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How is the cupping session done?

There are no hard and fast rules to follow when it comes to tasting coffee. Each importer, for example, has his own habits and methods for evaluating a batch of coffee. However, since we are true coffee lovers (and above all, good coffee) we will now take a look at SCA cupping.

This association is already a standard for specialty coffee. The world’s best coffees are evaluated and graded using this precise protocol. These cupping rules, established by the Securities and Commodities Authority, make it possible to move towards an accurate and consistent assessment of (good) coffee worldwide. Thus, it is recommended to use special equipment and observe the main steps during the coffee cupping session.

Preparing for the cupping session

To make a good cupping coffee, you have to be well prepared, which is why it is essential to have the right equipment, and of course the coffee!

When it comes to equipment, SCA provides a list of items to use so that all cupping sessions, regardless of country, are done the same way. This allows the process to be homogenized so that all tasting conditions are the same everywhere.

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This is the substance to be eaten during the tasting:

  • roasted coffee
  • water (at 93 degrees)
  • SCA’s “Agtron” colorimeter (brown discs, with different roasting rating ratings)
  • coffee grinder
  • boiler
  • thermometer
  • Balance
  • 5 cups per coffee
  • 2 cups/cup full of water (to rinse spoons and take a few sips of water)
  • 2 cupping spoons
  • spittoon
  • a towel

Let’s look for a moment at two utensils: cups and spoons.

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Cupping spoons are not ordinary spoons. It’s more rounded than regular spoons (and looks a little deeper) which makes cupping easier. I’m not sure, but I think it is designed this way, it is necessary to have a couple of spoons to easily remove the sediment that will form on the surface of the coffee when brewing. 

Mugs must also meet certain requirements. You should have 5 identical cups for each coffee. When making two or more cups of coffee, it’s also best to always have the same cups.

They can be glass or ceramic and should hold between 207 and 266 ml (7 to 9 ounces). The diameter of the circumference of the top of the cup should be between 76 and 89 mm.

In addition to equipment, the SCA recommends respecting certain standards in terms of the environment in which cupping coffee is performed. The session should take place in a quiet environment, the right temperature, well lit and above all, without odors that can interfere with the good tasting of the coffee (coffee).

Find more interesting facts about coffee with us on : Elprogresivo

Phil Schwartz

"Food expert. Unapologetic bacon maven. Beer enthusiast. Pop cultureaholic. General travel scholar. Total internet buff."

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