Modified Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Cupping Protocol

Mar 19, 2020 | Curiosities

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Modified SCA Cupping Protocol

In response to COVID-19, The SCA modified the cupping protocol for use in the Specialty Coffee Expo Cupping Exchange with input from cupping experts and institutions.

The SCA anticipate the evolution of this modified protocol as they continue to collaborate with health and sensory experts.

Procedure

Below we show you the modified cupping protocol.

Provide each cupping participant with a cupping spoon and an individual shot glass upon arrival.
Note: The spoon should not touch your mouth or drinking cup.

Cupping spoon and glass - Cupping protocol

Cupping spoon and shot glass. | Source: Specialty Coffee Association.

Place sample cups on cupping tables; a lead should clear the crust with a clean spoon.

Approach the cupping bowl with your spoon and spoon a sample from the bowl into your shot glass.

Transfer of sample into shot glass - Cupping protocol

Transfer of sample into shot glass. | Source: Specialty Coffee Association.

Taste directly from your shot glass.
The spoon will not be used for tasting, only to transfer the sample to individual cups. Don’t forget, the spoon should not touch your mouth or drinking cup.

Test the coffee sample - Cupping protocol

Test the coffee sample. | Source: Specialty Coffee Association.

Provide hot water and dump buckets in between samples for rinsing coffee out of the shot glasses.
Rinse the glass - Cupping protocol

Rinse the glass. | Source: Specialty Coffee Association.

In between samples, rinse spoons in a rinse cup.
Remember, spoons should only be used for transferring coffee.

Rinsing the cupping spoon - Cupping protocol

Rinsing the cupping spoon. | Source: Specialty Coffee Association.

Backup spoons and cups should be made available for those who might need a replacement during the cupping.

Sanitize cupping table surfaces in between sessions.

Sanitize - Cupping protocol

Sanitize cupping table surfaces. | Source: Specialty Coffee Association.

The practice of spitting and using spittoons is discouraged when using this modified protocol.

Palabras de la Specialty Coffee Association

“This protocol may be difficult to adopt for experienced cuppers, so we recommend having additional staff or volunteers available to monitor the cupping as it progresses. We also recommend cupping fewer samples when using this method and sampling earlier: the “double transfer” element of the protocol cools samples more quickly.

For those who wish to avoid cupping, we recommend having the facility to batch-brew coffees for tasting available. And finally, we strongly discourage the pratice of spitting and using spitoons when employing the modified protocol.“

Source Specialty Coffee Association.

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