Analytic Cupping Score Card

Designed by Ian Fretheim

Cafe Imports Director of Sensory Analysis Ian Fretheim spent a long time developing a custom Cupping Score Card for use specifically at Cafe Imports, and tailored to our company’s sourcing needs. After careful evaluation and refinement, based on years of on-again/off-again brainstorming and months of application, Ian arrived upon a form that we deemed the “Analytic Cupping Score Card” (Figure 1). This card is designed to both increase accuracy and align our results with our buying practices.

You may notice some big differences between our card and the cards standardized by the Specialty Coffee Association and Alliance for Coffee Excellence—specifically that we do not evaluate fragrance and aroma or “balance,” and there’s no line for “overall impression.” Ian very thoroughly evaluated the categories and characteristics that inspire us to purchase a coffee, and instead, he selected the areas where he wanted his team of cup-testers to focus.

For more information about the Analytic Cupping Score Card, including in-depth explanations of the categories selected (and the ones we left off), please enjoy the following essay, written by Ian himself, where he explores the new design and metaphysical hurdles to its development.