Tasting coffee, also known as cupping, is a method of evaluating the quality of coffee, similar to the assessment of wine. Regardless of personal preferences, there are objective characteristics that distinguish a good coffee. The evaluation process relies on three senses: sight, smell and taste. The appearance of the coffee, especially the crema in an espresso, provides information about the type of beans and their roasting. The aroma of the coffee, with its variety of over 800 flavours, has a significant influence on the overall enjoyment. The evaluation starts with the smell of roasted and ground coffee and then moves on to the assessment of the prepared coffee, where aroma and taste are mixed.
During a coffee tasting, the taste test is the highlight of the experience. Taste is mainly perceived through the tongue, while aroma substances also enter the nasal cavity through the palate. The tasting process involves tasting coffee at different temperatures to capture the full range of flavours. In addition, the taster sips the coffee from a spoon to engage all the taste buds on the tongue. These comprehensive sensory perceptions contribute to the overall assessment of coffee taste.
The ratings after a coffee tasting serve as a helpful guide for coffee drinkers. Describing the coffee's aromas and flavours with expressive adjectives or comparisons helps to understand its characteristics. A balanced coffee composition shows a harmonious blend of acidity, sweetness and bitterness. Ultimately, however, personal preference plays an important role in choosing a favourite coffee. By experimenting with different flavours using a coffee maker, individuals can discover and explore their ideal coffee.