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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Questions about...  
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DavidLal
Senior Member
DavidLal
Joined: 31 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 5:43am
Subject: Questions about tasting, cupping
 

Hi all,

I am a restaurant manager thinking about opening a café in the next year. I've been a coffee maniac for a long time, roasting at home and travelling to countries like Guatemala and Colombia to have some awesome coffees, and I am looking to turn this home passion into a career.

I mostly drink cappuccinos and macchiato, never straight up espressos because I find this to bitter. On rare occasions I'll take an espresso only, but this happens only rarely, when the shot is magnificently extracted. I know that in order to be a good barista, you need to have some cupping sessions in order to judge the quality of the coffee you are about to sell. Here's my question :

Can I develop my palate ''objectively'' with time, by that meaning can I learn to make the difference between good coffee and bad coffee in a cupping session even if I don't enjoy straight up espressos?

I really want to work hard on my project and make it succeed, and my passion for coffee has never been greater then it is right now, but I'd like some insights on this before going any further with my plan.

Thx a lot

David
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,479
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 6:07am
Subject: Re: Questions about tasting, cupping
 

Can you develop your pallet for wine if you don't like Scotch?

Cuppping is not espresso, it is evaluating the coffee on it's own, in a direct steep brewing method, not through an espresso machine.

Apples and oranges.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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DavidLal
Senior Member
DavidLal
Joined: 31 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 6:44am
Subject: Re: Questions about tasting, cupping
 

I know that cupping is not an espresso shot. Sorry if that was not clear. I am taliking about tasting and cupping in general.

What I wanted to say is that I am used to drinking espresso with milk. I want some advice on how to obtain a better ''sense'' of coffee, and how to better identify good, bad and great coffee. Should I start drinking espresso with less and less milk? Take cupping lessons?

Thx again.
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brianl
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Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 409
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 7:16am
Subject: Re: Questions about tasting, cupping
 

why don't you just start cupping? espressogeek has a series of guides on it somewhere and i'm sure a google search will find it.

In fact, if you're in a big city, most likely the local roasters will have free cupping for the public and you should contact them about it.
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CoffeeLoversMag
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CoffeeLoversMag
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 218
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 1, 2013, 9:42pm
Subject: Re: Questions about tasting, cupping
 

Don’t rely on your taste judgment. If you want to succeed in your business, let the customer decide which taste better. You can have cupping session and invite customer to taste the difference. Make them taste at least five coffees of distinction and see the difference. You can cost them per customer and can take home from the selection on the tasting table. This is the way that your business can gain support from your customers.

 
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine.
www.coffeeloversmag.com/theMagazine
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,479
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Aug 2, 2013, 9:12am
Subject: Re: Questions about tasting, cupping
 

UH, yes you can, on your own develop your own taste pallet. It helps to understand what you are doing before you drag others into the mix.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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psavoie
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 27
Location: laval, québec
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ascaso Steel Uno Pro PID
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Aug 2, 2013, 10:40am
Subject: Re: Questions about tasting, cupping
 

Pourquoi Pas Espresso Bar on Amherst does tasting every other weekend, you should check them out, they serve Pilot from Toronto.
https://www.facebook.com/PQuoiPas

If I wanted to develop my taste pallet, I would go around town and taste, taste and taste. It is the only way to learn the difference between good and bad coffee, difference between roasters, single origins, country.....If Starb... or Tim Horton or Al Van Houtte taste good for you than you are in the wrong forum, if Myriad, Pikolo, Pourquoi Pas, Humble Lion, Cafe St-Henri just to name a few, those guys serve 49 Parallel, Phil and Sebastian, Heart, Intelligentsia Coffee...than you are in the wright place.
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,326
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Aug 3, 2013, 7:13pm
Subject: Re: Questions about tasting, cupping
 

If you want to open a successful coffee business, your best bet is to:

  1. Find the best coffee shop in your area, that's popular and makes good money (perhaps a 10-20 mile radius)
  2. Become a regular at this coffee shop
  3. Observe and make notes about everything they do, how they do it, plus anything you could improve (this is all essentially free information)
  4. Ask the owner or manager questions on anything your unsure on...if they don't know your opening a shop, they will probably be pleased to tell you all about their business, including where they get their coffee.

Then if you still decide to open a shop, use the good as a template, and the bad as a warning and improvement strategy. You are running a BUSINESS, not a HOBBY. It's not about what you think, but about what your customers really want. When your business is making money...then you can do more of what you want, run it more as a hobby, but by this time, you will have something quite valuable...experience.
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DavidLal
Senior Member
DavidLal
Joined: 31 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 9:21am
Subject: Re: Questions about tasting, cupping
 

psavoie Said:

Pourquoi Pas Espresso Bar on Amherst does tasting every other weekend, you should check them out, they serve Pilot from Toronto.
https://www.facebook.com/PQuoiPas

If I wanted to develop my taste pallet, I would go around town and taste, taste and taste. It is the only way to learn the difference between good and bad coffee, difference between roasters, single origins, country.....If Starb... or Tim Horton or Al Van Houtte taste good for you than you are in the wrong forum, if Myriad, Pikolo, Pourquoi Pas, Humble Lion, Cafe St-Henri just to name a few, those guys serve 49 Parallel, Phil and Sebastian, Heart, Intelligentsia Coffee...than you are in the wright place.

Posted August 2, 2013 link

Thx a lot! I discovered Pourquoi Pas recently and they now have cupping session every saturday at 11:30. I'll definitely go soon. I've been tasting coffee like crazy the last week and discovered a lot of nice places in Montreal. Maybe see you soon @PquoiPas

I don't like coffee from the chains you mentioned. I often drink Pilot coffee at home and plan on ordering from a couple of other companies soon.

Thx a lot for the reply.

DavecUK Said:

If you want to open a successful coffee business, your best bet is to:

Find the best coffee shop in your area, that's popular and makes good money (perhaps a 10-20 mile radius)
Become a regular at this coffee shop
Observe and make notes about everything they do, how they do it, plus anything you could improve (this is all essentially free information)
Ask the owner or manager questions on anything your unsure on...if they don't know your opening a shop, they will probably be pleased to tell you all about their business, including where they get their coffee.

Then if you still decide to open a shop, use the good as a template, and the bad as a warning and improvement strategy. You are running a BUSINESS, not a HOBBY. It's not about what you think, but about what your customers really want. When your business is making money...then you can do more of what you want, run it more as a hobby, but by this time, you will have something quite valuable...experience.

Posted August 3, 2013 link

Thx a lot for that!
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