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The East London

Coffee Company

The art of coffee tasting, made easy.

Coffee and wine tasting

Coffee tasting and wine tasting have a lot of similarities. In both, one is looking for body, flavour, a distinction between varieties and the subtle differences which are often found from one farm or region to another.

When comparing different coffees or assessing the merits of one particular coffee, many tasters use what is referred to as the cupping method where ground coffee is stirred into warm to hot water, in a glass or cup to a ration of 8.25 grams of coffee to 150 ml of water. After this has been given a minute or two to settle, the grounds will rise to the top. Tasters will first test the aroma after breaking the surface and then spoon off the floating grounds to test the body and taste.

An alternative method is to make a brew using a plunger of some form using the same ratio. The aroma might be a little hidden when using this method but, with fewer grounds, it can be a little more convenient for a home test. Most importantly, one must ensure that the different coffees that you are tasting all receive the same treatment.

Many coffee lovers go straight to comparing espresso shots. While this is one way of doing it, especially if that is your favourite way of drinking coffee, I personally find that the strength of an espresso shot can hide some of the more subtle flavours which are more evident in a more watery brew when it comes to the subtle differences. Remember that tasting and enjoying your prepared brew are sometimes two different things.  

What you need

Filtered water; freshly ground coffee; suitable wide mouthed cups or glasses if you’re ‘cupping’ alternatively a suitable number of plungers; large spoons; an empty bowl to drop remnants into; a bowl or jug of clean water to dip spoons into after each taste.  

Note: We recommend a blind tasting of at least three different coffees, where the tasters do not know what coffee they are tasting. In this way each coffee is assessed on its own merits without the influence of labels and brand names.

Please take me to page two of coffee tasting

Coffee tip: By increasing your knowledge about coffee, perhaps the characteristics of different beans, the affect of different roasts and how these influences both the flavour and taste, the more you will enjoy your hobby.

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Learn about coffee tasting and experiment with different coffees. Says our roaster, “the key thing is to source freshly roasted product, preferably not one that has been roasted in bulk in a massive factory and shipped around the world for weeks.” There are many speciality coffee roasters around South Africa. We deliver our coffee to your door within a few days of roasting so why put up with an older roast? Buy your coffee online and have it delivered to your door.