Cupping in coffee terminology means evaluating coffee quality. Like an expert wine taster judging a vintage Merlot, the professional coffee taster needs a keen knowledge of, and palate for, the beverage.
Stephen Kaloyanides, Sr. (shown left) is one of our Master Coffee Tasters. Stephen is second generation ownership, and applies his palate and instincts in a time-honored process that has been honed for over four generations.
Here's how cupping is done: a random sample of a specific batch of 100% Arabica coffee is roasted, ground and brewed. It is then sipped and held in the mouth long enough to savor the full extent of the taste, then spat out. The process, very similar to wine tasting, is used to determine the four distinct aspects of coffee - aroma, body, acidity and flavor.
- Aroma: The fragrance of a coffee that is also the first indicator of its quality.
- Body: The impression of fullness or perceived 'heaviness' of a coffee in the mouth.
- Acidity: Found mostly in mild-bodied coffees, acidity is a desirable characteristic referring to the pleasant lively, snappy taste, not to be confused with sourness. Without acidity, the coffee would taste flat.
- Flavor: The total melding of acidity, body and aroma that gives each coffee its own distinct identity.
Cupping is the most important element of fine coffee production and our on-site taste-testers perform random tests of all our roasts. We take great pride in our coffee, and make sure your daily cup of coffee is perfect each time.
As New England Coffee's Stephen Kaloyanides, Jr. puts it, there is simply "no other way to do it." Stephen is one of the company's principal cuppers, and he holds a true appreciation for the process. "There's a lot of history involved," he says. He's right. The age-old tradition of cupping has stood its ground as the most effective means of determining a coffee's quality and in turn, how it will be used in a blend.