Behind the Scenes | Coffee Cupping

Behind the Scenes | Coffee Cupping

Ever wonder why people are so shocked to learn our coffee is decaf?! We believe that you shouldn’t have to give up delicious coffee just to reduce your caffeine. So we’ve traveled around the world and tasted hundreds of coffees to bring you the best craft decaf and half cafs. 

To select which green coffees to buy, we “cup” the coffee to develop a deep understanding of it. Cupping is a formal way of tasting the coffee, complete with all kinds of Specialty Coffee Association protocols and best practices.

Coffee cupping

Coffee cupping involves learning about the coffee through different senses. Before even tasting the coffee, you smell the coffee grounds to see what flavor notes pop first.

Then you taste the coffee by slurping it off a spoon. You want to taste at different temperatures to evaluate the evolution of the taste profile as it cools. It’s terrible to find a coffee that tastes great hot, but soon after is bitter.


Everyone’s palate is different. What you smell and taste may not be the same as what I smell and taste. It’s partly influenced by the variety of foods and drinks you’ve had in the past. There are Certified Q Graders, essentially “Coffee Sommeliers” who complete rigorous training and calibrate their coffee palates. At Savorista, we encourage you to explore coffee and enjoy identifying the flavor notes that jump out for you.

You are actually supposed to spit out coffee after each sip, but I’ve never been able to do that. Why? Because I love coffee. And, as Daniel will point out, I’m not quite coordinated enough to juggle a spoon, notebook and pen, and spit cup, while moving around the coffee table to taste coffee. 

Sometimes we cup caffeinated coffees for our half caf blends. Given I don’t drink much caffeine these days, I typically end up over caffeinated and jittery on those days. 

We cupped hundreds of coffees in our travels. Now that we are social distancing and staying home, we are cupping stateside for now.



This summer, we even held our own virtual cupping experience with our team! We tasted Savorista coffees to see which flavor notes each of us could point out. It was a great team experience and we will take any excuse to drink more delicious Savorista coffee!

Want more info on how to do a cupping at your home? Would you like to join us for a virtual cupping in the future? Let us know!

For now, taste a couple different coffees side by side and let us know what flavor notes you taste.