Watch: Coffee Cupping with Fred Cowell of Kauai Coffee Estate

Learn to test the quality of coffee like a pro.

Get an insider’s take on professional coffee cupping from Fred Cowell, the general manager of family-run Kauai Coffee, the largest coffee farm in the United States. Affectionately known as “slurping and spitting,” cupping is how the pros determine the quality of a batch of coffee.

In brief, here are the steps demonstrated:

1. Do a visual evaluation and smell the coffee beans.

2. Pour 205-degree water onto the grounds and let it sit for a few minutes. Break the crust that forms with a spoon and smell the aroma that rises from the cup.

3. Slurp a spoonful of coffee to get the full impression, and spit it out.
 


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