Recently I was lucky enough to do a coffee cupping with a master roaster for a really large commercial roaster. It was a really cool experience. I tried once or twice to do cuppings at home but its not as easy as it sounds if you don’t know what you are doing.
We did a finished product tasting and a traditional coffee cupping.
We tasted 5 different blends/roasts. The neat part is two of the sampels were the same blend, roasted to different levels. I was aware of the importance of roast in an intellectual level but I haven’t actually roasted the same beans to different levels (at least not on purpose). The roast level was only a little different but the taste was totally different.
The challenge with home roasting is quantity. How do I roast and taste to different roast levels of the same bean? I only order a few pounds of each bean and I don’t want to have tons of fresh roast going stale.
But its for science. Maybe on my next sweetmarias order I’ll order only one coffee instead of an assortment and try and set up a tasting. You all are invited 🙂
After the tasting, the rest of the people I was with left and I had the cool opportunity to do a cupping with the Master Roaster by myself. The first thing I learned was that spitting into a spittoon is harder than I thought.
The spittoon goes between your legs. I put it off to my side at first and it was just too awkward to be sitting on the spinning chairs and trying to lean over and hit the bucket. I really didn’t want to spit all over the floor.
The Roast Master hadn’t planned on doing a cupping with me, if he did he would have selected different beans. The beans that we tasted were the beans that his team cupped in the morning.
As we went around the table tasting, all I could taste was coffee. I just smiled and tried to taste but it all just tasted like coffee. I was relieved when he told me that this was hard since all these beans tasted the same. Shew. I did taste a difference in the 5th sample, it was brighter than the other 4.
As for the practicality of doing this type of cupping from Home roasting, I’m not sure.
I’m not really going to reject a shipment from Sweet Maria’s? I think I’d be better off doing a tasting. Roast two different beans or the same bean to different levels and brew up 2 cups in the morning. That way when I drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning, I’m not over-indulging, I’m tasting for science!