Decoding Cup Scores on Coffee Packaging

Decoding Cup Scores on Coffee Packaging

Cup scores, introduced by the Specialty Coffee Association in the 1980s, are used to evaluate coffee's sensory characteristics, with a score of 80 or above signifying specialty coffee. These scores are primarily used within the industry for quality assessment and comparison. Although a small number of premium roasters have started including cup scores on their packaging, it's unclear if consumers understand or value this information. Industry experts suggest that while cup scores indicate quality, they may not align with personal taste preferences and are often not the main deciding factor for consumers purchasing coffee. Other factors such as origin, roast profile, flavor notes, and sustainability are generally more influential. The article explores whether cup scores will become more relevant to consumers as they become more educated about specialty coffee, but concludes that clearer communication of flavor profiles and other consumer-friendly information is more beneficial.

Read the full article here.

You can also read Lux Cafe Club's article on cupping scores.