(by Suyu Ren) To experience coffee from seed to cup, I volunteered 3 months in Kona, Hawaii to grow coffee on a farm last summer and took my first barista class in Berlin for brewing and cupping this summer.
At the class, we experienced how different the final result can be by changing different factors with V60/Drip system. If the water extracts too much coffee, it will taste bitter. If the water doesn’t have enough contact with the coffee, it will taste lighter and acidic. It has to be to the right ratio, ground, timing and technique to bring the full body and character of each coffee bean and the barista decides the refinement for each coffee to well balance it. It’s important to use a scale and timer. Just think about how people use them to bake.
We also had a brief of the AeroPress method. As it pressed the liquid through the filter paper so the coffee contains more oil when poured over the coffee. It is also a great way to produce sweet, juicy and clean coffee.
Cupping is a term used in coffee industry for the tasting and evaluating process. It is similar to the concept of wine tasting but has its unique protocols.
For instance, it requires fresh beans that are roasted within 24 hours but rest for at least 8 hours. The optimum ratio is 8.25 grams of coffee per 150 ml of water. All samples are brewing with the same method so it allows comparison and it distinguishes the characters of different coffee. Cuppers will evaluate to determine the actual sensory differences between samples, the flavors of samples and preference of the product.
The Barn/ The Barn Roastery