June 29, 2023

What is cupping?

Cupping is the standardized method of sensorial evaluation of coffee with as many variables controlled as is possible. The SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) has created internationally recognized protocols and best practices to minimize variables and create a standardized way to discuss quality and sample feedback. 

Hacea Coffee Source adheres to strict protocols and procedures when cupping coffee in order to minimize our own bias and limit variables across cupping sessions. Thorough and organized notes are extremely important during this process to provide accurate feedback and assist when making critical green coffee buying decisions. You can learn more about how we evaluate coffees here.

Here you will find our own internal cupping procedures that we use to evaluate each of the thousands of coffee samples that come through our lab. Each initial sample is roasted on our standard Ikawa roast profile for cupping.

Hacea Coffee Source's cupping recipe

  • 11 grams whole bean coffee
    • Always purge the grinder with coffee from the sample to be evaluated before grinding into the cupping bowl.
    • Grind medium-fine, about 500 micron (setting 14 to 15 on the Baratza Encore grinder).
  • 185 milliliters water at 205°F
    • Pour vigorously over the grounds to fill each cupping bowl to the maximum volume. Start your timer the moment that you begin pouring water.
    • Ensure when pouring that all grounds are evenly wet and there are no clumps.
  • Steep for 4:00 minutes before breaking the crust with cupping spoon.
  • Skim off remaining oils after breaking the crust. Begin tasting the coffee when the temperature of the brewed coffee is comfortable to drink. Rinse your cupping spoon in clean water between each cup.

Cupping tools

Here is complete list of equipment that we use during each cupping session:

  • Kettle for heating enough water
  • Scale
  • Coffee grinder
  • Cupping bowls
  • Cupping spoons
  • Timer
  • Pencil and paper to take notes

Most of the tools that we use in our tasting room are available for purchase on our website. Our Cupping Kit is a great way to get started.

Please connect with us if you feel that we missed something here or if you have additional questions.

Happy cupping!