NASFT Cupping

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Information about NASFT Cupping

Published on November 21, 2008

Author: cafemakers



2008 Presentation to the National Association for Specialty Food Trade annual conference in New York.

Zingerman’s Specialty Coffee Boot Camp Allen Leibowitz, managing partner Zingerman’s Coffee Company Andrew Hetzel, coffee taster Cafemakers, LLC

Coffee cupping is a helpful tool

Demand exists for better specialty coffee

Specialty food businesses are positioned to take advantage of this demand

Coffee is not achieving its full potential

We can learn from the specialty coffee industry

Coffee should be viewed as a prepared food

The coffee industry is making money Coffee is a global business

Coffee is the #2 commodity in the world behind…

The specialty coffee industry is worth over $12 billion annually

Starbucks introduced espresso to mainstream America

Consumers tastes are changing

We're undergoing a revolution of specialization

Lighter roasts are in demand

Coffee is the new wine

Origins are being recognized for unique flavor

Don't meet expectations, redefine expectations

How do we know what's good?

How we taste

Sweetness is caused by caramelized sugars

Bitterness is both desirable and undesirable

Sourness is caused by naturally occurring acids

Saltiness is caused by soluble mineral oxides

Try this at home…

75% of what we perceive as taste is actually smell

80% of coffee's 1500+ chemicals are volatile aromas

Acidity adds life to coffee

Fat lipids create mouth-feel

Aftertaste remains on the palate

"Cup" is also a verb

Arrange your supplies

Gather your colleagues

Grind each cup

Smell the fragrance

Pour the water

Sample the aroma

Break the crust

Slurp away!

Record your experience

Cool and repeat


A pair of flavors are better than one

Putting it to work

What you get out of it depends on…

Water is 98.5% of your coffee

Dairy is a seasonal ingredient

Don't buy coffee where you buy janitorial supplies

Good ingredients taste bad when improperly prepared

It's hard to assemble a blank puzzle

Automation is a tool, not a crutch

Think individual, think immediate

Bigger is not better, better is

Do you serve a bottomless glass of wine?

Treat your coffee like you treat food

You can serve coffee as good as the best coffee shops

Allen Leibowitz Andrew Hetzel Your proof is in the cup

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