The Place Common Man Coffee Roasters.
The Food Coffee Beans.
The Rants Now, we might sometimes wondered how are the coffee beans at our favourite cafes chosen. Of course, everyone has a peculiar taste bud and for many (i.e. common man like us), we will just take the Latte as served by the barrister without questioning further. Thanks to Common Man Coffee Roasters, theRantingPanda had the opportunity to meet up with a couple of like-minded coffee lovers and attended a Coffee Cupping session!
Question : So what’s a Coffee Cupping session?
tRP : A practice amongst the coffee professionals to observe the taste and aromas of the coffee beans. Apparently, there are over 800 different flavour compounds and aromas for speciality coffee – which according to the guide given by Common Man, it’s twice as many as wine!
Question : Ok, got that. How do we get started on a typical Coffee Cupping session?
tRP : As a first step, sniff the freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee beans. Take this opportunity to evaluate the dry fragrance of the beans.
Question : That’s easy. Anything I should note while sniffing?
tRP : No way, that’s only easy if you can identify the numerous flavours of a coffee bean! tRP failed badly in this. But yes, the next step would be to pour some really hot water (i.e. 200 Fahrenheit) into the cups. This will result in a crust to be formed at the top of each cup – these crust releases a certain scent, which you should sniff again as part of the next aromatics test. After an exact 4 minutes wait, use a spoon and push the crust backward (a process known as the “breaking the crust”). While repeating this, place your nose right above the coffee to sniff the coffee one final time. Now, you have just completed the aromatics taste test of the beans
Question : Ok. So when can I actually start tasting the coffee?
tRP : NOW! Well, not exactly now now, but just wait for the hot water to cool till it wouldn’t burn your tongue. Once the cup has cooled, lower the spoon slowly into the cup, without stirring any of the grinds at the bottom. This is the interesting part, you have to sip the coffee LOUDLY into your mouth and allow the coffee to be tasted by every taste buds on your tongue. This loud (and strong) sipping should also allow your nasal sensed the aroma of the coffee. Once tasted, you can either drink the coffee or, just spit it out. This final and last stage of the Coffee Cupping session is the most critical – you should be able to taste the aroma you had noted earlier.
One thing for sure, for amateurs, this is the most fun part of the session – with many of us struggling to perfect the sipping action and many more, feeling too embarrassed to be sipping loudly!
Question : Thanks for the tips above. Any other things we should know about a Coffee Cupping Session?
tRP : Well, what we have guided above may well just be a ‘tip’ of the iceberg! That said, one other tip tRP felt we should pass on are some useful adjectives to describe both the Aroma and Taste of Coffee:
Taste – Winey, Sour, Acidy, Mellow, Bland, Sharp, Harsh, Pungent
Aromas – Flewery, Fruity, Herby, Nutty, Carmelly, Chocolaty, Carbony, Spicy, Resinous
Question : That’s awesome! Any chance to experience a Coffee Cupping session personally in Singapore?
tRP : Definitely! In fact, at Common Man, they are currently doing a public cupping session every Wednesday at 2pm! You may not immediately become a coffee expert, but it definitely make you appreciate coffee more! Do enjoy! Cheers!
Much thanks to the Spa Esprit Group for the kind invitation.
Common Man Coffee Roasters
22 Martin Road #01-00
Tel: +65 6836 4695
Monday – Sunday: 8am to 7pm