The Art of Coffee Cupping - How We Evaluate Our Coffee
At Terminal 3, we take immense pride in our commitment to serving a variety of exceptional coffee to our customers, offering three distinct categories: Classic, Business Class, and First Class. This allows our customers to explore diverse flavour profiles and find their desired coffee experience. One of the essential techniques we employ to ensure the highest quality is coffee cupping. In this article, we will delve into the art of coffee cupping and shed light on how we evaluate our coffee to deliver a lasting experience to our clients.
What is Coffee Cupping?
Coffee cupping is a meticulous process used to evaluate the aroma, taste, and overall quality of coffee beans. It involves systematically analyzing different coffee samples to identify their unique characteristics and flavour profiles. This technique is used to assess the uniqueness and nuances of each coffee variety, helping us in the selection and sourcing of the finest beans.
The Coffee Cupping Process
Selecting the Beans
We begin by carefully choosing the coffee beans we wish to evaluate. These beans are sourced from various regions around the world, each with its distinct flavour profile.
Roasting the Beans
To unlock the true potential of the coffee beans, we roast them to perfection using a small batch roaster like IKAWA. The roasting process significantly impacts the flavours and aromas that emerge during cupping.
Grinding the Beans
Once the beans have been roasted, they are ground into a consistent medium coarse size to ensure an even extraction of flavours during the cupping process.
We steep the coffee grounds in hot water (around 90° Celsius) for typically four minutes, to extract the optimal flavours. This allows us to capture the essence of the beans in a controlled environment.
As the coffee brews, we carefully inhale the aromas released, noting the various scents and their intensity. This step sets the stage for the sensory experience to come.
Using spoons, we sip the coffee, allowing it to spread across our entire palate. We assess the flavours, body, acidity, sweetness, and aftertaste, paying attention to the characteristics that make each cup unique.
Scoring and Documentation
After analyzing each cup, we assign scores based on a standardized system to objectively evaluate the coffee. These scores help us track and compare different samples to make informed decisions about the beans we choose to serve and identify which class it belongs to.
Coffee cupping is a testament to our dedication to delivering exceptional coffee experiences to our customers at Terminal 3 Roasters. By engaging in this methodical evaluation, we can distinguish between various coffee profiles, identify any defects or inconsistencies, and ultimately select the finest beans for our customers. It ensures that every cup of coffee served at Terminal 3 meets our rigorous standards of excellence.