Coffee Cupping

When I had first heard of Cupping my immediate thought was someone getting groped. Thankfully I had discovered the true meaning by the time Komal and G gave us our Christmas present last year for a 2-hour cupping class at Ipsento. By then I was nothing but delighted to receive such an awesome gift. And yes, it only took us 8 months to cash it in. 
Coffee Cupping is the method by which coffee is tasted. The word is derived from the process of sipping coffee from small cups to assess among many things, its flavor, aromas, acidity, and the overall quality. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the cupping glasses should be made of tempered glass or ceramic material and between 7 and 9 fluid ounces with a lid and a top diameter of between 3 and 3.5 inches. Once poured the coffee is visually inspected, smelled and sipped much like wine but without the spitting. Another cool aspect about coffee versus wine tasting is that as the coffee cools (relatively quickly) it reveals even more notes and variations from a single batch of brew.

Ipsento is our neighborhood coffee roaster which specializes in small batch fair trade coffee from around the world.  In 2013 they were picked as one of America’s best coffee shops and after drinking their signature Ipsento latte (blend of coconut milk, whole milk, honey, cayenne pepper, and espresso) I couldn’t agree more; it is a life changing experience in the coffee world. Needless to say, it’s really nice to have such a quality place just steps from our home. Their coffee cupping classes fill up so quickly which is one of the reasons it took us this long to cash in our prize.
Ted Olson was our coffee sensei  for the evening and was able to share lots of practical information to help us improve our coffee experience at home no matter what the brewing style. My biggest take away was the proportion of coffee to water (1:17) and the use of a scale in measuring both instead of just guesstimation which is what I do (and therefore have an inconsistent product no matter how good the beans). My only qualm with the class was that the tasting part felt too short.  But then again, walking home wide-eyed at 9:00pm was also not the best way to end the day. 

Thanks Ipsento for inventing my favorite latte and for teaching me more about coffee.  And of course thanks Komal and G for being so thoughtful….few things are more important to new parents than being caffeinated.


2035 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 904-8177

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