SF Bay coffee

Our Coffee Cupping Process

Cupping coffee is a fine art, but not one that is limited to professionals. A sensitive palate is developed through experience and experimentation.

What is Coffee Cupping?

Quality is everything to us which is why we ensure each of our Green Bean Team has an excellent palate and a taste for flavor! 

With each shipment of coffee we receive in our Lincoln, California office. Our team takes a sample of each bag and inspects, roasts and then cups the sample of coffee. If the coffee lives up to our very high standards, we will accept the coffee for use in our warehouse.

During the coffee cupping process, the coffee is ground and then water at over 200 degrees is poured over it. We let the coffee and water sit for three minutes and then sift the grounds off the top. After the grounds are gone, we then slurp the coffee (just like your mom told you not to do with your soup!) to ensure the flavor profile of the beans touches each part of the tongue. 

Our team then writes down the flavors they taste in the cup and send the coffee off to be roasted for you! 

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Ensuring Quality 

Analyzing the Cup

There are some things to observe while you are conducting the process. The elements of a coffee are usually a combination of two categories:


Acidity determines how bright and lively the coffee tastes. This is basically your first impression. It’s not a reference to sourness or bitterness, both of which are bad qualities.


The body of coffee refers to the fullness or richness of a coffee.
It’s the secondary impression, often called the finish. A heavy-bodied coffee will taste full, thick and syrupy, even chewy on the tongue, and the impression will be lasting.

How to Cup Coffee

A Step By Step Guide

You can’t cup coffee if you don’t have brewed coffee. The right temperature to brew coffee for cupping is around 195° to 205°F. Ideally, 200°F is best.

Let it sit for 4 minutes. Why not listen to a song while you wait?

Smell it. What are the first impressions from the smells?

Grab your spoon and break apart the floating grounds. Turn the spoon over while hovering the cup, now smell. Do you notice a difference from your first aroma test?

Scoop out the grounds. Using your spoon, slurp up some coffee. You may even want to chew it a bit and let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds before you swallow.

Describe what you’re tasting. Does the coffee taste sweet, tangy or mild? Do you taste small hints of chocolate, vanilla, smoke, or cinnamon? The possibilities are endless.

Did You Know?

In some countries and as recently as the 18th century, governments have attempted to ban coffee with the reasoning that it stimulated “radical thinking.”