • #5
          Re: How do you cup your coffee poll


          Interesting you should mention Lingle Michelle, as it was probably he that prompted the poll.

          FWIW, I think promoting a universal language is a great idea, but when it comes to cupping, I challenge the value in adhering to the traditional method. For example, I might cup a coffee that I think is a joy, only to find it becomes totally overwhelmed with the addition of milk.

          Until I can be convinced otherwise I cup using 2, 3, 4 and 5. And Id probably ask any customer who started slurping and spitting in my shop to leave! ;D

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          • #6
            Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

            Originally posted by 4254515140424E47474444210 link=1239003952/4#4 date=1239006602

            FWIW, I think promoting a universal language is a great idea, but when it comes to cupping, I challenge the value in adhering to the traditional method.  For example, I might cup a coffee that I think is a joy, only to find it becomes totally overwhelmed with the addition of milk.
            Hmm, a fair point I guess. But when theres like infinity sacks of coffee and youre trying to decide which beans to buy, and you have only a few grams to sample, how else do you decide which to purchase?

            I was actually asking a roaster not long ago how she decides which of the stellar coffees on a cupping table will translate to great espresso, given thats what the bulk of coffee consumed in Australia is.

            Also, its surely the most obvious method for head to head comparisons yes? As far as being able to control as many variables as possible. I mean even if you hooked up a couple of identical machines and identical grinders and got a few gun baristi to pull the shots, theres going to be variables at play still.

            For myself, I cup to learn. Im not a professional anything, and so I cup to develop my palate, and cos its FUN! Also, the vast bulk of the coffee I consume these days is pourover or syphon brewed, so how it translates with milk or as espresso isnt so much a concern.

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            • #7
              Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

              Have absolutely no idea, have never cupped and wouldnt know where to start but i am sure the learning experience would be very interesting.

              Mal

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              • #8
                Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

                Hi Mal,

                worth the trip into BBB in the city on a Saturday morning if you get the chance for a cupping session. Easy going and low stress environment plus you get to drink some great coffee

                Apart from that I dont tend to cup my roasts at home, but any new varietals go into the Syphon first and drink the mug slowly as it cools. Due to only roasting 250g lots cupping batches seems a bit of a waste of beans?

                So put me down as cupping by Syphon I guess.

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                • #9
                  Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

                  I usually pull an espresso shot and top up with hot water, I taste it until it goes cold, noting the change in taste as it cools down, this is a simple quick way for me to test my roasts, time is always a factor in a busy work schedule but this way I get a fair idea how my roasts are performing.
                  I have been attending cupping sessions at local cafes and roasters and trying to learn proper cupping techniques and develop my palate.
                  I tell my wife that work is getting in the way of my coffee obsession but it falls on deaf ears!! :-/

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                  • #10
                    Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

                    Espresso is how i like to get the general feel of a coffee (dont know if that makes sense) The syphon really gives me a lot more and yes as it cools is really interesting how it changes flavor. Cupping I have never done but would like to try sometime.

                    CB

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                    • #11
                      Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

                      I have done some cupping at Veneziano and will go to the next one when the date is set

                      Its funny how a group of people try to name a particular flavour or smell
                      One was it smells like wet dog another was a boilermaker plunging hot steel in water it smells like the steam it gives off :
                      I wont repeat what AM said about the Sumatra Blue Batak :-X

                      My taste buds are not what they used to be but I tend favour the chocolate tones in coffee

                      KK

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                      • #12
                        Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

                        Originally posted by 60444D4D4E4E7460445846442B0 link=1239003952/10#10 date=1239020828
                        I have done some cupping at Veneziano and will go to the next one when the date is set

                        Its funny how a group of people try to name a particular flavour or smell
                        One was it smells like wet dog   another was a boilermaker plunging hot steel in water it smells like the steam it gives off  :
                        I wont repeat what AM said about the Sumatra Blue Batak  :-X

                        My taste buds are not what they used to be but I tend favour the chocolate tones in coffee

                        KK

                        KK I can not quite remember... But I do recall every one looking at me with distaste  ;D

                        Oh yea thats right ........  a raw sewage pump / outlet...   Earthy and composting  

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                        • #13
                          Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

                          Originally posted by 544E584D4D390 link=1239003952/5#5 date=1239007150
                          But when theres like infinity sacks of coffee and youre trying to decide which beans to buy, and you have only a few grams to sample, how else do you decide which to purchase?
                          No argument there.  I was more interested in whether people cup and how they do it *after* theyve purchased raw beans.

                          Originally posted by 544E584D4D390 link=1239003952/5#5 date=1239007150
                          Also, its surely the most obvious method for head to head comparisons yes? As far as being able to control as many variables as possible.
                          Perhaps true, though at a group cupping there could be plenty of variables too - eg. which sample was ground first and last?; is the water temp identical for each cup?; do we measure the water to the ml?

                          .
                          Originally posted by 544E584D4D390 link=1239003952/5#5 date=1239007150
                          For myself, I cup to learn.
                          Ah, I like that.  So what have you learned?

                          Originally posted by 544E584D4D390 link=1239003952/5#5 date=1239007150
                          I cup to develop my palate
                          I cup to get an idea of how it can improve and what it will taste like for my customers.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

                            Cant say that I know what Im doing, but I drink most of my coffees as double ristretto soy lattes so I dont see any point in trying them any other way. I might not have the best palate either, but I am able to pick out some of the undertones of the coffee. I noticed toffee with the Yemen Bani Ismail, the dark chocolate of the Harrar, and easter buns on the Mocha Java decaf (which Andy said was more of a descriptor of fruit and spice, but the first thought I had was Easter buns!). I think this is why Im not a big fan of blends either. I cant pick out the flavours and it just tastes like coffee, no interesting other flavours to compliment it. well thats my 2c for today...

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                            • #15
                              Re: How do you cup your coffee poll

                              Oh man, I totally just wrote an essay and lost it. Bah!

                              Ok. Take two.

                              As Ive said, Im not an industry professional. Anything I do with coffee is purely for my own education, entertainment and enjoyment. Heck, Im even doing Wine Science at uni in the hope that itll improve my palate : When I grow up I want to go to Coffee Lab and do the SCAA Cupping Course and Q Graders Exam. Whether or not I have the palate or skill to do so remains to be seen. :-?

                              For me, cupping is the most exciting thing I do with coffee. Some of us here are total gear-heads, some are espresso über-geeks, some are obsessed with perfecting their latté art, some obsessively document every roast etc. For me, there is nothing as exciting as standing in front of a table, lined with white bowls, waiting for four minutes to be up so I can push my spoon through that brown crusty goodness. Its coffee at its rawest (well, ok, not literally), stripped of all the frills and being judged only on smell and taste - of whats actually there in the cup. Seriously, I love it, and I wish I was allowed to do it more often.

                              Den, you said "I think promoting a universal language is a great idea, but when it comes to cupping, I challenge the value in adhering to the traditional method."

                              For professionals? Or amongst home baristi? It makes sense to me that the cupping protocols have been developed so that they can be kept identical anywhere in the world. So professional cuppers, buyers, roasters, whoever, know what theyre buying etc. A common language is only possibly if everyones looking at the same thing in the same way, surely? Even Lingles proposed terminology is only useful if lots of people use it. Its not as though its self-evident. Acidy coffees are not usually high in acidity. What the?! Its essentially a code. A code to try and communicate aroma and taste, which is really hard to do, given we all have such diverse sensory memories!

                              Do home baristi need to cup using SCAA protocols? Of course not. Someone else has already done the leg work of sourcing great beans, so roast em, drink em, enjoy em. Id guess that in most peoples cases, thats going to result in an espresso-based beverage. I dont often cup espresso-roasts. I havent yet got my head around tasting much beyond roasty in the darker roasts people tend to prefer for espresso. If Ive got beans roasted for espresso, I pull them as espresso. I will play around with dose and grind and shot length to see what I can find.

                              Also, when I cup at home, I rarely score. I really want to understand how to, but at the moment, scoring the acidity of a coffee as a 4 would be purely arbitrary. I dont yet have the palate, sensory memory or experience to meaningfully apply such a score. Im trying to learn the Lingle vocab, because it occurs to me that when I read other peoples notes, they rarely mean much to me, and so the chances are, mine probably mean very little to anyone else.

                              Im not entirely sure where this was all going ... :

                              What have I learned cupping? Hmm. Ive learned that the roof of my mouth registers more than my tongue does. Ive learned that espresso is not the be all and end all of coffee. Ive started to build a sensory memory and vocabulary for describing what I taste and smell. Ive learned I want to one day get to play with coffee for a living. Ive learned about how a coffee changes as it cools and turns. Ive learned how not to choke when I slurp.

                              I still havent learned that I have ridiculously bad spatial awareness and every stinking time I end up putting my nose way too close to the bowl and burning it ;D

                              I took a few coffee-liking friends to a cupping session recently, and for a few of them, it was a total Oh, I get this! I can taste the difference between this Sidamo and this Rodomunho. That was cool.


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