Choosing the right green coffee for your filter offerings can be very tricky due to a number of factors affecting the cup you're tasting. Here are some of the things that we like to look out for on the cupping table when we are sourcing for filter coffees.
Sourcing for high quality green coffee is the first step that every roaster needs to go through before they even begin roasting. The quality of the greens dictate the potential of the final cup of coffee that we can create.
In this video, we talk about what we like to look out for on the cupping table when sourcing greens for filter coffees.
One of the most important factors that affect our decision is the quality of acidity within the cup. A low quality acidity usually translates into a dull, flat or boring cup. Whereas a high quality acidity will always be vibrant and refreshing, clean and crisp.
Admittedly this is very difficult to judge as there are many factors that can affect the acidity of the coffee on a cupping table.
1. Grind Size: As we mentioned in our previous article on how grind size affects your cupping experience, it has a huge impact on the acidity that is displayed within the cup. Therefore it is paramount to understand the cupping parameters being used during the tasting session so that you have a reference point to compare to. If the grind size is coarser or finer, you can adjust your expectations accordingly. This applies to all other cupping parameters such as water temperature, coffee to water ratio, roast age etc.
2. Water Chemistry: Coffee is 98% water. The chemical makeup of your water plays a huge role in the final outcome of how the coffee tastes. The same coffee can taste radically different in two locations purely because of the difference in water chemistry.
There isn't much that can be done about this as it is not practical to carry our own coffee to every cupping session we go to use as a reference against a different water. Nor is it possible to force everyone to use a standardized water. Although not always possible, the ideal situation would be to ask for samples of the coffee so that you can cup it back at your own place with the water that you are used to cupping with.
3. Roast: The roast profile can make or break a coffee's acidity. There are many factors affecting this from the roast degree, time, temperature, airflow and more. 15 variables to be exact. Coupled with the different types of acid present in coffee, from organic to inorganic acids, how these variables are adjusted can completely change the makeup of the acids present. This is directly linked to the final perception of the quality of acidity in the cup.
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What do you like to look out for when sourcing for filter coffees? Let us know! And if you have any coffee questions you'd like us to answer, leave them in the comments section too and we'll make sure to answer them in future posts.