Fair Trade Coffee Trip to El SalvadorDuring the 'cupping' process, newly harvested beans from different member cooperatives of APECAFE are tested to determine their quality. A professional cupper roasts and grinds the beans at consistent levels, then brews the coffee without a filter so a foam thick with grounds rises to the top. That layer, the crema, is then stirred into the coffee and the aroma is considered before the cupper takes a spoonful – individually, from two cups per sampling of beans – and quickly sucks the hot coffee into his mouth with a distinct slurp to aerate the coffee to best distinguish unique flavor qualities. He then spits out the coffee, cleans his spoon, and tests the next cup. Bean quality is determined also by factors such as size and color.