Tasting Coffee Terms & Tips:
How to Analyze a Cup:
The weapon of choice for coffee cuppers is a simple spoon. It's a bit deeper than normal spoons. This spoon has a main purpose... and this the slurp!
An important part of any coffee evaluators' repertoire is an aggressive slurp with their cupping spoon, as this will spread the coffee to all areas of the tongue. Watch the video above and see how the pros do it... then give it a try!
Now that you've gotten your slurp on it's time to break down some of the important glossary terms with their definition so you can understand how to think about coffee tastes.
- Flavour: This is the coffees principal characteristics. The mid-range notes that you notice. Stuff like what's here on this amazing SCAA tasters wheel.
- Body: The tactile feeling of the liquid in your mouth. Is it tea-like? Or thick & velvety?
- Acidity: Acidity is the fresh-fruit, sweetness and liveliness. Would you describe it as 'bright' (which is positive) or 'sour' (which is negative)? Is it overpowering or just the right amount?
- Aftertaste: Does the flavour last a long time or a short time?
How these four characteristics work together is known as the Balance. Is it overpowered in certain aspects or under-powered in certain aspects? Or is it just right?
Some terms to get acquainted with is:
- Sweetness: So... How sweet is it?
- Cleanliness: This factor is really interesting. It's talking about whether or not there are an interfering negative qualities that can get in the way of the cups transparency.
- Uniformity: This is one that you'll evaluate over a few cupping sessions. Is it the same for each sample or is the flavour a mixed bag?
When we receive samples from coffee roasters we're analyzing each one of these factors and trying to understand the overall coffee in order to send the best brews to our subscribers.
We recommend you to do the same with each issue of The Roasters Pack because it'll give you a better understand of coffee beans with their region, altitude & processing and what factors are impacted!