Coffee Cupping, or Coffee Tasting, is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. It is a professional practice but can be done informally by anyone or by professionals known as Master Tasters. A standard coffee cupping procedure involves deeply sniffing the coffee, then loudly slurping the coffee so it spreads to the back of the tongue. The coffee taster attempts to measure aspects of the coffee's taste, specifically the body (the texture or mouthfeel, such as oiliness), sweetness (the perceived sweetness at the sides of the tongue,acidity (a sharp and tangy feeling at the tip of the tongue, like when biting into an orange),flavour (the characters in the cup), and aftertaste. Since coffee beans embody telltale flavours from the region where they were grown, cuppers may attempt to predict the coffee's origin. (From Wikipedia)
Went to my first coffee cupping last night at Gray Owl coffee in Norman, Ok. I have to say, compared to these guys I know nothing about coffee. But it was fun trying all the different flavors out and learning that I could actually describe what I was tasting.
We would have several cups sat down in front of us, we would lean in and get a big wiff of the coffee, trying to identify what the flavors were just by the scent, then would quickly take a sip from a spoon and then jot down the first flavors that came to mind. Think of a wine tasting except wayyyy more cracked out by the end of the night once everyone was full of caffeine. My post-it was on the very far left, short and to the point. While the really knowledgable guy's was the one just to the right of mine that was long and detailed. Seemed as though I got mine pretty right on tho for a beginner. ;)
Are you guys really into coffee? Ever gone to a "cupping" before?