Café Outfitter: Cupping Tools


Editorial Policy

Published on

Last updated on

[C]offee cuppings aren’t just for roasters. The rigorous standards established for a cupping protocol help ensure objective scoring when assessing coffee quality. While you don’t necessarily need to score coffees in your café, regularly cupping coffee from your own shop and from other roasters develops your palate, enhances your ability to discuss various aspects of coffee, and provides a regular education opportunity for you and your staff. The SCAA has standards for how a cupping should be conducted, but there are some choices when it comes to equipment. To help get you started, here are some useful cupping tools.


SCAA cupping protocol specifies an optimum ratio of coffee to water (8.25 grams per 150 milliliters water). The Acaia Pearl scale reads to the tenth of a gram and even accounts for weight changes caused by evaporation. A bright display and ultra-fast response time provide instant readings while an iPhone- and Android-compatible app optimizes functionality.


While there are many methods to heat water, few provide finite control, like the Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle from Bonavita. SCAA protocol specifies water heated to 200ºF; this electric kettle adjusts in one-degree increments, offers real-time temperature display, and holds temperature up to sixty minutes.


When it comes to cupping vessels, the choice of glass or porcelain is a matter of preference. The SCAA mandates that vessels be between 7 and 9 fluid ounces, with a top diameter between 3 and 3.5 inches. Visions Espresso offers these 7-ounce cupping glasses (top) in their arsenal of cupping equipment. For a break from taping numbers on the bottom of your glasses, try these color-coded, ceramic bowls from Acme (bottom).


The cupping spoon is perhaps the most coveted of all coffee cupping equipment. Many cuppers boast personalized utensils, but fancy spoons aren’t necessary. Espresso Supply offers a set of a dozen heavy-weight cupping spoons to help start your collection. Those ready to step up their slurp game can opt for a stainless-steel model, like this Revolution cupping spoon (pictured) from Visions Espresso.


The blue oval tray is the universal sign for “We’re cupping at this table.” Designed to easily transfer beans, the fluted edges distinguish cupping trays from other plastic containers. For green coffee evaluations, looking at the whole bean helps identify defects.

Share This Article

Ellie Bradley

Join 7,000+ coffee pros and get top stories, deals, and other industry goodies in your inbox each week.

Other Articles You May Like

How To Develop A Café Menu

Building your menu with with your customers and staff in mind sets the foundation for a successful café.
by Ellie Bradley | January 26, 2023

Heavy Rotation: On Picking Music For The Café

For many café owners, music tracks are that continuous backbeat under a busy coffee business, a statement of the space, and an exclamation of the people working there. More than just a mood setter,…
by Peter Agostinelli | January 10, 2023

Is It Time to Raise Your Prices?

Coffee shops face a challenge: should they absorb the rising cost of goods or pass along costs to the customer? Here’s how business owners decide when to increase menu prices.
by Haley Greene | January 4, 2023

Is Your Café Kid Friendly?

Menus, play areas, booster chairs, and a welcoming attitude show your kid-friendly colors.
by Ellie Bradley and Chris Lucia | January 3, 2023