A step-by-step guide to tasting coffee with ESPRO’s Tasting Cups
Coffee takes a storied journey from the farm where beans are grown to your cup where it’s savored. The farmer first selects the variety, a specific type of coffee bean. Then come complex choices of technique, which all improve quality:
- nurturing of the coffee plants
- timing of harvest
- processing method
- roast profile
- brew method
How you brew your beans can help you more fully experience the flavor that is a result of all the hard work that goes into farming, processing, and roasting.
Once harvesting, roasting and brewing are complete, there’s a final element that plays a part in your experience with the delicious brew in your cup; the cup itself. There’s a body of scientific research that supports that the shape of a vessel can impact the aroma and taste of a beverage. This is a fact that the wine, beer, and spirits industries have employed for years in their design of beverage-specific glasses. Each one of ESPRO’s Tasting Cups has been designed to enhance a specific flavor in coffee. A cup’s shape can intensify how we experience distinctive tasting notes in each coffee.
The Specialty Coffee Association’s Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel, which is informed by the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon, provides the language to communicate the distinct flavors present in coffees from around the world. Inspired by the flavor wheel, we identified four flavors common in the world’s most sought-after coffees and designed cups for these specific tasting notes. Each element of our Coffee Tasting Cups is crafted to help you discern specific flavors and aromas for an elevated tasting experience.
The Six Steps to Tasting
Curious about the tasting notes waiting to be discovered in your favorite brew? Follow these steps for detecting the unique flavors in your cup.
1. Select Your Beans
Select a specialty coffee that lists your favorite tasting note on the bag; such as cocoa, fruity berry, spicy cinnamon, or floral jasmine. Pair your coffee with the matching Coffee Tasting Cup.
Use your favorite method to grind and brew immediately before tasting. Not surprisingly, we’re partial to the ESPRO Press.
Observe the clarity of the coffee. Pour a bit into your cup and let it cool to allow the flavors to emerge. What does it look like? Finish your pour, leaving the cup about 2/3 full.
Take in the aroma of your brew. Get close to your coffee and breathe in deeply two–three times. What aromas do you smell? This is a learning process, and you will get better with practice.
Experience the flavor. Be mindful and in the moment. Have a sip and note what you taste. Close your eyes and have another sip. Do you taste anything different? Look back at the bag and see if what you’ve tasted is written on the bag.
Consciously look, smell and taste again halfway through the cup. Different aromas and flavors will come out at different temperatures. Let it get cold and taste the last sip.
Our Tasting Cups are now available as a set of four with a beautiful acacia wood serving tray, or individually. Our first collection includes cups for tasting notes including Fruity Berry, Spicy Cinnamon, Floral Jasmine and Cocoa.