For the third step, you take a spoon and take a slurpy sip from each cup before spitting it out in a separate cup, rinsing your spoon in hot water in between each cup as you go around the table. Yes, it was a bit germ-y, but you’re not actually drinking the coffee, and this isn’t always the process. At Nestle, for instance, they have their own individual spoons.
As with steps one and two, you fill out the next column with the flavors you taste from each pot. By this point I was sort of getting the hang of it, and also sneaking a peek at what the well-seasoned coffee tasters were writing down just to make sure I wasn’t completely off. Just checking my work, not cheating! We finished up after the three steps, but at other cuppings there is often a fourth step that assesses the body, which is how the coffee feels in your mouth.