Ask the Coffee Lab: How much coffee do you drink?

Just wondering: Since it's your job to drink coffee, how many cups of coffee do you drink in a year?

-- First, a story: We just put a large addition on the front of our roasting and packing building in Waterbury, VT. While we have since moved into a larger Coffee Lab with big windows and more space, our old lab had one window, which looked out over the construction site. When it was raining and 30 degrees and guys would be out working on the steel and the concrete, we would be inside cupping coffee all morning.

Talk about gratitude and guilt. We would comment on how grateful we were to be paid to drink coffee for a living, but at the same time, how guilty we were to be warm inside while guys were working hard outside, in the cold, rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain, well, you get the picture. Every now and then, you could get one of the worker's attention and we’d wave sheepishly giving them a mild thumbs up in thanks for building our new addition. If anyone needed a cup of coffee, it was our construction team!

Yes, our job is to drink coffee - and what a blessing! In our Lab, some people cup coffee - the evaluation of coffee before purchase using a spoon, lots of slurping, and copious notes. Some people do finished goods tasting: drinking coffee that we already roasted and packaged that is ready for sale, in order to make sure it is tasting the way it's supposed to taste.

WInston cupping in Costa Rica

In terms of how much coffee people drink, let's use me as an example. Last year I cupped 5,514 samples of coffee, and I wasn’t even the “high-scorer”. Brent cupped over 6,000 samples. Each sample has 6 cups (the size of a small bowl of clam chowder). When you cup, you're only sipping a little from each cup, and usually you spit it back into a cup or container. So that comes to at least 33,084 cups that I tasted.

But that's just with cupping.

Just about every afternoon at around 2 pm for "kaffee klatch", our green coffee planner Kevin brews up a pot of something different for us to enjoy. Since we probably only do it 3 days a week, and I travel a bit for work, and we get nice vacation benefits, let’s say that’s 110 cups per year. I usually drink 2 cups a day on Saturdays and Sundays, so 4 on the weekends, which comes to 208 cups over 52 weekends. So here’s the math: 33,084 + 110 + 208 = 33,402 cups of coffee in one year.

How much do you drink in a year? Tell us.

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