SCA Scoring System

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has developed a rating system for green coffee. The rating system at first helps to distinguish between normal and specialty green coffee. Specialty Coffee starts with a score of > 80 and the rating system reaches up to 100 points. Under 80 points, it is considered a standard coffee.

  • 80 – 84.99 points stand for very good green coffee
  • 85 – 89.99 points for an excellent green coffee and
  • 90 – 100 points for an exceptional green coffee

Most green coffee specialties rank in the 80 – 84.99 points range, in addition, sourcing get more difficult when 85 scoring pionts are exceeded.

How is the SCA assessment created

In the first step you look at the bean as such. A green coffee sample with 350 gr. is taken and examined for defects. These defects are both in terms of taste and broken beans, for example.

After the beans are roasted, the beans are ground, slightly coarser than for a filter coffee and placed in a cupping cup. The mixing ratio corresponds to 8.25 g of ground coffee in 150 ml of water. It is very important that the times during the cupping are kept to the point. The ground coffee must not be older than 15 minutes. Otherwise it will lose too much aroma. As soon as the ground coffee is in the cup, a lid should be placed on top of it. Then pour water at 93 ° C and let it steep for 3-5 minutes. Thereafter the crust of the coffee is broken up and the ground coffee is removed with two spoons.

Now it’s getting really exciting. The sensory evaluation starts. First, the smell of the coffee is checked and evaluated, then, when the coffee is a bit colder, it is all about the taste, aftertaste, intensity and balance. Finally, the sweetness, uniformity and cleanliness, which means how clearly the flavors can be recognized.All ratings are entered in a rating sheet and finally, the calculations are made. If you want to read it on the SCA page, just look here: https://sca.coffee/research/protocols-best-practices

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Who evaluates green coffee

The assessments are carried out by SCA certified Q-Graders.

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