Date of Award





Master of Science


TSYS School of Computer Science


In the coffee industry, "cupping" is the process of sensorial evaluations of coffee beans, also known as Sample Evaluation. This process is done for three major reasons: to determine the actual sensory differences between coffee samples, to describe the flavors of the samples, and to determine preference of product. In totality, cupping targets the measurement of the coffee's quality related to fragrance, taste, and appearance which are expressed with a final numerical score. When cupping, the expert judge writes down the individual components' scores (fragrance, aftertaste, acidity, body, etc.) and ranks their intensities for reference. Despite the fact the cuppers are using natural language statements in their judgment, they are required to use numerical values to evaluate the coffee bean attributes. Fuzzy systems allow an intuitive way of representing the judge's knowledge, by linguistically modeling the judge's perception of the coffee's attributes for sensorial evaluation of coffee-bean attributes to enhance the Specialty Coffee Association ofAmerica cupping process to derive quality scoring when grading specialty coffees. With a fuzzy expert system the judge's perception could be better assisted with a collection of linguistically expressed terms instead of numbers (complementary terms acting as shapers of the coffee bean's attribute score's gradation of meaning).