Meet The Coffee Rose

Posted on April 30th, 2024

The newest version of our cupping form is in your hands.

Last year, we announced the Coffee Rose after three years of designing, developing, and testing it extensively in our sensory labs. We created a landing page to explain what it is, published a whitepaper discussing how it works, and let people try it in person at SCA Expo 2023. Since then, we’ve used The Rose to evaluate every single coffee sample brewed on our lab’s tables, fine-tuning its functionalities, and eager to release it to you.

Wait no more. The Cafe Imports Sensory Team recently released a public version of the Coffee Rose.

This release is free to use, optimized for mobile, and easy to learn. It places the Cafe Imports’ coffee language and cupping methodology right in your hands. We hope you take The Coffee Rose and run with it – cup coffees, test its function and features, and then provide us with your invaluable feedback.

Ready to jump in to the Coffee Rose now? We’ve built a step-by-step guide to help you create your Coffee Rose account and get to cupping with our sensory tool.

Register now for our upcoming live, virtual walkthrough of the Coffee Rose, hosted by Ian Fretheim, Director of Sensory Analysis.

Date & Time: Thursday, May 30th, 2024 at 1:00 PM CST

What's A Coffee Rose?

Answer: A digital cupping form that allows you, a coffee taster, to describe your experience using an intuitive flavor wheel while scoring and notes are taken care of. Technically speaking, the Coffee Rose is a dynamic, rich content Check All That Apply (CATA) sensory test.

Sensory Analysts initially designed the CATA framework to be simple for untrained tasters – if you experience a particular flavor, you check the corresponding box. CATA testing was later found to be applicable as a proxy for much more robust (and expensive) descriptive tests when given to trained and experienced tasters. While several creative updates were required to make it work in specialty coffee, CATA aligns with how we teach tasting. It is an ideal chassis for a cupping form that can work for cuppers across all levels of our industry. The combination of low barrier to entry, short learning curve, real-world practicality, and long usability runway makes the Coffee Rose an excellent tool for coffee tasters at each stage of their tasting careers.

Under The Hood

Smooth As UI

Built around the concept of a flavor wheel, the Coffee Rose is designed to make describing a flight of coffees efficient and thorough. The descriptors are categorized by class and arranged from general near the center to specific at the edges of the wheel. The cupper submits a descriptor by assigning an intensity value in a couple of taps. We’ve been hard at work crunching the pixels to make the Coffee Rose available on desktop and mobile as a web app.

The Lexicon

The Lexicon is the library of selectable descriptors contained in the flavor wheel. All lexicons are incomplete, but we derived this one from our many years of cupping tens of thousands of coffees. With over 1400 descriptor combinations, it’s the language we use to describe coffee every day.

In other words, you and our sensory team speak the same language.

The Scoring Engine

Beneath the sleek UI is the Scoring Engine of the Coffee Rose, which adjusts the cup score with each descriptor entry. We built this Engine carefully over many years by tuning each descriptor’s value and connotation. The Scoring Engine supports the cupper by removing the scoring (interpretation) responsibility so we can do what we do best: experience and describe coffees. The result is day-to-day and cup-to-cup scoring consistency. Each entry is tracked so you can look back and see the effects of your chosen descriptors.

New Coffee Rose Features

  • Now a Desktop, tablet, and mobile-friendly web app.
  • Add multiple coffees to build a flight.
  • Collaborative cupping with other users and guests.
  • Note fields for each coffee, including Sentiment and Use.
  • Easily share your cupping results with anyone!

Want to pop the hood and dig into these mechanics more? We recommend downloading the White Paper available at the bottom of this blog:

How Do I Coffee Rose?

Click the button below to make a Coffee Rose account on the Cafe Imports Customer Portal. Once created, you can log in and launch the Coffee Rose web application.

Create an Account

You’ve got access! Next:

  1. Click “Coffee Rose” from your dashboard or the main menu on the left-hand side.
  2. Add coffee to create a Flight.
  3. Invite anyone else you want to join you.
  4. Cup and describe!

There is a lot you can do with the Coffee Rose. We’ve built a step-by-step guide to walk you through all its capable of:

We want, no, need your feedback!

The Coffee Rose’s flavor wheel, Lexicon, and scoring engine create an experiential cupping protocol, meaning we purposely designed it to communicate coffee experience. We hope you find the protocol accurate, easy, and valuable, but we are always looking for ways to improve it to make cupping even more accessible.

We want to hear from you – send any suggestions, questions, and thoughts our way!