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Blueprint Coffee Introduces Forum to the Art of Coffee Cupping

Wednesday, November 6, 2019  
Posted by: Jessie Greenberg
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Forum members joined two coffee connoisseurs from Blueprint Coffee in the Delmar Loop, Abby and Ashley, for a tutorial on cupping. Cupping is a way for coffee bean growers/experts/coffee lovers to grade a coffee before Blueprint, in this example, purchases it. Cupping is also used to determine how a buyer might want to roast and serve a strain of coffee bean.

Cupping is relatively straight-forward—it involves three steps:

1.     Dry sniff: Smelling the ground coffee beans in a dry state allows for someone to denote any inconsistencies in fragrance.

2.     Wet sniff: Hot water is added to the dry grounds, which alters the fragrance. After a second sniff, Ashley and Abby broke the crust and skimmed the top of the cups. They essentially removed the filament and residue that accumulates on the surface of the hot beverage.

3.     Taste: Deeply-curved spoons are used to taste the coffee varieties. Ashley and Abby recommend slurping the coffee, to more fully experience its flavor. In tasting the coffee, they suggest noting body (the mouth-feel of the coffee), acidity (intensity of flavor), and sweetness (tip of the tongue, sugary sensation)—akin to wine tasting.

We ended the cupping with a cup of our favorite brew. Jessie Greenberg, Forum’s reporter, chose the Cordellera Isabelia, a full-bodied Nicaraguan coffee with notes of chocolate and spice. We thank Blueprint Coffee for their time and expertise—it was a fun and learning-filled morning. 

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