The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has announced that it will be releasing the Beta version of the Coffee Value Assessment, an evolution of the association’s cupping protocol and form at Re:co Symposium from 19 to 20 April and the Specialty Coffee Expo from 21 to 23 April, both in Portland, Oregon.
This output is part of the years’ endeavour to evolve the way the industry captures information about valued attributes in coffee into a modern system underpinned by user research and sensory science best practices.
“We are excited to release the Beta version of the Coffee Value Assessment, and to take this opportunity to announce an early-adopter program, a key feedback and support mechanism that will help us to achieve the vision we’ve outlined for the new system,” says SCA CEO Yannis Apostolopoulos.
“This new holistic understanding of value, in addition to the assessments’ compatibility with scientific research, will create more robust, transparent records of what is valued and by whom, on a large scale, allowing us to create a more accessible value discovery tool.”
Currently in its Beta version, the SCA Coffee Value Assessment allows coffee experts to inventory the valuable attributes of a coffee, according to the SCA’s definition of specialty coffee. Across four separate assessment types, users can record information about physical, sensory, and extrinsic attributes. The 2004 cupping system previously combined some of these different assessment types, but this new approach enables cuppers to evaluate and record a coffee’s sensorial attributes in the descriptive assessment and their “impression of quality” in the affective assessment. By separating these two assessments–the objective description of a coffee’s flavour profile from the taster’s impression of quality–the Coffee Value Assessment reflects best practice in sensory and consumer science, making it compatible with scientific research.
The physical and extrinsic assessments, outlined in the Coffee Value Assessment Protocol (in beta), are still in research and development. The physical assessment will be an evolution of the SCA’s Grading Protocol, which serves as the industry standard method for evaluating and grading green washed arabica coffee, based on integral research projects organised by the Coffee Science Foundation and supported through key partnerships. A user study, soliciting feedback on an alpha-version of the Extrinsic Assessment form is expected to launch mid-2023.
At Re:co Symposium, Apostolopoulos will formally introduce the Beta version of the SCA Coffee Value Assessment and an early adopter program designed to help the SCA refine the system’s protocol and forms, through both community feedback and scientific research, before moving through its standards development procedure.
Attendees at Specialty Coffee Expo will have opportunities to learn more about the Coffee Value Assessment across five different lectures, three workshops, and a dedicated day in the cupping exchange. View the SCA Coffee Value Assessment activations taking place at Expo at coffeeexpo.org/value-assessment.
To learn more, visit sca.coffee/value-assessment.