This is a shot of a cupping at the Alberta roasterie. Left to Right is Matt (trainer), Allie (manager) and Frank (barista).
“Coffee Cupping” is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. It is a professional practice but can be done informally by anyone or by professionals known as “Master Tasters”. A standard coffee cupping procedure involves deeply sniffing the coffee, then loudly slurping the coffee so it spreads to the back of the tongue. The coffee taster attempts to measure aspects of the coffee’s taste, specifically the body (the texture or mouthfeel, such as oiliness), sweetness (the perceived sweetness at the sides of the tongue), acidity (a sharp and tangy feeling at the tip of the tongue, like when biting into an orange), flavor (the characters in the cup), and aftertaste. Since coffee beans embody telltale flavours from the region where they were grown, cuppers may attempt to identify the coffee’s origin. Cupping is a very important part of the process, and most of all… FUN!