Do it at Home: A simple Cupping recipe to start your journey

Wednesday, 18 January, 2023

What is coffee cupping?

Cupping is a great way to learn how to taste the subtle notes in coffee, but what is it exactly? Cupping refers to making small, slightly weaker than standard cups of coffee with the express intent of tasting and evaluating several – at least two – coffees side by side.

You can do it at home too! All you need is at least two different coffees. You could even use two different instant coffee or capsule brands (but don’t tell the specialty coffee purists we said that!)

Coffee is an incredibly rich hobby that only gets better as your personal experience widens. Cupping is a fun way to taste a new coffee and improve your tasting chops. Next time you have a few bags lying around, grab some friends or family that love coffee and give cupping a try!

A Simple Coffee Cupping Recipe


2 small bowls or mugs (or as many for each different coffee you have in your line-up)
2 big spoons
Kitchen scale
Timer or stopwatch

Specialty Coffee Association recommends 8.25 grams of coffee per 150 ml of water (1:18 ratio)

1. Start by boiling water. This recipe calls for 200ml of water per coffee. If you’re cupping two coffees, make sure to boil 400ml. But let it settle for a few minutes after so it’s not just boiled but has cooled by a few degrees. There are some beautiful temperature controlled kettles that can do this for you!

2. Weigh the coffee. Consistency is key in a cupping as you want to taste different coffees brewed under standard methodology. Use a scale to weigh 12g of each coffee separately.

3. Grind the coffee. Grind each coffee separately into its own mug or bowl. Use a medium grind size slightly more coarse than you would use for a pour-over. A grinder is optional but fresh ground coffee is recommended. If you don’t have a grinder, don’t worry. You can still do a cupping with pre-ground coffee; it’s just not ideal. Get your nose in there to smell the coffee before its wet. This is called the Dry Aroma.

4. Pour hot water over the coffee and let steep. Pour 200 ml water over each coffee. Let them steep for 4 minutes, the timer on your phone can help you out here.

5. At 4 minutes you’re good to start. You should notice a crust of coffee formed on the top of each mug, just like in a French press. Use a spoon to break the crust and take in the aroma released. Once the crust has been broken, scoop any floating grounds away with the spoon and discard them before you start to taste!

6. When tasting remember to give a big slurp from your spoon to spread the flavour and aroma around your mouth and olfactory system, also it's just more fun that way!

Photo by Rene Porter

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!