Ask the Coffee Lab: What is the Strangest Thing You’ve Cupped?

By Winston

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever cupped?

On a few occasions, we’ve cupped “kopi luwak”. It’s coffee that has gone through the digestive tract of a small civet cat in Indonesia. The cat eats ripe coffee cherries, either in the wild or in captivity, digests the cherry and then passes the coffee beans, which are collected, dried and sold at very high prices. It’s a little over rated and not as gross as it sounds.

 Sometimes coffee we cup before purchasing will have a defect in it, which we don’t want you to get in your morning joe. (That’s why we do the hard work so you don’t have to). On rare occasion we’ll get a defect that will make your nose curl. The most redolent defects are often ferments, a common problem where coffee somewhere at origin spends too much time either with the cherry and mucilage or too much time with water while processing. On the low end, it can be a nice blueberry pie smell. A little stronger, and it will smell like apples half rotted on the ground with yellow jackets buzzing around. A really strong ferment will smell exactly like “stinky, poopy diaper”. It goes without saying, but we don’t buy that coffee.

There’s another defect that has a taste of wet band-aid, in a swimming pool. It can be stomach turning, but luckily that doesn’t happen too often. So, enjoy your next cup and leave the hard work to us.

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