About Coffee Review
The concept was simple: conduct blind, expert cuppings of coffees and report the findings in the form of 100-point reviews, much like those that exist in the wine industry. Since I founded the Coffee Review in February 1997 with Ron Walters, it has become the world’s most widely read and influential coffee buying guide. Most of the great changes that have taken place in the fine coffee world over the past seventeen years have been reflected in and often anticipated by our thousands of reviews and over two-hundred major articles.
Our goal at the Coffee Review is to entertain and educate coffee drinkers, food service professionals, and the coffee trade with a credible and easy-to-use coffee guide based on objective, blind reviews from Kenneth Davids and other experienced individuals in the specialty coffee industry. It is important to understand that evaluating and enjoying coffees are very different than evaluating and enjoying wines, beers, or cigars. We encourage you to read Interpreting Reviews which explains how to read our ratings and reviews and why one should not simply shop by the numbers.
If you are new to our site—welcome. If you are a return visitor, we hope you continue to enjoy the Coffee Review. Please keep visiting us at the Coffee Review as we bring you fresh reviews and informed commentary on the latest trends and developments in the world of fine coffee.
P.S. You can read more about us by visiting any of the following links:
Coffee expert, author, and co-founder of the Coffee Review, oversees all cuppings and tastings and writes all tasting articles and reviews.
Coffee Rating Caveats
Evaluating coffees has very different implications from evaluating wines, beers or cigars. The reason: Coffee is a continually changing collaboration rather than a fait accompli in a bottle or box. Good wines get put in bottles in the winery, usually by the same people who grow the grapes and produce the wine. Although wine changes while inside the bottle, that change is reasonably predictable. On the consuming end, all that needs to be done to enjoy a wine is to properly store the bottle, open it, pour the wine (in some cases after a proper interval), taste it, then carry on about what you’re tasting. Coffee, on the other hand, is a trans-oceanic collaboration that invites the consumer to assume a much more active role than do most other beverages.
Aroma, acidity, body, flavor and aftertaste are the traditional descriptive categories used by the Coffee Review and many professionals when evaluating coffee. We use a rating system of 1 (low) to 10 (high) for each of these five categories, reflecting both intensity (how much) and quality (how good.) Overall ratings provide a summary assessment of reviewed coffees and are based on a scale of 50 to 100.
Degree or darkness of roast dramatically affects a coffee’s flavor profile. Roast darkness can be measured with some precision through the use of a specially modified spectrophotometer popularly called an Agtron. The smaller the Agtron number, the darker the roast.