On my visit to Antigua, I went on a coffee cupping tour at Finca Filadelfia, a family run coffee plantation and roastery. It was a lot of fun! I’ve done a fair amount of cupping with Aaron De Lazzer back at the Ethical Bean lab so I wanted to compare my experience cupping at Ethical Bean Coffee to a cupping here in Guatemala.
The cupping master told us about the entire process and proceeded to show us how they roast 120g of coffee to a medium roast, which they call their House Roast.
Then, the cupping procedure began:
Step 1 – Measure out 10g of ground coffee into two cups.
Step 2 – Smell the coffee by holding the cup in the palm of your hand and giving it a slight shake.
Step 3 – Pour hot water to the top of the cup.
Step 4 – With silver cupping spoons, slowly break the crust that has been formed making sure your nose is right above the cup to smell the aroma as it is released.
Step 5 – Scoop off the top layer of grounds with the cupping spoon.
Step 6 – Now, slurp and spit! The key is to slurp loudly and notice all the different characteristics – fragrance, aroma, acidity and aftertaste.
As we were cupping, out of the blue, my new barista friend Mynor, from Tecpán, came by to learn about coffee from the master. How random was that?! After the cupping, the master and Mynor pulled espresso shots and kept making me try them. Because of my experience working at Ethical Bean they were acting like I was the coffee master or something!
All in all, it was a fabulous experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the cupping tour, not to mention running into my friend Mynor. Despite a few minor differences (including spitting into a giant funnel instead of my usual discrete cup), cupping in Guatemala was pretty similar to my experience in Canada. It is wonderful to know that coffee standards permeate borders and languages.