Looking to start Cuppings and Tastings @ our shop. Need to know if there is special equipment needed, and how exactly to host a cupping event. Thanks! 

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You might start by purchasing Lingle's Coffee Cupper's Handbook.

 

I wouldn't try to host any kind of a cupping event until you are very comfortable doing it, know how to teach it, and have a good idea of what it is you're trying to accomplish by doing so.

 

 

 

 

 

Cups, spoons, grinder, a way to boil water, timers, cupping sheets.

 

Isn't that roughly the equipment list that you've observed at the cuppings you've attended?

 

Agree with Matt, by the way. There's actually quite a bit to doing it right. I had a chance to attend Counter Culture's "Cupping Leaders Lab" class a few months back. It was a good lab that took several hours to cover most of the material to help us lead a cupping. I found it quite useful. Maybe there's something similar in your area?

I used to do coffee tastings as opposed to cupping. To me, cupping implies testing coffee for quality or specific characteristics. This is probably too mundane for the average customer (although I believe people would enjoy watching a live cupping demo).

When doing tastings I would prepare french presses with each coffee to be sampled. I used little 4 oz paper cups. In order to communicate different flavors I would have foods that correspond to the noted flavor. i.e. hazelnuts and almonds to demonstrate nutty, mushrooms for earthy, chocolate for chocolate, etc. When a person tastes the food then drinks the coffee it really helps them recognize what you're talking about.

I also enjoyed throwing in a mystery coffee. This coffee was always something like folgers or maxwell house, anything from a can. The customers all were able to tell this was not high quality and provided a memorable way to point out how specialty coffee is different.

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