Hang around a coffee shop long enough and you’ll likely hear a barista mention cupping. No, they’re not talking about competitive cup stacking. Cupping is a century-old quality control technique utilized by coffee producers and roasters alike to evaluate coffee. Thanks to a great new educational video from Cafe Imports, you too can learn how to cup coffee. Watch as roasting guru Joe Marrocco walks you through the basics, including water temperature, brewing ratios, and best practices. Cupping spoons and coffee not included.
Archives for January 2017
Scientists at The University of California Davis have successfully sequenced coffea arabica‘s genome. The findings have been posted to the public database Phytozome.net so the breeders and researchers around the globe can have access to the data. The project, which was funded by the Japanese beverage corporation Suntory, was complicated by the fact coffea arabica has four sets of genomes, twice as many as most plants, including other species of coffee. Researchers chose to sequence UCG-17 Geisha’s genome, an heirloom coffee variety indigenous to Ethiopia but now being grown commercially in California. Geisha varieties are known for disease resistant qualities and researchers hope their finding will help coffee producers fight leaf rust and other diseases. Watch a video and read about the the findings from actual scientists here.
There’s a million ways to pull a bad shot of espresso, but the easiest way is to mess up the tamp. Although it might appear to be a menial task, tamping is essential for an even extraction, i.e. ensuring all of the coffee grounds are saturated with the same amount of water. Any inconsistencies in the bed of coffee grounds and the water will channel, resulting in an unpleasant, astringent espresso.
As a barista educator, I can testify there are few bar skills that take as long to master as tamping. Even veteran baristas tend to tamp at a slight angle, ensuring the full flavor potential of that shot of espresso goes unrealized. Traditional tampers have the further problem of placing a lot of tension on the barista’s wrist. More than one barista I know has needed physical therapy because of repetitive stressed caused by tamping. The UK’s Clockwork Espresso claims to address both of these issues with a revolutionarily simple device they call the PUSH Tamper….