A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Cupping

“Coffee and wine and all things fine!” might be a rallying cry for some, but what marks each drink as distinctive, excellent, and, yes, even presidential? Come with us as we endeavor to discover what makes a certain bean so prestigious with a return to our coffee brewing guides so that you too, oh-humble-cup-o’-joe drinker can pour a little pomp and circumstance in the early morning!.

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✅ Best Coffee Cupping Cups

GREAT SHAPE FOR COFFEE CUPPING – Want to do a coffee cupping?These little cups are your must-have choice. They are wide enough and the height is just right. 8.25g coffee -150ml water. Meets the best brewing ratio of the Golden Cup. However, the proportion of coffee powder can be adjusted according to the cup capacity used in the cup test, and the ratio is about 0.25 g or so.

Regardless of whether you’re a newcomer to coffee tasting or a seasoned vet, we want to take a moment to remind all the denizens of the craft coffee movement that (a) we come in peace and (b) we want to make this particularly high-end segment of the market less, er, pretentious.

That’s not to say that we do not like to dabble in all things fine every now and again, but rather, and simply, would like to educate all on how to really and truly enjoy a cup o’ joe.

What can we say? It’s our mission in life!

This does mean, however, that we have to take a page out of the sommelier’s book and learn just a little bit extra about aroma and complexity and acidity and mouthfeel…

Getting started:

Before we dive in, though, let’s first make sure you have everything you need:

  • Ethically sourced beans
  • If buying green coffee beans, ensure they were stored apart from their roasted brethren (and vice versa!)
  • A quality burr grinder
  • A French Press or your preferred coffee maker, making sure it has been thoroughly cleansed of any past residue
  • Bottled water and heating capabilities to 205-degrees Fahrenheit (or 93-degrees Celsius)
  • A flavor wheel (see below) and cup!
coffee tasters flavor wheel

We believe that anyone can practice the art of tasting and that they do not have to visit a roaster or feel shammed about not being able to identify key ‘notes’ or distinguish one coffee over another.

Why tasting and cupping?

Simple:  it should be fun, knowledge enhancing, and pallet expanding!

Coffee seeds grown around the world and at different elevations will taste differently just like grapes from France might not necessarily taste the same as those from California. While the former will result in Robusta blends while the latter might be red blends, the concept is the same:  no two plants will, nor should they, be the same year in and year out.


Just to give you, dear reader, some perspective, wine connoisseurs are looking for sensory variables (aroma, finesse, complexity, firmness of attack (?!), excessive acidity, suppleness, flatness, fatness, concentration, harmony, tannins, finish, staleness, and keeping) and objective variables (ranking, vintages, and groups).

coffee aroma

Coffee is not so, er, demanding, but the taster should still try to identify key olfactory and gustatory factors just for fun. That said, coffee drinkers should ask the following:

  • What is the fragrance of this cup?
  • What is the aroma?
  • Where are the tastes on my tongue? Is it sour or acidic?
  • What does my nose sense that my tongue does not?
  • Is there an aftertaste?
  • Is the coffee light or heavy?

Coffee Cupping Conclusion

After a while, you will get the hang of tasting different batches (taking care to cleanse the pallet between tastes, of course) and recognizing ‘notes’ of caramel, chocolate, earth, paper (yes, we said paper), nuts, and flowers! Now, of course, we wouldn’t recommend you go head-to-head against your bougie wine-o drinking friends, but perhaps a friendly competition around the kitchen table could be just the way to show off your new smarts!

☕ Here are some popular items for the home of coffee lovers. Click the images to see the current Prices On Amazon 🍵

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