Who we are

Songer and Associates are product-oriented coffee specialists, testers, and tasters that go beyond information and advice to achieve bottom line results.  See more...

Laboratory Design

  • Laboratory layout and design
  • Sourcing of testing equipment appropriate for coffee
  • Development of lab standards and procedures

Most testing done in coffee is sensory analysis rather than instrumental analysis. Proper design of space is important in both instances, however. 

Sensory labs must be free of sensory distractions, such as noise or interfering aromas. They should allow uninterrupted concentration and have necessary facilities for sample preparation and cleanup.

Instrumental analyses each have their own parameters. Electrical service of a specific type is often necessary and there must be adequate space for the technicians to prepare samples. Computers for entry of results can be more efficient and most instruments can output results directly into a computer, saving further time.

A laboratory is any space where one wants to make an objective determination or do research. For adequate quality control or product development, one should have a lab that has testing equipment of adequate accuracy and able to handle the amount of testing required. Sensory laboratories have special requirements. Songer wrote a chapter on lab design for the book, “Specialty Coffee: Managing Quality” edited by Thomas Oberthür, available at http://seap.ipni.net/articles/SEAP0102-EN.
Songer and Associates can assist in laboratory design and choosing appropriate testing equipment.

Portfolio of Services

  • Cupping services with scores provided from the scoring formats used for Cup of Excellence, Specialty Coffee Association of America, or other scoring formats
  • Determination of coffee quality according to market segment (specialty, usual-good-quality, commercial, etc.)
  • Development of standards of sensory analysis for quality control
  • Freshness issues

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When the target market has been identified, when competition demands, or when shifts in consumer preferences occur (as has been the case in the coffee industry for the past few decades), it may be necessary to introduce a new product under a new brand name. In some cases, however, product improvement may be a less expensive solution.

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  • Training and leading sensory panels
  • Sensory experiment design

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This is the all-important place where the drink is served to the customer. Having gone through the stages of green bean and roasting, this is the moment of truth. There are 4 aspects to what is being served:

  • The quality of the coffee and its flavor attributes
  • The quality of the water used in brewing
  • The equipment used in brewing
  • The operator or barista who actually prepares the drink

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  • Laboratory layout and design
  • Sourcing of testing equipment appropriate for coffee
  • Development of lab standards and procedures

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