A Q-grader cupper recently offered me his perspective on where quality comes from. Later that day, I had dinner with another Q-grader cupper and asked her the same question. Their answers were identical. Each one breaks down the sources of a coffee’s quality like this:
The total agreement created quite an impression, but left me wondering about everything that happens between the selection of the varietal and harvest – fertilization, pruning, weeding, shade management, etc. This vision leaves out most of what a farmer spends his time doing on the coffee farm.