Happy National Coffee Day and my Cupping Experience at Cameron’s Coffee

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee. All opinions are my own.
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National Coffee Day is one of my favorite days of all! This year I am especially excited to be celebrating it in partnership with Cameron’s Coffee. Cameron’s Coffee is a Wisconsin founded and now Twin Cities based company that focuses on delivering the best coffee to those of us who enjoy making coffee at home and getting it tasting just right.

When I was in Minneapolis earlier this month, I got a chance to visit Cameron’s Coffee offices and be a part of the cupping experience they arrange for all of their new employees to learn more about coffee. I can only compare this experience to wine tasting, but better. The real purpose of cupping is to taste the different coffees and make sure they are up to our standards, as well as look for any imperfections or irregularities in the batch.

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Below is a detailed description of my experience, and while it can get pretty technical, I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves coffee. I also learned that I have absolutely no talent when it comes to defining coffee flavors.

The best part of the experience was meeting Patrick, Cameron’s Roastmaster, who walked me through the cupping experience. We cupped 4 flavors total:

  • Mexico – light
  • Brazil – sugary
  • Colombian – solid, balanced, sweet
  • Sumatra – earthy, big bodied

And while I am letting you know what each blend is supposed to taste like, I went into this completely unknowing what was going to happen.

Cupping happens around a table which resembles a huge lazy susan, that way you can spin the table and don’t have to walk around. There were 12 ceramic cups (you can also use tempered glass), 3 for each coffee flavor. All cups must be identical in measurements and come from the same manufacturer. You will also need a cupping spoon, which is a special kind of spoon with a large bowl. It works best if the spoon is silver or silver plated.

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To get a little bit more into details all beans are roasted within 24hours of the cupping, and can rest for 6-8 hours. Samples are ground immediately before cupping and grinds are coarser than what is normally used for paper drip. And finally, a few important numbers you should know: the coffee to water ratio for a cupping is 8.25 gm to 150 ml.

The cupping process step by step:

  • First, you smell the ground sample
  • Then you add water to the coffee sample, the water should be freshly drawn and approximate 200 degrees F
  • Make sure to let the coffee steep for 4 min
  • Ensure the coffee is plenty cooled off before drinking, you don’t want to burn your tongue or mouth and ruin your palate for the day
  • Once the coffee is cooled off break the crust that forms on the surface by lightly pressing with the spoon (no more than 3 times), get your nose up to the cup so you can smell the aroma after the coffee is broken
  • Remove the rest of the stuff that doesn’t go to the bottom after breaking
  • Let cool for a few more minutes, usually 8 to 12.
  • Tasting the coffee, using a spoon with a large bowl. Fill the bowl of the spoon, slurp the coffee while aspirating the coffee to cover your entire palate.  Then either drink the coffee or spit it out. Rinse your spoon and repeat at next cup. This was my favorite part, because I got to slurp in an office environment J

Should you ever get an opportunity to participate in cupping, here are a few tips for you:

  • Before you cup, try your best not to eat anything or drink anything potent. You don’t want to already affect your senses before trying coffee.
  • It’s also best if you don’t wear any perfume!
  • Cameron’s Coffee CEO even suggested smelling your own skin in between smelling in each coffee so your “palate gets cleansed”

Make sure to follow Cameron’s Coffee on social media Instagram, FacebookTwitter and stay tuned for some upcoming holiday giveaways! Love my Cameron’s Coffee mug and Tee? These are going to be available on the website soon!happy-national-coffee-day

This post includes photos by Say Hello, Story

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