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Coffee Cupping Room Conditions

The condition of the cupping room is very important to the results achieved during coffee cupping.  The room should have natural light since dim light is said to depress the sense of smell.  Ideally the room would be between 20-25C and have a humidity of 50-70% since excessive dryness depresses the sense of smell.  The cupping environment should be quiet and no discussion should occur during the coffee tasting process.  The best time to cup is between late morning or late afternoon, when enough time has elapsed since the previous meal and before you are too hungry.  Any mental distractions including sickness, lack of sleep, or stress can affect the cupping results.

At least six cups should be prepared for each sample.  They should be arranged like a triangle with three rows containing 3 cups, 2 cups, and 1 cup, respectively.  A sample of the roasted and green coffee should be provided at the top of this triangle, but could be covered during initial cupping.  Several cups of hot water should be distributed around the table for washing the spoon.  A couple cups filled with 1/3 room temperature water and 2/3 boiling water should be available for the cupper to wash out his or her mouth between each coffee taste test.


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