The Water Course

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TWC 5.04 – Magnesium Cupping

5.04 Magnesium Cupping



In this video, you can see Matt and Jem cupping the same coffee brewed with differing amounts of magnesium. They don’t know which cup is which, but we can tell you: The cup on the left of the screen has 40 mg per litre of magnesium added to it, the middle cup has 20 mg per litre, and the cup on the right is our ordinary brew water from Melbourne, without any remineralisation. With their smartphones, they are using an online scoresheet, which we are inviting you to contribute to as well.


To get more insight into the value of adding magnesium into our brew water we have designed an experiment which you can easily set up at home or at work to contribute to this research. In this simple experiment, one cupping bowl is a control and should be prepared without any remineralisation. The next bowl has 20mg/L of Mg2+ added to it, and a third bowl has 40 mg/L of Mg2+ added to it. We have designed a cupping form using principles taken from sensory science. The same type of form is used in the creation of the Sensory Lexicon for coffee.



The 0-15 Point Intensity Scale used by sensory scientists in creating the Sensory Lexicon for coffee


In the chart below, you can see the scores Matt and Jem each gave to the three samples (as seen in the video above). They were both clearly in favour of the coffee prepared with 40 milligrams of Mg2+. They also preferred the water with 20mg of Mg2+ added, compared with the control.


Matt and Jem’s scores for The Magnesium Cupping




How to Set Up the Magnesium Cupping Experiment

The experiment requires you to have mixed up a magnesium concentrate as per the instruction in lesson 4.05.