3. Educate Your Palate

Enough with the analysis. It’s time to let your palate take over—in other words, it’s time to cup. Cupping is coffee’s version of wine tasting, where you sip different coffees side-by-side, each of them prepared the same way, to make it easier to identify their distinct characteristics. The ritual can seem like overkill, but the extravagance can also be a lot of fun. The goal is to develop a familiarity with—and a vocabulary for—the flavors and feel of various coffees, and most importantly, to decide what you like best. You can cup Stumptown’s coffees, gratis, at the Annex (3352 SE Belmont) every day at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. But if perfecting your slurp in front of strangers doesn’t appeal, you can do it at home with our simplified version of the process.