an odd day of cupping …

coffee. It can be rough to cup mixed tables of coffee in one day, or mixed flights. Having just returned from Kenya, it struck me how efficiently, quickly, almost mechanically they cup coffee there. 223/2 . 323. 233. Body, acidity flavor. The cupper doesn’t even write down their own scores. That would slow things down. But they cup Kenyas all day long, day-in-day-out, 650 per week, 2x per sample, plus 600 Tanzanias, plus re-cups, totaling 2,000 or even 3,000 coffees a week! wow. They have 3 sample roasters, 5 barrels each, running for hours each day. But oddly, they don’t face my challenge. Today, 1 table of Central America pre-ships from the new crop, 1 table of re-cups of the top Kenyas, a table of Brazils, and then 3 different in-depth single coffee cuppings to write reviews. That involves a lot of “gear-changing” and it can be hard. I admit, the Brazil table was dismal. Everything tasted like dusty herbs, with a few weeds thrown in. I will try again tomorrow with those, maybe it was just the context, or maybe they were truly all bad. As a cupper, I think one of the best skills you can develop is skepticism, and suspended judgment. Sure, first impressions count. But they can be awfully wrong too. That’s part of the challenge, and enjoyment as well.

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