A few days ago I got an interesting question about scoring coffee, SCA scoring linked to coffee. I would hereby like to give my personal view on this topic. Like wine, it is possible to give the coffee points according to visual merits like how the coffee beans look like and combine it with the taste and aroma aspects of the coffee. The latter refers to the basic tastes and what we feel through the nose and through the sensors that trigger our taste memory, and any visible defects in the coffee bean often related to cultivation or processing. The taste orientations of coffee with its over 800 aromas (more than wine) generally depend on several dimensions. We are talking about an enormous richness of taste that opens up to you if you start looking.
From the moment the berry is picked and leaves the tree's lifeline, preferably when full maturity and potential has been developed, in my opinion you can not really improve, only "destroy" what mother nature has created. The coffee chain is long and a lot can happen along the way. Therefore, it is not least important to transparently connect all parties (as here at Era of We) to get the most out of this fantastic, completely natural drink. In this long chain that ends at the time of preparation (brewing, etc.), it is mainly cultivation conditions (soil, tree species, climate, plant height, etc.), processing in country of origin, storage method, roasting process and preparation method / brewing method that affect quality.
The perception of the coffee quality varies with personal taste and preference and you can often start with the basic tastes as an orientation. Does one like, for example, pleasant bitterness, fruity acidity, or sweetness? The next step coulld be to explore different roast profiles and go into more detailed taste descriptions, see Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel - Specialty Coffee Association (sca.coffee). If you try to simplify the whole thing, it should generally be a taste experience beyond the ordinary, free from disturbing "impurities", processed with knowledge and documented - My measure is that the extremely good taste should lingers for at least 30 minutes and you then feel after it, you want to take a påtår (Swedish for "refill"). The scale with a maximum score of 100 that has been created is a standard developed by the SCA, Specialty Coffee Association, to standardize and to make it possible to objectively assess a coffee based on its merits. An 88p may not actually suit everyone and some might prefer an 84p based on other merits that may be more in line with the personal taste and the associations it creates in your taste memory - perhaps drawing on memories from your childhood. For example, the preference may be citrus-sour but other preferences might be lacking. Coffee is very much personal and interest breeds interest.
I like a quote that has lived with me in my head since I in 2008 started travling around in the high mountainous areas around the equator in search of Löfbergs coffee (www.lofbergs.se); "... specialty coffee beans would always be well prepared, freshly roasted, and properly brewed…." Erna Knutsen, of Knutsen Coffee Ltd, Montreuil, France, in 1978.