Cuptasters #3

Just two weeks to go. And so much to learn yet. I think it's about getting to know your own palate as much as possible. No matter how structured my approach is, when starting from ground level it's difficult to guide the process entirely.

I was told to let the control go. All about acceptance and adjusting. Sensory things are unpredictable. I've got to be aware.

This time I went slow, though still in 5 minutes. I picked a method called duo-trio in sensory science. That is based on picking a reference bowl and then finding which one is the same. If none, I pick another reference.

The method is slow, but highly effective. Because it forces me to think about the first cup I'm trying.

Also, I've found out my palate gets tired very quickly. To prevent this, I have to wait about 5s before trying next bowl. I think it's less of an issue with filtered coffee.

Honestly, I should say I got 33%, so the same as last time. But the thing is, one of our triangulation was made of 3 different coffees. But not only, it was NOT the hardest set on the table, 3 of 4 people picked the same cup as odd one.

Acidity is my strength to I'm using it in the first place. And I have to remember to never get tricked if the acidity is the same intensity, but hits different spot on my tongue. Which apparently screwed me with the that faulty set.

Another thing, I tend to get the first set right most of the time. Palate fatigue? Probably. Don't know how to work on that. Time to ask questions.

Acidity muting
A standard cupping followed by drinking mild acidic solution. And then cup again.

By definition you should get less fruity notes, acidic-less (if that's a word). The coffees on the table were from Tamper Tantrum event in NY.

Before: blueberry, floral, cheesecake
After: cheesecake so much!

Panama natural
Before: nice cup, more enjoyable than washed
After: totally bland

Panama washed
Before: similar, slightly brighter and less fruity than natural
After: acidity was amplified, but not intensity-wise, rather in terms of what was more clear (calibration effect?)

Before: onion shining through
After: more onion :)

Before: silky, but barely Geisha-like. I heard it was the best on the table, so probably not as fresh as supposed to be.
After: more Geisha-like, hint of florals

Before: very developed roast, on the edge of tasting carbon, though some fruitiness to it. Like elderberry or goldenberry without its acidity.
After: No acidity at all, fruitiness lost and simply roasty.

That was an interesting exercise. Like there's a number of things we perceive at a time. If you don't feel acidity, you will find something different. It's palate-stretching. It forces you to perceive new things. Hopefully I will be able to taste them straight away on the next cupping table.

I already had some experience with muting sweetness receptors. Although the exercise was based on tasting sweets, not coffee.

By the way, I'm working on little project around filter coffee. I will publish the research once it's finished.

Also, I have to tell you about Diana, who is doing every single coffee competition this year. She started off placing 7th in 14 in roasting competition with only 5 weeks of roasting experience. Check out her blog:

Photo - goldenberries aka inca berries aka cape goosebierries


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