Coffee Quality Control

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Keeping Score

CQC 4.06 Recap and Glossary


  • We divide the sensory elements of coffee into three categories: olfactory, gustatory and tactile. 
  • Each of these categories each have three subsections relevant to coffee cupping.
  • The olfactory elements are aroma, flavour, and aftertaste. 
  • The gustatory elements are acidity, sweetness, and bitterness. 
  • The tactile elements are weight, texture, and afterfeel. 
  • When scoring coffee, a balance score describes the aggregate of all the scoring elements — i.e., how they interact.
  • We do consider salt and umami properties important to coffee appreciation. 
  • Cuppers can be objective when it comes to identifying positive and negative qualities in coffee if they have experience working with a library of sensory references.