Good Day goes 'coffee cupping' at Atlanta roastery

If there’s anything the Good Day Atlanta feature team is really good at, it’s gulping down a cup of coffee.  But what about mastering the process of coffee cupping?  Turns out...that's a very different story.

To be honest, we weren't that sure what "coffee cupping" was, which is why we spent the morning at East Pole Coffee Co., located at Armour Yards in Atlanta.  East Pole Coffee Co. is a wholesale roastery, importing green coffee beans (yes, they're green before they're roasted) from various countries around the world and roasting them in-house, then selling them to coffee shops and business in several states.  In a unique move, the East Pole team puts extremely detailed information about the coffee on each bag -- including the country from which it comes, the specific region where it's grown, and even the head producer responsible for the crop.  In a way, co-founder Jules Tompkins says the goal is to respect coffee in the way that people respect a fine wine:  "We don't do actually any blends of everything is single-origin, it's coming typically from a single farm, at the very least a single region." 

East Pole Coffee Co. also serves up plenty of java daily at its coffee bar -- but how do you decide exactly which kind of coffee really suits your taste?  That’s where coffee cupping comes in.  Cupping is a universal way to judge coffee based on aspects including flavor, acidity, body, and sweetness.  It’s an involved process, but here’s a quick little summary: the East Pole team adds 13 grams of medium-fine coffee into a “cupping bowl,” to which 200-degree water is then added.  After a few minutes, the taster breaks the crust of coffee grounds with a spoon, then checks out the taste and aroma of the coffee.

It’s a little tough to explain coffee cupping, but it’s not hard to try it out for yourself.  East Pole Coffee Co. hosts cuppings for the general public on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.  The sessions are free, but only open to up to 15 people, so sign-ups began a half-hour before class begins.  East Pole Coffee Co. is located at 255 Ottley Drive, Suite 105, in Atlanta.

The Good Day feature team is no stranger to coffee, but we’ve never tried coffee cupping before.  So, we spent the morning at East Pole Coffee Co., getting an exclusive lesson from co-founder Tompkins.  Click the video player above to check it out!