What is "Coffee Review?"
Written by Hannah Murray for Mostra Coffee
What is Coffee Review?
What even is Coffee Review? The short answer is it’s an online publication that reviews coffees on a 100-point scale and comments in formally written tasting reports. If you’re coffee fanatics like us, you’ll want to hear all about this. So, grab a mug, pour out some caffeine, and sit back and enjoy this influx of coffee knowledge.
Coffee Review, currently known as one of the world’s leading coffee guides, was founded in 1977. They set out to help consumers identify and purchase superior coffees while driving demand to deserving farmers and roasters who invest their time, passion, and capital into producing high-quality coffee beans. Their mission is as simple as their love for coffee, and the proof is in the results, actions, and opportunities provided to small business owners, farmers, and roasters.
How does it work?
“The concept remains simple: We conduct blind, expert cuppings of coffees from all over the world and report the findings in the form of 100-point reviews [similar to the 100-point wine rating system], while educating readers about coffee with in-depth tasting reports each month, themed around coffee origins, issues, and factors that influence coffee quality and character.” With all that, reviews and assessments are based on fragrance/aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, sweetness, cup “clarity,” consistency from cup to cup, and overall impression.
Coffee Review uses a rating system of 1 (low) to 10 (high) for each of the five categories above, reflecting both quantity and quality. All in all, ratings provide a summary assessment of reviewed coffees and are based on a scale of 50 to 100.
The Coffee Review system currently calibrates roughly like this:
85/86 = An acceptable, solid coffee, but nothing exceptional — the best high-end supermarket whole bean, for example
87-88 = An interesting coffee but either 1) distinctive yet mildly flawed, or 2) solid but not exciting
89-90 = A very good coffee, drinkable, with considerable distinction and interest
91-92 = An very good to outstanding coffee with excitement and distinction in aroma and flavor – or an exceptional coffee that still perhaps has some issue that some consumers may object to but others will love – a big, slightly imbalanced acidity, for example, or an overly lush fruit
93-94 = Exceptional originality, beauty, individuality and distinction, with no significant negative issues whatsoever
95-96 = Perfect in structure, flawless, and shockingly distinctive and beautiful
97+ = Means: “We have not tasted a coffee of this style as splendid as this one for a long, long time”
So, what’s the big deal? Why are Coffee Review-ed coffees so coveted? What is so important about that little number on some of our coffee bags? We’re happy you asked! Submitting our coffees to Coffee Review provides a valuable and reliable third-party opinion that helps you, our customers, in the decision-making process when purchasing our coffee. It also aids us in making a statement for both Philippine coffees and other directly sourced coffees. We are so thankful to be recognized by such distinguished tasters and even more grateful to have one of our coffees make the Top #30 coffees of 2022 list! Never before has a Philippine coffee made the Top #30 list, and we are full of gratitude for the opportunity to showcase Philippine excellence. Want to read more about our Coffee Review-ed coffees? Check them out here, and shop for coffee here! As always, stay caffeinated and stay kind!