Mystic Coffee’s Cupping Score - what is our score?

Mystic Coffee’s Cupping Score - what is our score?

Surely you have heard the expression “this is a good coffee” or “this coffee is very good quality”. But what makes coffee good? Ultimately, it is very subjective as not everybody likes the same things, especially when it comes to what we consume on a daily basis. Our experiences around food and drink are primarily influenced by our culture and customs within our homes.

For that reason, there is a standard evaluation tool for coffee which is the cupping score.  A cupping score is how a coffee becomes certified by a professional coffee judge/taster. This is of course no different than how a fine wine is determined. In fact, a cupping score was initially created by auction coffee buyers to standardize coffee quality for trade. Cupping scores were then further standardized by the Specialty Coffee Association in order to set international trade standards to guarantee the quality of coffee for global markets.


Coffee Cupping 101: what you need to know. 

A standard coffee cupping procedure involves deeply sniffing the coffee. Then it is slurped from a spoon so it is aerated and spread across the tongue evenly. The coffee taster then attempts to measure various aspects of the coffee’s taste, body, sweetness, acidity, flavour, and aftertaste. These are the main criteria used to evaluate any high quality specialty coffee:

  • Fragrance & Aroma: Fragrance refers to the smell of ground coffee when it’s dry. Aroma is the smell that the coffee releases once it gets infused in hot water.
  • Flavor: This is the most distinctive taste of the coffee, its signature. How it carries its flavour trail from the palate to the nose. 
  • Aftertaste: This is defined as the length of the flavor once the coffee has been swallowed. The longer the pleasant trail, the better the score. 
  • Acidity: Brightness and/or sourness of the coffee.
  • Body: The mouthfeel or heaviness perceived on the surface of the tongue. Some coffees will have a more noticeable viscosity, while others will be more watery.
  • Balance: The equilibrium between acidity, aroma, flavour and aftertaste. No single parameter should dominate.
  • Overall: Reflects the integrated rating of the sample tested. This is where the graders illustrate their personal consideration of the coffee being measured.
  • Uniformity: Refers to the consistency of flavour of the different cups of the sample tested. 
  • Clean Cup: Transparency in the cup. Uniformity of taste, free of any funny aromas or flavours. 
  • Sweetness: Subtle pleasant sugars naturally contained in coffee.
  • Defects: Negative or poor flavours that detract from the quality of the coffee.


The Final Score

The final coffee quality score is the sum of the total score of each cup, minus its defects. The following scorecard has proven to be an effective way to describe the range of coffee quality for its final overall score:


Total Score Quality Classifications



Presidential Award



Specialty Coffee


Below Specialty Quality

Not Specialty Coffee


Without further ado… We present you the cupping score for Mystic Coffee Co. 


When enjoying your delicious Mystic Coffee, know that you are drinking from a gourmet specialty coffee that has been certified by the experts!