The Coffee Cupper's Spittoon: Proper Use, Care, Maintenance.

I realized there is a lack of information on the web, and on our site, about the proper use, cleaning, and upkeep of the cupping spittoon. I hope this helps...


The spittoon is an essential part of the cupping room, but is surrounded in a veil of silence.

The focus here is on coffee ground/ waste water removal.

Later I plan to focus more on the cupping end of things, and get some other opinions from people in the trade (see the Guest Spittoon section at the bottom).

If anyone would like to contribute photos or insights please email them and I will try to keep the page up to date. -Tom

For the "standing coffee liquoring technique" it is possible to flex at the lower back and lean, so the expectorated coffee forms an arc as it falls safely into the spittoon.


Use of a screen is important, but you would be surprised how many spittoons are screenless. The screen prevents splashback and catches grinds. To maintain, remove manually every week.

Invert over a trashcan, or put into a compost bin. If you are a vermiculturist, you will know that grounds have an excellent texture and are welcomed in your worm bed.

Shown above, the wrong lifting technique! Flex at the knees, and lift the spittoon from the bottom, not the top! Once you have removed the sieve, it is time to remove the liquids. If you have frequent troubles with overfilling, or a bad back, you can use a wheeled dolly under your spittoon.

The correct technique. Hold the spittoon close to the body (even if you find this slightly repulsive). It is better to save your back, than to hurt it while trying to keep a hefty, full spittoon away from your body.

Dolphins live downstream? Maybe you should not dump your spittoon into the sewer, but most fish and even dolphins will enjoy the benefits of coffee, just as humans do. Is it littering to throw an apple core in a bush, if nobody can see it? I don't think so.

Afterwards, it is important to prevent unsightly buildup by wiping the spittoon with a paper towel or soft cloth.

The World of Coffee Cupping Spittoons !


Guest Spittoon #1: note the 2 part design in this handsome stainless steel model. It is fairly utilitarian in its lack of attractive curves or other accoutrement.

Guest Spittoon #2: The Classic, the grand daddy of all spittoons. An authentic Jabez Burns spittoon with helpful handles to prevent back injury. Unfortunately, the use of duct tape is in poor taste and ruins the aesthetic delight of this oldster.

You also might be interested in the new Barista G-love