Roasting 101s: Cupping while standing on one leg - Page 2

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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another_jim (original poster)
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#11: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

I'm glad it helped. Testing coffees by cupping allows one to isolate the variables more easily than making shots; and the balance of brewed coffee cold is closer to how it will taste as espresso than its balance hot.
Jim Schulman


#12: Post by cinesnob »

hbuchtel wrote:I just tried this for the first time (roasting today)

I forgot about waiting for it to cool, and the first taste impression was bitter!.
Your hot coffee tastes bitter? I think you may have a roasting problem, which precludes cupping.

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#13: Post by hbuchtel »

cinesnob wrote:Your hot coffee tastes bitter? I think you may have a roasting problem, which precludes cupping.
You are quite likely right about the roasting problem, (or maybe it is the low-quality coffee I buy) but why would this preclude cupping? :? Isn't that the point of cupping?

I haven't cupped my roasts since that last time, but I should start again, no matter how discouraging the results are. ;) It is probably the best way of observing the effect different roast profiles etc are having on the coffee.

Regards, Henry


#14: Post by default »

i like to score coffee the next day :D
i usually drink it and purposely leave a little amount at the bottom of the cup. leave it like that for 24 hours. the liquid will dry up and leave a stain inside the cup. if coffee is good, that stain will smell very sweet.


#15: Post by brownroaster »

Another_Jim, so are you saying to cup the coffee as soon as it is done roasting? If that is the case won't you miss out on part of the flavor seeing how you are not allowing the beans to degas?


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another_jim (original poster)
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#16: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

I do cupping roasts in the afternoon and cup the next morning. This is the custom with a lot of roasters. If you grind and let it sit for a half hour, you achieve the same thing.

Again, let me repeat, the test is BREWED, with a LIGHT roast, too light to use for espresso. If it doesn't pass, there's no need to kill yourself trying to get a good shot out of the coffee.

With roasts this light for brewing, degassing is not a huge issue.
Jim Schulman

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#17: Post by CRCasey »

This may be outside the scope of this thread, if so I am sorry.

I have never roasted any of my own beans, but am interested enough to try cupping several of my local roasters for a start.

My question is at what grind should I be doing this at? A coarse press grind I am guessing, but I don't know since my grinder really never leaves it's espresso comfort zone.

And yes, I am heading off to the FAQ area now.

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another_jim (original poster)
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#18: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

At a professional cupping, you'll be brewing 3 or 5 cups per coffee, and usually try 3 to 6 different coffees at a time. So you are brewing and tasting anywhere from 9 to 30 cups of coffee. Other tasters will be sampling from the same cups. Therefore, the brewing has to take place in each cup, and you have to use a spoon, clean between slurps, and spit.

If you are just trying coffees for yourself, you don't need a spoon. If you are confident it doesn't have taints, you don't need to brew multiple cups. If there's only a few cups, you don't need to spit. So the set up for a professional cupping is almost never required for home tasting.

However do make sure to brew proper coffee:
  • 55 grams of coffee per liter of water (8.25 grams per 6 ounce cup, the SCAA ratio). Don't go lower, you can up to 70 grams (the SCAE ratio)
  • medium/coarse ground coffee (around a half turn from the espresso setting on a commercial espresso, or either the coarsest drip or finest FP setting on a home or supermarket grinder)
  • four minute steep time, do not agitate or stir the grinds, and press them gently toward the bottom before decanting, sieving, etc
  • start tasting at 10 minutes after the start of brewing, and continue tasting until at least 20 minutes after brewing start. It is inside this time window that the coffee tastes most distinctive. Also check the dry aroma, it is more distinctive than the crust aroma or the smell of the brewed coffee.
In general, its completely useless to cup one coffee on its own (although it can be very enjoyable). The entire point of cupping is to compare different roasts or different coffees in order to determine which one you prefer.
Jim Schulman


#19: Post by popeye »

well, this is a little of topic, but instead of cupping to "compare different roasts or different coffees in order to determine which one you prefer," what about cupping to determine optimum temperature. Lately, i've just been starting at 200 (unless i know better) and going up or down from there (using a french press). I do this over the course of several days as i enjoy the coffee. Does anyone dial in the temperature up front using a modified cupping routine? I figure that with properly preheated cups, one could cup coffee at 196-204 all at once, in 5 or 9 different samples.

More pertinent to espresso, does an optimum temperature derived from such an experiment carry over into the optimum temperature for that coffee brewed as espresso? Or will the optimum temperature be different for espresso than it is for cupping?
Spencer Weber

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another_jim (original poster)
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#20: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

It's an interesting question. The taste of steeped coffee, e.g. French press or cupping, seems more or less unaffected by the initial temperature. The grounds typically steep for four minutes, as the temperature drops. I've tried 203 and 194 side by side, and the taste of the 203 was only slightly more toasty. The Jekyll and Hyde effect one can get with changes in espresso temperature just don't seem to happen. I'm not sure how temperature sensitive drip is; I assume it is more important than FP, since the water perculates through a cake of coffee, just as in espresso.
Jim Schulman