Late last year, we conducted the first in a series of group cuppings that will help pioneer 100-point wine-style reviews in the tea industry. As a refresher, you can view the summary results of Cupping #1.
Recall that one of the goals of our cuppings is to establish a reasonable degree of consensus associating numerical scores with shared sensory experiences. For more context, refer to Quantifying Quality and Establishing Standards.
In Cupping #1, there was a significant spread of scores among cuppers for most of the samples and categories. However, there was a good degree of consensus on black teas, which had the smallest average scoring spread of just 8 points. In calibration Cupping #2, which is now under way, we will strive for greater consensus on our scoring by focusing our efforts where we had greater agreement, namely black teas.
In the first week of February, we will mail each member of our Tasting Panel a set of six black tea samples, five of which will be identified by a three-digit number. The sixth tea will be identified as the Ceylon OP Sri Lanka black tea from cupping #1. It had an average score of 86.8 points and a spread of just six points among all cuppers. It was considered “good to very good” by all members of the tasting panel. It will be used as a benchmark that offers a point of reference for cuppers’ ratings of the other black teas in Cupping #2.
Thanks once again to Mo Sardella and the team at G.S. Haly for generously contributing their time to help organize our cuppings as well as providing the tea samples for Cupping #2.
We expect to have the results of Cupping #2 complete by the end of February. Initial results should be available in early March.