Cup, Cupping Away: Toby’s Estate Coffee Cupping Class

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Coffee lovers everywhere are discovering "cupping." a technique for savoring all the nuances of fine coffee.
Sustainably-minded Williamsburg, Brooklyn roasters Toby's Estate offer's cuppings twice a week. Or you can learn to do your own anytime.

Updated Jul 6, 2017 @ 4:09 pm

While we’re more apt to recommend a glass of green juice for your morning boost than caffeine, we still love a good cuppa. Especially from the likes of Toby’s Estate.

Sustainability is the driving force behind the Australian company, whose first American café-roastery is in Brooklyn. Toby’s buys its beans directly from farmers, ensuring traceability and fair trade. It also welcomes the public to $5 cupping classes twice a week: that’s the process of evaluating coffees’ unique tastes (just as with wine).

How to do a cupping at home:

1) Measure several varieties of whole beans into separate cups or glasses (about 12 g coffee per 6.5 oz. water). For a blind tasting, you can place stickers on the bottoms of the cups to keep track of what’s what. Place a small glass of water next to each set of cups.

2) Grind the beans in each cup individually, making sure to brush off your grinder in between coffees. Place a number next to each coffee, to use in your notes.
3) Sniff each cup of dry grounds, taking notes on what you smell.
4) Boil water (the ideal temperature is 202°F), then pour it slowly over each cup until the grounds are saturated, starting with the first beans you ground.
5) After 3-4 minutes, it’s time to break the crust: using the back of a spoon, push away the “crust” that’s formed on top of the brews, inhaling deeply as you do. Take notes on what you smell.
6) Skim the cups to remove the grounds, leaving as much liquid as possible, and get ready to taste.
7) Take a spoonful of coffee at a time and slurp—ungracefully rapidly and loudly—trying to get the liquid to coat your tongue as you inhale. Dip your spoon into the water in between tastes.
8) Try each coffee a few times, and feel free to spit out sips (into an empty cup, that is) as you go.
9) Compare and contrast your observations and your favorites, and then go for the big reveal.

That’s the smell of success.

Toby’s Estate
125 North 6th St. (bet. Bedford & Berry)
347 457-6160

$5 public cupping classes take place every Wednesday and Sunday, from 10-11:30am. Reserve your spot here.