The Image of Taste


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[F]or fifteen years, Sustainable Harvest has logged every cupping done by each of their Q graders, collecting all the data you could want for a coffee. Last month, Oscar Magro, the company’s chief technology officer, projected that data in its code form on a large screen at Let’s Talk Coffee in Panama. There was so much data it just looked like a gray swatch. The Matrix would be easier to read.

(Photos: Courtesy of Sustainable Harvest)
(Photos: Courtesy of Sustainable Harvest)

To make this data easier to access, and look at, Magro and the rest of Sustainable Harvest’s team created Tastify. The program, which was introduced at this year’s SCAA and just went into beta testing, compiles and organizes that trove of data, offering it in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Most powerfully, it allows users to search for coffees based on flavors, offering roasters a chance to find flavors from countries they didn’t expect them. Its highlight is a dynamic flavor wheel, itself inspired by the SCAA’s and Counter Culture’s wheels, that cuts out all but the flavors ascribed to that coffee by Sustainable Harvest’s Q graders.

The final plan for Tastify is in flux, very much contingent on the beta testing. If you’re a Sustainable Harvest customer or a supplier you can join the testing by e-mailing

Cory Eldridge is Fresh Cup’s editor.

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