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Topic: New Scoring System (16 msgs / 446 lines)
1) From: miKe mcKoffee
Tom,
New system has max score of 110 while old system max score of 100. How would
an 87 on the new system compare to 87 of like type coffee on old system? Is
this a/the new SCAA cupping standard system or one you're devised?
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
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2) From: Justin Marquez
MiKe - Where is the info on the new scoring system. I did a browse at the SM
site and didn't see it described anywhere.
On Sun, Dec 14, 2008 at 2:06 AM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
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Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)
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3) From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Claus_Th=F8gersen?=
Hi,
tom stated on the latest blog entry that he is using the new system see the 
Ethiopia Organic DP Bonko "Black Sun"http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.africa.ethiopia.php#EthiopiaOrganicDPBonkoBlackSunI do not think tthat an explanation for the new system is on the sm page.
Claus

4) From: Lynne
I just put an order in (wow - first order in ages - spending THAT much money
that isn't for rent or a utility almost gave me a heart attack... had to
actually do the math so my mind would see how little money that is per
week!!), and that's when I saw the new rating system.
Damn... I hate math. 87 is what percentage of 110??? That's how we could
compare it to the old system.
What I'd like to know is why change it?
Lynne
(suspicious that my old high school math teacher is hidden away at Sweet
Maria's.... laughing... laughing...)
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5) From: Edward Bourgeois
I do like having extra categories. For me I try not to let the total
score influence me as much as the individual characteristics. I've
been trying to better understand blending for brewed and espresso and
a larger breakdown can only help. Tom gets so many coffees that are
not origin typical which in some senses is a good thing but also makes
things a bit more complicated.
farm
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6) From: raymanowen
"...why change it?"
Just a different way of looking at the same thing. Mr. Bockwitz taught us
freshmen to put units on the solutions; Mr. Bielema sweated through the
quadratic equation with the Babbitt-headed seniors.
87/110= 79%, 25/100%%, 10/200=5%
On Sun, Dec 14, 2008 at 7:06 AM, Lynne  wrote:
<Snip>
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7) From: Tom Ulmer
In defense of the polynomial equation...

8) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
I'll get a full explanation up on Monday of the new scoring. I didn't 
feel rushed because it is not really that different. Total scores 
will be comparable to the old system! An 87 should roughly work out 
to the same. I will write later about the scale, but actually the new 
scoring pulls us more into line with the CoE and the SCAA than we 
have been.
In brief, the bane of my existence (in coffee cupping at least) is 
total points. If a coffee is an 87, does that mean you will like it 
more than an 86 ... no . It's use is limited, but it does communicate 
something about quality .. right? So do the individual categories, in 
fact, more so. I resisted adding categories that SCAA and CoE use for 
several reasons, but my thinking has changed a bit. For example, 
Clean Cup and Uniformity (if you make 5 cups, how similar are they). 
I found those to be punitive to DP coffees, for example. Now I see 
them as expressive: if a coffee scores 9 on flavor, 9 on complexity, 
and 5 in Clean Cup, you know you are dealing with a potentially 
fantastic DP coffee that has some funky, rustic, earthy, 
unconventional flavors. We will be graphing all of the scores so they 
can be compared (perhaps even overlayed and such). So the shapes of 
the spider  graphs will give you a good visual clue about the cup 
character ... which was critical feedback I heard about the current 
spider graphes. The graphs will come later - might take a month to 
get that together because they will be dynamically generated. Anyway, 
the SCAA system is over 100 points as well  (I believe 106 is the top 
score). It's a bit of sleight of hand, really ... because people will 
think of it as a 100 point system, and in fact that's what I want. 
Why? Well, the scoring has become too compact, the range too tight, 
and the numbers fail to be expressive when they do this. The goal, 
after all, is to effectively communicate using numbers and graphs as 
a supplement to the written word. SCAA discovered that the extra 
points give the judge the ability to score a coffee more extreme in 
each category ... consider my example of a great DP coffee that has 
low clean cup, uniformity, maybe acidity, and high complexity, 
flavor, body etc ... the result is a very expressive set of numbers, 
and a corresponding graph that really has distinct form, with extreme 
spikes in the spider web. If the balance of these numbers comes out 
to, say... 83 which would mean its "Specialty" coffee but of plain, 
ordinary character, then the cup certainly merits a "cuppers 
correction" to communicate that no, this is really fantastic, if 
somewhat odd and imbalanced coffee. So say a 9 point cuppers 
correction brings it all the way to 92.
I know that for some this sounds like cheating, but let me tell you 
the reality, after 18 or so Cup of Excellence juries and countless 
other competitions and group cuppings... what is happening among 
judges is that they don't truly use the category scores to lead to a 
final score. As the cup cools, they form an idea of a total score, 
then they adjust the individual category scores to justify it. In a 
way, that is the correct thing to do ... after all, if you think a 
coffee is fantastic and somehow your numbers total 83, have you done 
a good job expressing your overall quality of that coffee? Likewise, 
if a coffee happens to rate highly in individual categories, but 
overall the cup is not attractive, do you do it justice to rate it 88 
or 92 ? On Thursday I had a big cupping where I wanted to try all the 
expensive coffees from this year on one table. I roasted archived 
samples of they Esmeralda Geshas, Aida's Grand Reserve, Guatemala 
CoE#1 El Injerto and some others. The later 2 have balance, 
complexity, and are highly enjoyable. Esmeralda #2 and #3 have 
soaring acidity, so different than all the other high price coffees, 
just astounding. But the body, the balance, not there. They are thin 
... which also affect the lenght of the aftertaste and complexity 
too, a bit. Dinging them on those 3 scores could lead to a 86-88 on 
many forms. That would be sooooo wrong.
Okay, so I digress. Anyway, I think the value of the numbers and the 
new charts, when we get them rolling, are going to be much more 
useful. Basically, all the coffee lists and reviews are now 
database-generated, which will lead to a lot more functionality in 
terms of finding the right coffees, but we really havent tapped the 
database functionality yet. It's coming, we had to build it and get 
it running first...
My coffee this AM? Ethiopia Organic DP Bonko Black Sun. Wow! And 
hmmm... there's a little of that Esmeralda #3 Peabery left ... think 
I will go make a cup now!
Tom
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george_at_sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom_at_sweetmarias.com
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9) From: MichaelB
Tom,
Your comments and explanations are always appreciated. Thanks for the
insights into how you professionals score the coffee.
Given the difficulty of these scoring systems in reflecting the true worth
of a coffee, why try to pack it all into one system? Seems like one scale,
however you try to push it will just not get the job done. Why not use
one system strictly for objective taste similar to your old system but
without the cuppers correction. Then a second score for subjective taste.
The first number would represent the technical evaluation of the coffee; the
second number how much we might enjoy the coffee in our cup. This would
handle your low scoring dp coffees on scale one that would have higher
scores on scale two. Likewise, a balanced, well behaved coffee that scored
high on scale one but was uninspiring in the cup would have a low scale two
score. I think this is the way they do it in figure skating and perhaps
other sports and judgings. Seems like it might have some value here.
On Sun, Dec 14, 2008 at 3:58 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <
sweetmarias> wrote:
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10) From: Lynne
Thank you, Tom.
For me, I mainly go on your explanations, which I absolutely love, rather
than the score. (Which got me to put in an order this weekend, starting with
five pounds of the Bonko Black Sun - wondering if a cup without cream or
milk should be called black Bonko Black?).
Lynne
On Sun, Dec 14, 2008 at 3:58 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <
sweetmarias> wrote:
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11) From: Jared
I think the new system is as great as an amp that goes up to 11.
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12) From: Edward Bourgeois
Tom added this in the SM Site Down? post
"Another little note - my post about our new scoring might have been
unclear. We will NOT be changing the scores. Old scores and new score
totals are calibrated. We are NOT going to be like coffee review.com,
giving 90+ scores liberally. We ARE trying to expand the range of
scores in the subcategories so they better express what is going on in
the cup. This will NOT lead to inflated total scores!!!
Please wait for me to fully explain the new system, THEN you can criticize it!
Tom"
I REALLY like the newest score card categories. Nothing left to
wonder!?!? I also appreciate your comment on the score inflation
bubble that has been happening. It makes their archive kinda useless
when it comes to the score card .  I will confess I went looking for a
Brazilian Decaf as SM is out and needed some for a nightime winter
warmer espresso milk drink blend and damn it was soooooo frustrating
not getting the useful info and data I'm use to from Tom.
farm
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
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13) From: Leo Zick
I'm with you. I don't see how rating a bright coffee higher than a
muted cup, just because its points total more, means its better.
I've used the old system in the past and at times look for lower numbers.
When you rate wines, the higher is better because its an overall score
of equal categories. I'm still a bit confused as to how bigger is
better. I don't think there shouldbe totals. What if you want a non
bright coffee, with less aroma?
Ill stick to the spider graphs :)
On 12/14/08, MichaelB  wrote:
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14) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
<Snip>
Its a good point Ed, and a danger of changing any system - it makes 
the archive useless, and i just can't help but think that what has 
happened with all these 90 92, 95 etc has to do with the fact those 
coffees are so often marketed on sites that have a referral-based 
relationship. It might be that they are the sites constantly 
submitting samples (it would make sense) but number of scores over 90 
is mindboggling. Good coffee can be rated at 85 - very good coffee, 
and the kind you actually want a second cup of, or to brew again in 
the afternoon. I am aware of the same thing happening in wine too ... 
but I have a lot of respect for coffee with what I call (with 
positivity) "restrained" cup profiles. I mean, Gesha is great but we 
don't want a "Gesha-ization" of coffee, or trends that make growers 
go rip out all their nice Typica and Bourbon to plant Kenya or 
Ethiopian cultivars everywhere... In any case, trust that as we ease 
into the additional scoring categories, they will better explain the 
cup. We also have been thinking of getting rid of the score column 
and use a larger graph that has the numbers and the total score. I 
have felt for a long time that the review format is really ugly and 
hard to look at, so we are hoping to get something easier on the eyes 
and more informative.
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george_at_sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom_at_sweetmarias.com
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15) From: Rick Copple
Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee wrote:
<Snip>
I'm hoping the good descriptions will remain in place. I rarely look at 
the numbers or the graph that much, I go by what you say is in the cup 
and decide whether I would like it or not based on that. As long as that 
info is there, I'm happy no matter what you do with the rest of it. :)
-- 
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16) From: Lynne
ditto what Rick said...
Lynne
 Rick Copple  wrote:
<Snip>
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