We often wonder why there is not as much decorum around ordering a cup of coffee in a restaurant as there is when ordering wine. We imagine the waiter arriving with a tray and pouring just enough coffee in the cup for one of the dining guests to taste and give their approval.
Wouldn’t that be an awesome ritual and a delicious and serene way to bring a pause to the end of a meal? We think so, and we invite you and anyone running a restaurant to consider adding a bit of cupping fanfare the next time you serve coffee. And let us know how it turns out.
Here are a few tips for holding your own, simple and original cupping ceremony. You may never drink coffee the same way again after this. And that is a good thing.
What you’ll need
You’ll want the coffees you select to be of identical roasts. Medium roast coffees, also known as city roast, are best. They have more nuanced flavors and deeper aromas to experience.
When to Grind and Brew
You won’t brew all three pots at once. We recommend having three, so you can begin each brew with a clean pot and won’t have to spend time cleaning pots between brews. You’ll be more present to your guests and to the moment this way.
As a rule, grind just before brewing and brew just before serving. There is a more elaborate technique and approach for professional cupping, but you are perfectly entitled to your own simplified and festive version. Note that part of the conventional process involves assessing the aroma of the grounds too, and this can be a very pleasant first step indeed.
And Now, To Cupping…
Serve one coffee at a time. Invite your guests to examine the coffee’s color and aroma and to freely express emerging sensations on the spur of the moment. Allow time to taste, first with small sips in the spoon. Savor, contemplate and discuss.
The time it takes to brew the next pot is perfect for conversation and for a few sips of water to prepare the palate for the next cup.
Good Questions to Ask
Make it personal. Coffee is personal, after all and your cupping is meant to be playful. You are not testing the coffee, you are tasting it as a sensual experience to inspire conversation and share a memorable moment with friends.
Send your friends home with the remaining, unground beans. And don’t forget to plan the next coffee cupping party. Perhaps you can take turns picking the coffees and hosting.
We raise our cup to you!
Our Favorite Samplers for Cupping