PORTLAND, USA – The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has unveiled the beta version of the Coffee Value Assessment Protocol and Form at Re:co Symposium in Portland, Oregon. This output is part of the years’ long endeavor to evolve the tool the industry uses to discover value in coffee through a complete, “high-resolution” picture of a specific coffee across four assessment types.
Earlier yesterday, SCA CEO Yannis Apostolopoulos formally introduced the beta version of the SCA Coffee Value Assessment on the Re:co Symposium stage, a thought leadership event that takes place prior to the Specialty Coffee Expo in Portland, Oregon.
Yannis also unveiled an Early Adopter program designed to help the SCA refine the system’s protocol and forms through community feedback before it moves through the SCA’s standards development procedures.
On the Re:co stage, Yannis stated, “The long-term vision for the SCA’s Coffee Value Assessment is more than the beta version of the protocol and forms you’ll see here in Portland. There are really two paradigm shifts happening here: there’s the paradigm shift of having a holistic record of what could make a coffee valuable to someone, somewhere.
But there’s also the paradigm shift of taking all these new, high-resolution pictures that the protocol and these forms capture, and leveraging them to create a global database of what is valued, where, and by whom.
It’s about addressing the information asymmetry that resulted in the dichotomy of price-makers and price-takers in our industry by making that database accessible to everyone.”
Currently in its beta version, the SCA Coffee Value Assessment allows coffee experts to inventory the valuable attributes of a coffee in alignment with the SCA’s new definition of specialty coffee. Once the Coffee Value Assessment exits its beta testing, users will be able to record information about coffees across four different assessment types—physical, extrinsic, affective, and descriptive.
This approach reflects best practice in sensory and consumer science, making it compatible with scientific research for the first time. Tools in the current beta version enable cuppers to evaluate and record a coffee’s sensory attributes by separating the objective description of a coffee’s flavor profile (called a descriptive assessment) from the taster’s impression of quality (called an affective assessment).
The tools employing the physical and extrinsic assessment types are still in research and development.
Speaking of the SCA’s commitment to coffee producers, Yannis added, “The SCA is committed to ensuring this tool is accessible to coffee producers and producing organizations all over the world.
Without them, there would be no specialty coffee and none of this is worth doing if we cannot make specialty coffee a thriving, equitable, and sustainable activity for all.”
Re:co participants will have the opportunity to apply the new assessment system during a dedicated seminar track and sensory experiences. There will also be many additional opportunities to interact with the new assessment system at the Specialty Coffee Expo later this week.
View the SCA Coffee Value Assessment activations taking place at Expo at coffeeexpo.org/value-assessment. Opportunities to learn more, beta-test the forms, or apply to take part in the Early Adopter program can be found at sca.coffee/value-assessment.