I’ve been thinking a lot recently about cupping and dialling in my palate.
I’ve been to a couple of tastings recently in Liverpool and Milton Keynes (that we great fun and really well run) but it took me three or four coffees to really get my taste-buds going. By that time I was using my memory of the coffees as a measurement which makes it so much harder.
Calibrating any equipment is essential and vital, our palates are no different. I know I have always found the calibration days at cup of excellence really useful, but I have always thought it could be done even better with reference points of coffee.
So I’ve decided I’m going to run a two stage experiment to see if by warming up and using these reference points it means we can detect things more accurately.
First I’m going to do a blind cupping without any warm up, and score the coffees.
Then I’ll do a blind cupping after doing an open tasting of reference points. Reference points should be in line with the table. So for instance, if its El Salvador’s, it should be with a exceptional, good and commercial El Salvador. Then go into the cupping warmed up, on a blind table.
Then compare the data of the two tables.
An blind espresso tasting. 5 espressos from around the country and taste them blind and evaluate them. Then I’m going to dial in with a couple of espresso blends I know well, then revisit the 5 espressos and score them blind again, and then compare the results against expectations.
If I think there is some merit I’ll then open this up to a tasting at the roastery and share the results here. I’m thinking small maybe 5 people, but I think it could be very interesting.
Anyway thinking out loud will report back soon.