Geplaatst op Geef een reactie

Using the right cup – it matters

When talking about coffee and drinking the best possible coffee discussion often end up on the coffee itself: how is the acidity, the bitterness or the sweetness? Is it a fruity coffee or a chocolatey coffee… And then of course there is the issue of the brewing method: espresso, drip coffee or something else…. Which we can extend to the water temperature, the grind etc. These are all factors that determine the taste of your cup of coffee. But have you ever considered that it also matters from what cup you drink your coffee?

It may sound strange, but the cup matters. Part of the coffee drinking experience is the mouthfeel of the coffee, and the mouthfeel starts at the moment your lips touch the mug or cup you’re drinking from: is it a cup with a thin or a thick wall, is it hard or soft material, metal or ceramic? It all makes a difference.

Many years ago in a trip to Mexico we visited a coffee distributor that represented several local coffee farmers to see if we could buy some Mexican coffee. But of course in order to make a choice one first has to taste it, and so we had an appointment for a coffee tasting – not immediately a cupping, but just taste the coffees as normal filter coffees. 

We got the coffee served in big EPS-foam cups and we really didn’t like it. At first we didn’t understand why, but then we realized it was the cups: that funny soft, elastic, chewy feeling of the foam with every sip we took was just disturbing. So we asked for some glasses and poured our coffee in a glass. That was considerably better! Though I have to admit: not good enough, because we didn’t buy any. But that was not because of the cup.

And so at some point we tried, just out of curiosity. We found out that a very thin material is not so pleasant, but neither is a very thick wall cup! In both cases one tends to taste more the cup than the coffee and the coffee seems to be bland in taste. When the material is very thin it feels a bit sharp on the lips as if it’s going to cut and that takes the focus off the coffee, whereas a very thick wall actually gives the feeling you’re almost taking a bit out of the cup: you have more cup in your mouth than coffee.

So the wall should be not too thin, not too thick, let’s say a few millimeters. What about the material? Probably metal, ceramic and glass are the most common materials for cups. There is not much difference between ceramic and glass in our experience, but metal is a bit different. Somehow a metal mug makes the coffee feel like it has less body.

And finally there are some practical aspects. For instance: don’t brew your coffee in a stone cold cup but preheat it by pouring some hot water in and let it warm up for half a minute or so. And if you’re in a colder part of the world you may want to consider using a double wall cup … but make sure that doesn’t make the wall thickness very large of course.

And so you see, the cup matters! A high quality, well roasted and well brewed coffee can still be a disappointment when drunk from a thick wall plastic or foam cup. Something to consider!

Geef een antwoord

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd.