Excited but not sated by yesterday's cupping adventure, I decided to try my hand at a little home-brew today. I've never performed a cupping myself, let alone try to do one on my own in my living room, so I wasn't expecting 100% success.
Armed with Ted R. Lingle's The Coffee Cupper's Handbook and some fresh coffee from Cafe Grumpy, I set out to tackle a one-off home cupping, in hopes that it might become a habit.
The coffee I chose to cup was Counter Culture Coffee's Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (Koke), courtesy of Grumpy's ongoing Ethiopian Coffees Month. I didn't read any of the descriptions about it at the shop, because I didn't want to be swayed by published notes, and I have no idea how my findings stack up, but let's give 'er a shot, eh?
The fragrance that hit me first was oaky, like a very dense Northeastern forest. It also had a tartness, like just underripe red berries.
A lot of that berry-tartness came out in the wet aroma, too, and it also had a kind of rainy, underbrush thing going on. The break brought out some vanilla and grapefruit, and a really strong kind of gardeny undertone. Like, a vegetable garden before any of the vegetables develop.
By the way, can you tell that we only have one very low table in our house? Do you know how hard it is to cup when you're, like, essentially folded in half over the coffee, trying to get your nose in there? You've got to be Houdini to do this comfortably!
Ah yes, the most flattering of photos.
The body was on the lighter side, almost the mouthfeel of sweet, fresh lemonade, if that makes sense. A lot of pleasant citrusy brightness, and some deep oranges, dark cherries, woodsmoke, leafy greens and some balsamic vinaigrette. The aftertaste was woody and smoky—hickory maybe?
So! Here's what Grumpy has to say about this coffee:
Koke was one of the first places in Yirgacheffe to process their beans using the washed method in 1959. This is a nice clean cup with great balanced acitity and flavors of roots and herbs as well as sweet fruit. This coffee was judged the "Best Ethiopian Coffee" at the East African Fine Coffee Association's annual contest. Taste for yourself.
Well waddaya know! Not too shabby, I guess.
Do any of you guys cup at home? Any favorites/suggestions/tips? Other than "Get a higher table," that is.