Cupping Standards

Coffee to Water Ratio

When cupping, the ratio of 8.75 grams (whole bean) coffee (± 0.25 grams), to 150 ml (~5 fluid ounces) water shall be used. When adjusting due to vessel size, a ratio of 0.058 g coffee (whole bean) per 1 ml water or 1.73 grams per 1 fluid ounce of water shall be used.

Cupping Vessel

Cupping vessels shall be of tempered glass or ceramic material. They shall be between 210 ml and 265 ml, (7 and 9 fluid ounces), with a top diameter of between 75 – 90 mm, (3 and 3.5 inches). All cups used shall be of identical volume, dimensions and material of manufacture with lids.

Water Temperature

Cupping water temperature shall be 92 – 94.5°C (200°F ± 2°F) when poured on grounds.

Cupping Water

Cupping Water shall meet all the requirements listed in the SCAA Standard ‘Water for Brewing Specialty Coffee,’ as shown below:


CharacteristicTargetAcceptable Range
OdorClean/fresh, odor free
ColorClear color
Total ChlorineO mg/L
TDS150 mg/L75 – 250 mg/L
Calcium Hardness4 grains (68 mg/L)1-5 grains (17 mg/L – 85 mg/L)
Total Alkalinity40 mg/LAt or near 40 mg/L
pH7.06.5 – 7.5
Sodium10 mg/LAt or near 10 mg/L


Coffee Grind

The coffee used for cupping shall be ground so that 70-75 percent of the grinds pass through the #20 mesh sieve.

Roast for Cupping

The roasting of coffee for cupping shall take between 9 and 14 minutes and shall be used for cupping within 8 and 24 hours after roasting.

Roast Level

The roast for cupping shall meet Agtron gourmet color score of 48 for whole beans, 78 for ground coffee, ± 1 unit, or between the scores of 50 and 55 on the ‘standard’ Agtron scale. If an Agtron machine is not available, roasted whole bean coffee shall match Agtron roast tile #50.

Cupping Room Size

Cupping room minimum dimensions (for exactly one cupping table) shall be no smaller than 10 m2 (~110 square feet).

Cupping Spoons

Cupping spoons shall hold 4-5 ml (0.135 – 0.169 fluid ounces) of coffee sample and should be of non-reactive metal.

Cupping Tables

Cupping tables (for 6 people) shall have a surface area of at least 1 square meter (~10 square feet), and be between 107 – 117 centimeters (42 and 46 inches) tall.