Steve Kraus of Press Coffee Roastery Takes Us Through a Coffee "Cupping"

Categories: Chef and Tell

The biggest misconception about coffee is: That it's all the same.

The best cup of coffee you've ever had: Ethiopian Nekisse . . . Giant Blueberry and Chocolate bomb! Amazing!

Two qualities you look for in good coffee: Roast and preparation

Coffee is like wine because: Coffee has varietals (Caturras, Typicas and Bourbons), it requires moisture and sun, and grows at different elevations.

If you could work with anyone in your industry on a new project, who would you choose and what would you do: Doug Zell of Intelligentsia Coffee, Michael Phillips of Handsome Coffee, and Duane Sorenson of Stumptown Coffee on creating the "ultimate" coffee destination in Phoenix.

You'll never catch me drinking: Starbucks

I wish Phoenix had:.Greater desire for specialty coffee, however the trend is moving in the right direction and that starts with us educating the consumer one cup at a time!

One local restaurant I admire and why: Little Saigon (Glendale) -- traditional Vietnamese, mother and father still cook all the food. Most consistent in the Valley.

If you could invite any five guests to a dinner party, who would you want to be there: Since it's not my last dinner... Charles Smith (winemaker) Bobby Flay, Cat Cora, Justin Timberlake, and my wife.

What do you think will be the next big thing to hit the coffee industry: My opinion is "Toddy coffee." We've had it on tap for quite some time and it's the smoothest most caffeinated natural beverage you can drink!

Check out our past Chef and Tell interviews with:
Jason Raducha and Claudio Urciuoli
- Noble Bread
Sasha Raj - 24 Carrots
Nick LaRosa - Nook
Joey Maggiore - Cuttlefish
Country Velador - Super Chunk Sweets and Treats
James Porter - Petite Maison
Cullen Campbell - Crudo
Mel Mecinas - Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North
Meagan Micozzi - Scarletta Bakes
Tyson Holzheimer and Joe Strelnik - Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Paul McCabe - T. Cook's at the Royal Palms
Eugenia Theodosopoulos - Essence Bakery Cafe
Eddie Hantas - Hummus Xpress
Jay Bogsinke - St. Francis
Dustin Christofolo - Quiessence
Blaise and DJ Aki - The Sushi Room
Sacha Levine - Rancho Pinot and FnB
Andrew Nienke - Cafe Monarch
Kevin Lentz - French Grocery
Aurore de Beauduy - Vogue Bistro
Justin Olsen - Bink's Midtown
Marco, Jinette, and Edmundo Meraz - Republica Empanada
Brian Peterson - Cork
Brian Webb - Hey Joe! Filipino Street Food
Lester Gonzalez - Cowboy Ciao
Renetto-Mario Etsitty - Tertio
German Sega - Roka Akor
Marco Bianco - Pizzeria Bianco
Brad and Kat Moore - Short Leash Hot Dogs and Sit...Stay

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Location Info


Press Coffee Roastery

4243 S. 36th Place, Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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@swag unless of course the purpose of the cupping is to teach a roaster/consumer/customer the characteristics and general knowledge of coffee beans or beans from different countries. It's also used in pallet development, aroma, fragrance and sensory. Much like what a Sommelier does when getting he/she's certification or in this situation maybe a Q grader. 

Your right, cuppings were/are designed for finding defects and thats still common practice when sampling new crop, however if your cupping coffees that have already been stocked, then why wouldn't it an acceptable practice if your enjoying a product thats already been approved. Common practice and acceptable by SCAA standards.  So the question to you would be, how would one go about learning coffee aside from visiting a local coffee shop that doesn't practice coffee education? I for one learned wine from visiting wineries, meeting wine makers and sommeliers not by tasting it at from a vendor as I sought out the best way to be better educated on wine. 


Similar to wine tasting? Hardly. Unlike wine tasting, which is the best way to enjoy and experience the product, coffee cuppings are designed for anything but enjoyment. They were designed by industry workers to taste for defects and reject bad bags of beans before splashing out the cash on them.

If you've been to a wine barrel tasting, even that's more enjoyable - but clearly something that's not designed around enjoying the end product.

Public cuppings are a bit like trying to make a fun social game out of meat inspection. I wish people in the coffee industry would stop treating customers as if the only way to relate to them is to turn them into employees first.


@swag  Actually, for many of the same reasons that cupping is used all over the world for grading defects, a large percentage of the coffee industry argue that it is actually the most enjoyable way to experience a coffee. Its both a great brewing method, in that its difficult to mess up and consistently excellent, as well as inherently being a process that encourages you take some time to enjoy what a given coffee can offer.

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