The Golden Cup Standard provides specific guidelines to define quality standards in coffee brewing. In the simplest form, it establishes tried and tested brewing parameters to produce the perfect cup of coffee. Defined by the Specialty Coffee Association, the standard is backed by extensive research going back over 50 years and are frequently used in the coffee industry.
According to the SCA, to achieve Golden Cup Standard:
Coffee shall exhibit a brew strength, measured in Total Dissolved Solids, of 11.5 to 13.5 grams per liter, corresponding to 1.15 to 1.35 “percent” on the SCA Brewing Control Chart, resulting from a solubles extraction yield of 18 to 22 percent.”
WHY WE USE THE GOLDEN CUP STANDARD?
The Standard is used to guide brewing recipes and techniques to achieve the desired brewing results as determined by both subjective tastes experiences and objective, quantifiable and measurable TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) figures.
Danny Pang, Authorised SCA Trainer for the Specialty Coffee Association and Asia Pacific Technical and Sales manager for Marco Beverage System says: “I find the Gold Cup fundamentals essential and always helps achieve the best possible brew from any coffee and any brewing systems in both commercial and domestic settings.”
High-quality specialty coffee beans are just the beginning. There are several factors to consider when brewing the perfect cup of coffee.
A cup of coffee is 99% water. It is essential to use filtered water to ensure the flavour profile is not impacted. Water should be clean, fresh, odorless, free of chlorine, but also retain the presence of certain minerals and compounds to properly bring out the natural flavors of the coffee.
Coffee freshness is a crucial factor. Stale coffee loses the original flavour profile and tastes stale and flat. Once ground, coffee should be brewed in less than one hour.
The size of the coffee grind corresponds to the length of time it takes for it to be extracted using a particular brewing method. Based on whatever method you prefer to use, it will dictate how fine or coarse the grind you use should be. Read more about Achieving the Perfect Grind here.
Brewing equipment needs to be clean, reliable and precise. Most coffee brewers will now allow users to input ratios to ensure the perfect brew. Our highly-precise JET batch brewer gives complete control to the use whilst the single-cup premium SP9 brewer is designed to brew with Gold Cup Standards in mind.
Precise water temperature control is essential when brewing as fluctuations will impact consistency and taste. With our patented heat-retention technology and re-circulation methods the Marco MIX and Uber Boilers are accurate to within 0.1°C
The length of time that the ground beans and water are in contact will impact how much coffee is extracted into your brew. This will ultimately impact your overall TDS %
There are several Golden Cup Standards brewing charts available however they can often be quite dense. At Marco, we have simplified our version to assist both coffee and foodservice professionals, as well as coffee enthusiasts who want to better understand brewing and improve their coffee taste.
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