At least 2-3 spoons are needed to perform all functions required for cupping. If you are cupping for the first time and do not have any cupping spoons at all, please use this guide:
For those on a budget: Purchase two Big Dippers. Use them to break, skim, and slurp, which are all the functions required for cupping.
For those with a few extra dollars: Purchase two Big Dippers and one Little Dipper. Break with either spoon, them skim with Big Dippers and slurp with Little Dipper. With this setup, you’ll use both spoons for the things they’re best at. This allows you to focus more on the coffee.
Want more detail? You bet. Most cuppers have multiple styles of cupping spoons. This is because we need at least 2 styles to most easily and efficiently perform all cupping functions.
- Breaking. During the cupping process, an aromatic crust of coffee grounds forms on the surface of the cupping bowl. After four minutes, you can break the crust with any style of cupping spoon.
- Skimming.After you break the crust, you need to use two Big Dippers to skim the remaining bits of foam and coffee particles from the surface of the bowl. Little Dippers aren’t great for this. A single spoon won’t do the trick either. It takes two Big Dippers.
- Slurping. This is when you dip a cupping spoon into the coffee, then slurp directly from the spoon. You can use either style for slurping, and I personally prefer Little Dippers. The deeper bowl means less spillage and many find it’s easier to slurp from. However, some noted coffee professionals prefer the Big Dipper. It’s really a matter of personal preference.