Ask the Coffee Lab: What do you do when you’re sick?

By Winston

Ask the Coffee Lab: Do you cup when you're sick?

What do you do in the coffee lab if you have a cold?

It’s hard to evaluate coffee when you have a cold. In fact, it’s hard to evaluate anything. All that phlegm and messy ick stuff that goes into the tissue gets between your taste buds and the coffee.  If we have a cold, we just don’t cup. In part because we’re not that helpful, but mostly so we don’t share the cold with the other cuppers.

When we’re not at death’s door with a cold and swamped with those tissues, there are some “safe cupping” methods to avoid sharing a cold. One way is to have a separate cup and spoon (sort of like an insulator / isolator), that helps you cup each cup. Another way is to cup with two spoons, one that touches your mouth and the other that takes coffee from each cup. The last one, sort of a lazy man’s way, is to go through all the samples after everyone is done cupping.

None of them are much fun and none of them hold a candle to staying home with hot chocolate watching cartoons on the television.

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