Wednesday Cupping Notes


Today’s cupping was a real skill building exercise. Bob took four coffees from our inventory and roasted a dark and light version of each.  We then had to identify which of the samples was dark roasted, which was light roasted and which was a 50/50 blend. The featured coffees for this exercise, which were also concealed, were the Guatemala Finca El Valle, Kenya AA, Java Estate and Organic Nicaragua Isabelia.

I used a process of elimination to identify each cup. I approached one coffee at a time and focused on locating the darkest profile first. When I felt confident in my choice I proceeded to locate the lightest profile and then determine the 50/50 blend. This  strategy had a satisfactory degree of success. We are encouraged to go with our initial impression when cupping and try to avoid second guessing as that may only lead to confusion.

I cannot wait to apply this strategy to our next Mystery Cup Challenge. The past few times when I had participated I would correctly identify the origin of coffee but would have difficulty pinpointing the degree of roast. For example, distinguishing an Organic Nicaragua from our Organic Timbales Blend from an Organic French Roast….

My goal is to apply this knowledge whenever I have the opportunity to attend a production cupping so that next time we have a Mystery Cup Challenge I will get each coffee identified!



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4 Responses to “Wednesday Cupping Notes”

  1. Jason says:

    Hey Melissa,

    Thanks for sharing! We love reading about the work done on the cupping table. spin away..

    Cafe Evoke, OKC

  2. Marcus says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and observations. From my remote office I cup coffees every week, and now with your blog posts I can try to recreate the lab cuppings!

  3. Bob says:

    Hey Marcus,… or ATL or Evoke or anybody else. I would be more than happy to keep the samples moving to another location after a cupping. Unfortunately this weeks have already disappeared but I will make sure to keep them on hand in the future. Thanks again Melissa for the detailed review. Hopefully somebody will bring home some serious bacon from the next MCC!

  4. Heather Ringwood says:

    Sounds like a great skill building exercise that I am sorry I missed from being out of the office! Now y’all have an advantage on me at the next Mystery Cup Challenge – guess I will need to get in and practice myself!

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