Cup your coffee before you sup it!

The world of coffee begins to affect its passionate consumers from the renowned method of “coffee cupping”. Everybody has their cup, mug or sipper wrapped around their palms on the road or the room with their favorite caffeine. The more defined people are however, more curious to know about what they drink. Any coffee that you drink is fine and sure does your work, but you might want to be the coffee connoisseur that knows a little bit more about this highly regarded drink and go on to choose better options. This desire should introduce you to the world of Coffee Cupping.

An act of its kind, cupping is the standardized process used in assessing all and any type of coffee in the world but it can also be practiced individually. The journey of fine caffeine begins much beyond the process of cupping back in the dense woods as ripe coffee cherries. What follows is a long and detailed journey that involves elements like growing, picking, pulping and washing, drying and sorting, packing and shipping, roasting, resting, grinding and extracting that finally concludes to the step of cupping! Coffee cupping is the classic process of observing the quality of a particular coffee through various elements. These elements bring fun to the actual act.

Cupping Blog image

On a generic scale there are about five to six factors that are used to determine your quality cup of coffee. These may include aroma, sweetness, body, acidity, flavors, after taste. The most relevant action in this context is a perfect brew to end with. Your coffee palate is your tool! To know what finesse tastes like, you will have to have a few questions in mind. Questions like-

How do I smell my coffee?

What is a flavor wheel?

What is its texture? How do I brew it?

What is the golden ratio of coffee cupping?

What changes the game of your drink is its cupping ratio or the brewing ratio.
This is when the 1:17 golden ratio comes to play.

Whether you are a professional on your coffee tasting journey or a coffee drinker just here to try out the experiences, the right kind of coffee cupping can give you some of the finest experiences in the caffeine tasting world.

The finest ratio created by experts claims that for every 8.25 grounds of whole bean coffee a rough 10 ml of water should be used. The technicalities can be boiled down to 1.7 gram of coffee for every single ounce of water. Whole beans should be weighed individually and then sorted cup wise. Noting down the aroma dryness, intensity, lasting time and humidity might also help in determining. The aroma keeps changing when mixed with the correct ratio of water ounce by ounce. This is followed by breaking the crust and then sniffing it and finally tasting it.  This ratio is often called the 1:17 ratio.  1 ounce of coffee and 17 ounces of water are said to be the golden ratio of brewing in the caffeine world.

This ensures a complementary strength without the overpowering of flavors. It ensures the aroma to flourish differently in different stages of the brewing. Other factors like your coffee quality and water temperature might also affect this result adversely or positively. However the gold cup ratio is the most prevalent and widely used ratio to determine a perfect brew and the true quality of a coffee bean. Even while making coffee on a general scale at home or on other occasions in real life roughly follow this ratio to get a fine brew without losing the authentic taste of your bean.The first step of tasting much away from the tongue right in your olfactory senses, as it is said that half your food is consumed by its smell! The aroma of your coffee cup is the most detailed area you venture.

There are endless types of aromas like- floral, citrus, cherry-like, candy-like, malt-like, medicinal, pungent, smoky, fragrant, chocolaty and more than come from the basic subdivisions- flowery, fruity, herb, nutty, caramel-like, chocolaty, resinous, spicy and carbon-like which further comes from the three basic types of aromas. These are- Enzymatic, Dry Distilled and Sugar Browning.

Enzymatic is the type of aroma that is more biological and organic in its structure. Remember how your coffee was actually a cherry?  Yes, so a fruit definitely has enzymes that help us to get reminded of where this coffee has come from. This often helps find the origin place of a coffee. Other times it determines the freshness and goodness of the bean.

Dry Distilled is the later act of roasting the bean dry which leaves its own world of aromas. Toasty, clove-like or leathery are some of the aromas you sniff!

Sugar Browning is when your coffee’s acids and natural sugar react with the heat. This produces a beautiful smell which can often be misread as chocolaty or even like something is being baked.

Every aroma gives an addition of flavor to every sip you take, giving your coffee the distinction to stand apart.

Experts or brands themselves often fail to segregate the flavors from each other and differentiate the aromas. Researchers therefore take the help of flavor wheels to simplify and classify the variety of these flavors and aromas.

You can learn more about your coffee and take a step towards becoming a coffee connoisseur by using a flavor wheel to your best while beginning and for references later. After a while however, every time you drink a new cup of caffeine somewhere you will first start sniffing onto it and not just smell “coffee”. You may smell earthen, citrus, smoked, baked or fruity flavors. And as you taste your drink you might taste more than just the caffeine, you might feel powdered hazelnuts, caramel mixtures, dried flowery feels, cherries, tangerine tones or cocoa mixed with it! When this starts happening know that you are turning into a coffee expert.

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