When coffee people want to taste more coffees at the same time we do a cupping: Each coffee is brewed in a cup and tasted with spoons.
This makes you able to brew a lot of different coffees at the same time. That is important since the coffee change in taste as it cools down.
Cupping could be translated to “tasting many coffee brewed in cups”
Photo: Cupping of Brasil coffees at The Coffee Collective here in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The way cupping brewing is done is very specific. Look up cupping protocols. For instance see this video with Tim Wendelboe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUh8ScYp9TY
When to evaluate your roast ?
Coffee changes after roasting. After 3 months it doesn’t taste as when freshly roasted. So when to evaluate your roast ?
It changes the most in the first days.
And then it depend on the roast degree. Dark roast in the Second Crack area often taste the best in the first days. And get stale after 10-13 days.
Lighter roasts often get better after resting. I know light roast roasteries who evaluate the coffee 4 days after roasting. But it is different so you have to explore. Some coffees get better after resting 2-3 weeks.
But have in mind when the coffee is consumed.
Number of coffees
It is useful to do comparisons, because the differences stand out more than when you taste the coffees alone one by one.
But if you are new in coffee tasting a lot coffee all at once can be too much. You can end up getting tired in your taste buds and things start to taste the same. So, start out by comparing only 2 coffees. As the coffee cools the taste change, so you will have enough to keep track of by only two.
As you practice you build up you own taste map of coffee and can keep track of more and more.
We talk about getting taste tired in episode 12 in the Coffee Roasting Navigated podcast – after tasting 13 coffees three times = 39 tastings.
Consider the dosage
The recommended dosage varies: the coffee to water ratio. I have often heard 60 grams per liter, so for a 200 ml cup it’s 12 grams of coffee. But I have seen american recommandation of 55 grams per liter.
The dosage relates to the roast degree: the darker a roast the more solubles -> lower dosage needed. And industrial fast roasted coffees has higher solubles.
The lowest dosage I have heard of is 35 grams per liter – that was using Illy espresso coffee for french press.
The highest dosage I have heard of (for for brewing filter or french press) is 90 grams per liter – that was for an extreme light roasted coffee.
Here on the left a medium-dark roast
In the middle an extreme light roast
And on the right an extreme dark roast
Explore dosage by cupping
When you have a new coffee you can explore what dosage suits it by doing different dosis in different cups.
If a coffee tastes underdeveloped → try a higher dosage
If a coffee tastes burned → try a lower dosage