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Comparative Cupping vs Leisure Cupping or “Tell me how you cup and I will tell who you are”



Just a short note.


While now we are already at the level when we question the quality of our cupping technique as it is, and the purpose of it itself (switching from cupping to brewing for quality control instead), and start measuring the exact amount of the grounds, weight the cup while pouring the water – exactly how we got used to be doing it with brewing, let’s say, V60 – there are still cuppings that are performed at the very low level, and they could be found even at the coffee shops that from the outside look pretty “third wave”.


I would call them leisure cuppings. The purpose of them, and the place where they are conducted does not matter – they could be performed in the roastery, or as an open cupping, or comparative cupping of the different roasters.


The thing that they have in common – they have no goal but spending time and, sometimes, having fun with the “flavour notes”.



  • should have a clear goal
  • should be always blind
  • should be supported by taking detailed notes
  • should be based on comparing


Otherwise it is like going out for a beer – fun, but just leisure.


All these cuppings when you know which coffee is where, you know the order, or you cup 3 coffees recently roasted, for “quality” of the roast, without comparing them to the previous roasts, or you cup without taking notes – It. Is. Simply. Useless. Just to show off.




Published by liza maksimova

Q Grader. Roast Master. SCAE certified.

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