August 15, 2021

So you're drinking specialty coffee and wondering what makes it specialty.

Only specialty coffee has a scoring scale using 80 points or above on a 100-point system. This widely accepted scoring system scores coffee from 90–100 as Outstanding, scores 85–89.99 as Excellent, and scores coffee 80–84.99 as Very Good.

The SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) scores coffee on a scale of 1-100 in a process called cupping. When observing cuppers do their magic, it's almost like watching a performance or a scientific study. There are steps involved but essentially, it is a sniff, sip, and score. Each score is based on different principles that define a cup of coffee. Every coffee bean extraction is consumed with its own fragrance and aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, uniformity, balance, cleanliness of cup, and sweetness. It totals into an overall score. Any coffee that scores 80 plus points are given the title specialty coffee. 

Here's what a sample evaluation would include for coffee scoring:

Cupping Evaluation Scale 0-100
Fragrance/Aroma
Flavor
Acidity
Aftertaste
Body 
Balance
Uniformity
Cleanliness
Sweetness
Overall Cup Evaluation
Total

 

Why should you care? Any coffees scoring 80 plus points are guaranteed to be ethically sourced, where humans and community are prioritized and the environment is respected and preserved. The origin and its farm workers are transparent to the consumer.

We're bringing to light the importance of transparency in coffee by working with roasters who are selective about where their beans are sourced, how they're grown, and when they're roasted and sold.  

One way that we're showcasing these limited quantity coffees from our roasters is to ask them, 'hey what are you excited most about right now?' And that's how our Notable collection was born. It's a monthly feature of our partnered roasters and their pride and joy.