Body Attributes – SCA Cupping Form

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter
Body Attributes - SCA Cupping Form - Helena Coffee Vietnam

Body Attributes – SCA Cupping Form​​​​​​​​​ – This article is part of a group of posts that explain the ten sensory attributes of the SCA Cupping Form (or SCA Arabica Cupping Form) based on knowledge from the book Sensory Science.

A person who is familiar with coffee tasting will not find any concept related to “body” in coffee flavor circles (this is logical since “body” is not part of the taste). The WCR Sensory Lexicon also did not shed light on this concept, instead in “The Coffee Cupper’s Handbook” (fifth ed., 2011), Ted R. Lingle defined “body”:

” […] Body should be differentiated from strength, which is an intensity measure of the amount and type of soluble materi- al present. Strength gives coffee its taste characteristics, whereas body gives coffee its mouthfeel characteristics. It is possible to brew coffees that have a heavy body, but not a strong taste.” – Ted R. Lingle, 2011

The body should be distinguished from strength, which measures the intensity of the amount and type of dissolved matter in coffee. Strength gives coffee its flavor characteristics, while body gives coffee mouth-feel characteristics. Making coffee with a strong body is possible, but not a strong flavor.”

Body Attributes - SCA Cupping Form - Helena Coffee Vietnam
Body properties on the Cupping form

In Ted R. Lingle’s definition, the body measures tactile sensations caused by nerve endings in the mouth reacting to insoluble substances – both liquid and solid, suspended in coffee, mainly from suspension solids and fats in coffee.

In this way, the “body” can be partially distinguished by separating “texture” from “heaviness.”

More specifically, part of the “body” is created by solids suspended in phase water. Suspended solids are compounds that are insoluble in water but can “swim” in coffee (e.g., polysaccharide molecules that form the cell wall layer of coffee beans).

Some other fluids are hydrophobic — that is, “can’t blend into water,” like oils and suspended fats that increase the feeling of smoothness or viscosity — the rest of the “body” attribute.

Body review in coffee cupping

Like other attributes (Fragrance/Aroma and AcidityBody is evaluated based on both strength and descriptive characteristics, this attribute consists of two different concepts: heaviness (mainly by dissolved solids) and texture (mainly by fats).

In particular, heaviness refers to coffee’s perceptible density or viscosity (simply speaking, the bold/lightness of coffee), and texture refers to the feeling of thickness or thinness (or full/loose roundness).

For example, a high-fat coffee with a few suspended solids may have a creamy texture with low weight.

However, experts encourage you to compare with specific foods to describe the body attributes of coffee, such as creamybutteryoily, and tea-like but not to mention the taste of these foods but the correlation of their texture.

Sometimes, non-food terms such as thin or thick (narrow/wide) or grit and smooth (velvety/sandy) can be helpful when describing the texture of the body, etc.

  • Like Fragrance/Aroma and Acidity, full potency (intensity) body attributes (in terms of heaviness) is recorded on the vertical scale as an objective assessment of power.
  • Next, the impression of the quality of the body is noted on a horizontal scale from 6 to 10. Again, this is a subjective assessment based on the cupper’s estimate of how the coffee body affects its value in the coffee market.

Body Attributes - SCA Cupping Form - Helena Coffee Vietnam
Illustration of how to evaluate body attributes on SCA’s Cupping form

NOTE: In cupping, when the coffee cools, the copper usually repeats the evaluation of the properties: FlavorAftertasteAcidity, and Body on two or three occasions. Since the taste of coffee, when cooled, create different experiences, the overall impression of attributes will be more accurate when evaluated through multiple attempts.


  • Primecoffea, Thuộc tính Body • SCA Cupping Form​, Tháng Một 29, 2023.


Helena Coffee Vietnam

Helena Coffee Processing & Export in Vietnam | Helena., JSC, which was established in 2016, is a Vietnamese coffee exporter, manufacturer & supplier. We provide the most prevalent varieties of coffee grown in Vietnam’s renowned producing regions.

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