Tips, Tricks & Tales from the SESA Beverage Lab
Cupping - an Introduction
Did you know there's such a thing as cupping tea?
Cupping is designed to test the quality of a given pure tea leaf immediately after it's harvested. The most important thing about cupping is consistency. Since the ingredient tested varies, one must control the environment and testing process as much as possible to ensure a consistent and honest result.
The process of cupping is repetitive. A drinker must train her mind and senses to unearth the subtleties of the pure tea leaf much more than during a regular tasting. Cupping also pushes the limits of the tea, testing how they hold up under different circumstances to truly understand the tea.
In assessment, we consider quality and characteristics of the tea for a more comprehensive analysis of the natural compounds in a given leaf. We test for color, flavor, aroma, and the chemistry of the steep, in addition to evaluating the tea at each stage of the steep.