Coffee cupping is a method used to evaluate and score the aroma, flavour, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, and overall quality of coffee beans. Professional tasters, known as cuppers, use a standardised process to ensure consistency in scoring.
Typically, coffee cupping scores are presented on a scale of 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better quality. Here's a brief summary of what each range might represent:
- 90-100: Exceptional. These coffees are considered to be of the highest quality with outstanding characteristics in flavour, aroma, and overall balance.
- 85-89: Excellent. Coffees in this range are of superior quality with distinctive flavours and attributes.
- 80-84: Very good. These coffees offer a good balance of flavours and are enjoyable to drink.
- 75-79: Good. Coffees in this range are above average and offer a decent drinking experience.
- Below 75: Fair to Poor. Coffees in this range may have noticeable defects or lack complexity in flavour.
It's important to note that coffee cupping scores are subjective and can vary depending on the individual cupper and the specific criteria being evaluated.
Additionally, the scoring system is just one aspect of coffee evaluation, and personal preferences also play a significant role in determining which coffees are considered the best.