Beverages

How to Taste Coffee Like a Pro

cupping

We asked the experts at Cape Town’s Truth Coffee to give us the lowdown on the right way to taste coffee.

If you’re going to drink coffee, you’ve got to do it properly. We at MenStuff HQ love our caffeine-infused beverages in the morning (and multiple times throughout the day), but have yet to ever do a full coffee cupping and tasting experience. While we thought we were high-brow coffee snobs, we had no idea. The experts at the world-renowned Truth Coffee gave us a crash-course to how to really enjoy your coffee cupping adventure.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what cupping is, don’t worry, we didn’t know either. It’s just a professional term for a tasting that helps determine the quality of any given coffee.

Truth Coffee tasting

Preparation:

  1. To prepare the coffee samples, place 2 tablespoons of freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee in a 170ml cup.
  2. Pour 150ml of hot water directly over the freshly ground coffee beans and make sure they are all completely covered by the water. Take note of the initial aroma that arises from the coffee at this point.
  3. After letting the coffee sit for 4 minutes, use a spoon to break the crust that forms from the remaining wet coffee grounds. Use short sniffing inhalations to evaluate the true aroma of the coffee after the crust is broken.
  4. Using a spoon, remove any remaining grounds from the cup so you are just left with brewed coffee.

Tasting:

  1. Breathe in the fragrant aroma of your cup of coffee. Try to identify that aroma. What does the aroma remind you of? Can you differentiate between the coffees?  
  2. Take a quick sip. What flavors can you identify?  
  3. For the next taste, slurp instead of sip. Slurping allows you to gather more of the coffee and spread it evenly across your tongue. By completely covering your tongue, your palate will be able to take in a greater variety of flavors.  
  4. With each subsequent taste, think about your palate with the diagram above in mind.   
  5. Sit back, relax, and just enjoy it!
Tongue tasting

Your tongue’s taste-buds are concentrated in these areas.

tasting

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