January 14, 2024

Season 1, Episode 38: Cupping is Some Bullshit: Rethinking Coffee Quality Analysis

By Oaks The Coffee Guy
Episode Summary:
In this engaging episode, I have an insightful discussion about my perspectives on coffee cupping protocols and the specialty coffee industry. I explain why I find traditional cupping practices to be a bit impractical and inauthentic for understanding how the average coffee drinker will experience a coffee. I argue that while cupping has its purpose for initial quality control and analysis, it removes the coffee from its natural context of being enjoyed piping hot in a prepared brew. I suggest instead evaluating coffee quality by brewing it in preferred methods, tasting it both hot and as it cools, and being transparent about flavors in a way drinkers can relate to.

Throughout our thought-provoking dialogue, listeners will gain an insider's view into my philosophies on coffee evaluation, the importance of considering the end user experience, and striving for honesty in describing coffee flavor profiles. There are valuable lessons here for coffee professionals and enthusiasts alike about not getting too wrapped up in industry dogma, keeping quality analysis tied to real-world drinking experiences, and the need for clear communication with consumers. If you're interested in going beyond pretentious coffee snobbery and exploring what great coffee means at a more human level, you won't want to miss this episode.

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