What determines good coffee from bad? This question is far more complex than it appears on the surface, and despite the seeming simplicity it is a question we are constantly seeking to answer. We have a team of professionals in our sensory analysis department whose job it is to evaluate, assign value to, and assist with the purchasing of every bean of green coffee that passes through our international warehouses and offerings sheets.

Cupping is our main tool for discerning and describing the quality and value of the coffees we source, and our cupping lab sees as many as 50 coffees a day brewed and analyzed during the high seasons. The professionals in our sensory analysis department are also constantly roasting, sorting, inspecting, and tracking additional data such as moisture content and water activity, and they are the gatekeepers of quality at Cafe Imports.

We would like to share with you some in-depth information about how we conduct sensory analysis here, what our cupping scores and notes mean, and answer our customers’ questions about what makes good coffee good and bad coffee—well, let’s not talk about bad coffee, because we simply don’t have any of that here.