Cupper's grading system is deeply rooted with the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) / Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) technical cupping protocols and specialty coffee certification standards.
The Cupper Grading System assesses a wide variety of objective characteristics related to the coffee offerings (espressos, lattes, pour overs, and cold brews) of each cafe, including:
Clean Cup (transparency and clarity of no defects or over fermentation present in the flavor profile)
After taking all of these factors into account, the coffee drink is assigned a grade on a scale from 1 to 10, with “10” being the highest quality coffee drink and “1” being the lowest quality coffee drink.
The Cupper Grading system also takes into account a host of factors that could impact the coffee experience, such as:
Coffee machine brand name and age
Milk type (whole, 2%, 1%)
Roasted coffee bean shelf life
Barista experience level
Cup Material Type (ceramic, glass, paper, plastic)
- Any green coffee processing defects evident in the final product