One of our favorite activities here at Evans Brothers Coffee is our weekly Coffee Cupping, open to the public every Friday at noon. It's our chance to spend quality time with customers sharing our passion for coffee.
The process of 'cupping' is integral to the success of a craft roaster like ourselves. Its the scientific process we use to compare various coffees and make all our decisions pertaining to quality and offerings. Similar to a wine tasting, each coffee is carefully weighed and ground, setting 2-3 samples of each in case of a tainted sample. Ground coffee is placed in small cups, hot water is poured over the top and allowed to brew for 3 minutes. We 'break the crust' and get the full aroma, remove the grounds from the top, and start slurping and spitting. Each sample is typically evaluated and graded based upon dry fragrance, wet aroma, body, acidity, balance, and flavor. However in the case of a public cupping, we'll typically just discuss these aspects without expecting specific evaluations and scores. Our aim is simply to bridge the gap with customers and allow them to explore the coffee world.
Some of the specific purposes for our cuppings are: 1) Evaluate roast samples from our importers and different farms to select our offerings each season; 2) Roast profiling- comparing samples of the same coffee roasted to different specifications; 3) Blend Development- Playing with the ratios and components of our blends to decide what tastes best; 4) Basic Quality Control- sampling all our coffees on a regular basis before offering to our customers.
In the case of the Public Cuppings, we typically will cup samples of a variety of origins to start to show the differences among coffees. We sometimes cup several coffees from the same country, or even the same farm, showing the differences that result from terroir, varietal. or processing of the coffee cherry. Invariably there is a great deal of excitement and discussion as the interesting world of coffee starts to open up to our customers.
I love watching my brother Randy, or our head trainer, Daniel Gunter, engage so enthusiastically with our customers over the cupping table. Their passion and knowledge is contagious. They have been known to spend an hour or so with one or two customers just sharing their love for all things coffee. And frankly, that's what its all about for us- sharing what we do one customer at a time.