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Coffee Cupping Is A Must For Coffee Buyers

Monday, October 19, 2009
Before you decide which blend to roast and which blend or variety to buy, coffee aficionados undertake an activity which is called “cupping”. It is a laborious process but worth every minute spent on smelling, slurping, and remembering flavor notes, “off” smells and other sensory evaluation techniques.
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At recent press gathering Philippine Coffee Board Trustee Emmanuel “Manny” Torrejon showed media how “cupping” is done. Torrejon has been in coffee for over 20 years now, starting out as a coffee buyer for a big roaster in the South of Manila. He and co-Ilonggo buddy Nicky Matti traveled to many coffee-producing countries like Costa Rica and Brazil to learn moe about coffee production, harvest and processing. They even established what is now called Beneficio Amadeo, a coffee mill centrally-located in Cavite’s premiere coffee town Amadeo, and the mill continues to process the famous Cavite coffee beans made up mostly of Robusta, Excelsa and Barako.
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After establishing the mill, Manny went on to put up a roastery to further see the coffee through its long journey from farm to cup. “I have to taste the coffee before buying a whole harvest,” he says. “If you make a wrong decision, there is nothing you can do to return the bad coffee,” he continues. So he has mastered the art of “cupping” both as a business requirement for his roasting business and also as a curious hobby as he tastes each variety, produce of harvest from different towns and provinces around the country.
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Consumers will be happy to note that there are roasters like Torrejon who painstakingly tastes or “cups” each sample harvest before proceeding with roasting a whole town’s crop. With the Philippine Coffee Board assigning him the area of North Luzon, Manny gets to meet local farmers from Sagada in Mountain province to small towns like Bokod , Kapangan and Kibungan in Benguet.
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Although consumers need not do the “cupping” themselves, coffee aficionados will find it interesting to participate in a cupping session like we did. Slurping sounds permeate the atmosphere as would be “cuppers” try their hand , rather their lips, at sipping and ‘cupping each different coffee variety, batch or sample.




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The Philippine Coffee Board has scheduled many seminars on Coffee in celebration of Coffee Month , some of them on Cupping some on Farming and some even on How to Put up a Coffee Shop” and “barista 101”. Log on to www.coffeeboard.com.ph or text 0915-576-7886 or email philcoffeeboard@gmail.com fro more info. You may also visit COFFEE ORIGINS at the Greenbelt 3 and 5 on October 13-26 for FREE coffee samples.


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