Coffee cupping bowls are used to serve and sip coffee during a coffee tasting event. Although these small bowls resemble porcelain bouillon bowls, they are somewhat different in application. The cupping bowl is actually incredibly important to the experience as a whole. This is because the bowl is the direct point of contact between the taster and the coffee. Ceramic is obviously the best material for the job. The ceramic material of the cupping bowl allows the coffee to cool down slowly and insulates it so that the drinker does not burn his or her hands.
It’s simple to use a cupping bowl to taste coffee. First you must add a spoonful of fresh ground coffee to the empty bowl; the Specialty Coffee Association of America recommends you use 8.25 grams of coffee grounds. Have a water boiler or electric kettle handy, you will need water to be about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, add 5 ounces of water to the bowl and grounds. Don’t stir in the coffee grounds, the crust that is formed by the steeping coffee should also be evaluated because it is particularly fragrant. Once the coffee has been allowed to steep for a period of 3-5 minutes depending on the type of coffee you are using, use a spoon to break the crust and stir the coffee gently to balance the cup. The sensory evaluation may then begin.