When a new coffee arrives at our warehouse, we perform extensive testing before making it available on our website. Every test result makes its way onto the product pages to provide transparent and accurate information for each coffee.
Firstly, a physical analysis of the green coffee is performed. During this quality check, we confirm screen size, look for visual defects in the green coffee, measure the density and check the moisture content of the coffee. The resulting measurements are then published on each green coffee listing.
After the green coffee is tested, we sample roast each arrival on our Ikawa sample roasting machine. We use the same profile for all samples, ensuring consistency across each batch so that we can confidently cup knowing that the only variable we are changing is the coffee itself.
Our universal roasting profile typically results in a roast color of 100 Agtron by measuring the ground coffee (+/- 5). These roasts are often too light to enjoy brewed in a typical pour over recipe and are intended to show a wide range of inherent character within the coffee seeds (from good to bad).
After roasting, the samples are then tasted during a blind cupping by our staff. Jared Hales, our primary coffee taster, has been a licensed Q Arabica Grader since2015and strictly follows SCA standards, protocols and best practices when cupping. Each coffee is evaluated using the SCA cupping form.
Ten attributes of the coffee are graded from 1 to 10 points by quarter point increments; fragrance/aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, uniformity, clean cup, sweetness, and an overall impression score.
From these ten attributes a final score is derived.
90-100 - Outstanding - Specialty
85-99.99 - Excellent - Specialty
80-84.99 - Very Good - Specialty
< 80.0 - Below Specialty Quality - Not Specialty
Coffees scoring 90 points or more are extremely rare and often win national awards before selling for high prices at auctions. The highest score that we have assigned to a coffee since 2015 was 92.50 points.
Most of the coffees that we work with score between 84.0 and 88.0 points, with a few exceptional outliers. We do not add any “correction” or pad our scores with extra points. Our cupping is strictly calibrated with our exporting and producing partners as well as the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), Coffee Quality Institute(CQI) and other Q Graders.
Get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about cupping and scoring coffees!