April 21, 2017

Coffee Cupping VIDEO: Why Don’t I Get a Crust?


Coffee cupping is a vital skill for green bean buyers, roasters, and café owners alike. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t go as planned. So today, we’re going to look at why your cups might not always have crusts.

(Looking for a guide to cupping coffee? Go here.)

Coffee cupping table

Coffee crusts ready to be broken. Credit: Dennis Tang via Flickr, CC BY 2.0 

Why Does a Crust Even Matter?

Cupping is how we evaluate a coffee’s quality and roast profile, and breaking the crust is a key moment in that. You should have already made notes on the fragrance of the dry grounds, and on the aroma of the unbroken crust. However, breaking the crust will lead to the strongest aroma yet (albeit a short-lived one).

And no crust means no breaking the crust.

Why Aren’t I Getting a Crust?

First of all, there has been little research done into this topic – and many of the widely held beliefs are just guesswork. However, make sure that:

  • Your coffee is fresh
  • You’re following SCA cupping guidelines
  • You don’t overly agitate the grounds while pouring

Already doing all this? Then it might be your coffee. Many people have noticed that lighter roasts tend to have weaker crusts. Check out this short video from Coffee Courses for some scientific explanations of why that might be.

SEE ALSO: Cupping Coffee: A VIDEO Guide to Being a Q-Grader

Please note: Perfect Daily Grind does not own the rights to these videos and cannot be held accountable for their content.

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